On Thursday 22nd October 2020, the start of our second national lockdown, the NEPTuNE team convened for another virtual Study Day via Zoom. Professor Declan Devan and NEPTuNE scholar, Fiona Quirke, coordinated the event for our five PhD scholars, our Principal Investigators, and PPI, Paul Ryan.
To start the day, Professor Eleanor Molloy gave an in-depth presentation on the FIREFLY project that she is also leading. This project is a precursor to NEPTuNE’s PANDA project and it was great to get an insight into FIREFLY’s research and to hear of the challenges presented to it by the COVID19 restrictions.
The scholars took the opportunity to present in depth project updates at this session. Their presentations were very impressive and they spoke in detail of the progress in their research and the challenges presented to them in the current COVID19 climate. They are becoming experts at virtual presentations and the team continue to be impressed with how the scholars have risen to the challenge of the new virtual landscape.
After a short coffee break, we heard from Dr Sandra Galvin, the Programme Manager for HRB-TMRN at NUIG, who spoke about involving children in randomised trials using the very successful START Competition as an example of such outreach. We then heard from Dr Claire Beecher, a postdoctoral researcher from NUIG who gave an excellent presentation on effective Project Management. Our final contributor was Dr Ciara Keenan, Associate Director of Cochrane Ireland, who spoke of Effective Searching. All topics were relevant to our scholars and the contributions generated much discussion afterwards.
Again, we are looking forward to meeting in person as soon as the lifting of restrictions allows us to do so. In the meantime, we commend our scholars for adapting to the virtual environment and for their continuing progress in their projects.