The Alison Douglas Summer School 'Food for Thought'


The first Alison Douglas Summer School for Early Career Researchers (ECRs) was held at Frauenwörth, Bavaria, Germany in July 2013. The meeting was attended by 32 ECRs, approximately half of whom were BSN members, and 16 members of faculty, including 2 journalists from the MAITRE organisation who ran media training workshops. The Summer School consisted of a series of interactive science-based teaching workshops on the food, energy balance, obesity and feeding theme, and their associated group-based tasks, as well as more generic workshops based around topics including future EU funding, the future of publishing, and an industry perspective. The School finished with a high-octane ‘Dragon’s Den’ event based on funding proposals prepared by groups of ECRs, and judged by the faculty. The School was part funded by the BSN in commemoration of Alison Douglas, and partly by a number of current FP7 EU grants that also have a commitment to the development of European ECRs. Feedback suggests that the ECRs found the event very valuable and enjoyable, and the organisers hope that the networking opportunities the School provided will bear fruit in the future as this generation of ECRs develop their careers over the coming years. As co-ordinator of the EU ‘Full4Health’ project, I would like to formally record my appreciation for Dr. Gabi Wagner and the organising committee, without whose efforts this event would not have been possible.

The BSN committee is keen to receive feedback on the event, especially from BSN ECR members so that we can see how best to take forward an event in Alison Douglas’s name in the coming years. In the first instance, please direct your comments to Dr. Amy Warner.

Julian Mercer