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Lianne Kearsley-Fleet is a researcher at the University of Manchester, who works on the paediatric biologic registers and does data analysis. She presented at last year's Paediatric and Adolescent Rheumatology Research Day and talks here about her experience of the event and why it's important to submit.

What is the Paediatric Research Day experience like?

I really love it.  It’s a snapshot of what everyone’s doing – it’s fast-paced and you get to see a wide variety of presentations. The main conference can be a lot more clinical and about what’s going on in practice, which isn’t as relevant to me personally as a researcher.

Sometimes people bring up interesting concepts, for example if they’ve done something in psychology, which makes you realise that when you do your research, you must remember that a certain question is important to patients and not to exclude it just because it’s not important to you individually.

What’s presenting like?

It’s normally a very quick slot, about 10 minutes, which is nice, because it means you’re not waffling too much about methods, you’re just giving a really nice summary of your work, which is also good as a listener.

It’s important in your early career to know you can talk in front of people and present your work, building your confidence as you move forward to present at some of the bigger conferences.

It’s good for networking – this time round all the presenters were assigned a mentor, which is usually a professor. We were encouraged to meet up either on the day, before or after the talk, or you could have practiced with them before. It just meant that you have someone on your side, you can discuss your career plans with them; that’s really good for networking. I think it’s more just having the confidence to introduce yourself.

What kind of talks are given?

In 2018 I presented on children who are on biologic therapy, what they’re on, what they’re switching to – an observation of what’s happening. Nothing like that has been done in the UK before. Sometimes charities present on things they’ve done – it can be as simple as interviews they’ve done – or people in hospitals who are looking at more clinical outcomes, along with people working on large national observational cohort studies.

They do quite like having a wide range of people presenting. I get the impression they try and support early career people, so you don’t get the professors presenting unless it’s on behalf of someone. There are a lot of students, such as an undergrad who might have done a study with someone. That’s always really nice as well.

Why should someone submit an idea to the Research Day?

It’s very different to main conferences where you’ve got a professor presenting; it’s absolutely a good thing for the career to present. It’s a safe place to present, you’ve got people interested in research who ask very nice questions because the people who are there want to support your research rather than criticise it!

Even if your research isn’t complete, if you get the opportunity to present it can help you get feedback on how to move forward. It’s just a really nice opportunity. Go and have fun and meet people – it’s a fun, relaxed, happy day where you feel included.

If you enjoyed what Lianne had to say, we'd love you to think about submitting your research to be considered for a presentation at the Research Day.

Submit your research idea