The Quantitative Biology & Medicine @ Exeter network (QBME) holds weekly drop-in sessions, where researchers can discuss challenges with their research, bring ideas for future seed corn projects, receive training on a particular topic, and gain information and support on public engagement. The sessions rotate between department buildings across the University, and in September 2018 Chrissie Walker, four QBME Research Fellows and I travelled down to Cornwall to meet colleagues at the Penryn Campus and Truro Campus.
In the morning, we were located in the main atrium of the Environment and Sustainability Institute, in the Penryn Campus. Four researchers joined us to discuss bioinformatics, mathematical modelling and image analysis in the context of their research. Their fields of research were quite varied too, from antibiotic resistance to evolutionary ecology! Although researchers didn’t require information or support on public engagement, which is my area of expertise, it was still a very worthwhile morning as I learnt a lot about the type of research conducted at the Penryn Campus.
In the afternoon, we moved over to the Truro Campus, where we set up in the lobby of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health (ECEHH), situated in the Knowledge Spa. Here, we learnt about current research being carried out at the ECEHH, including research on indoor environment and asthma, and the impact of childhood exposure to nature on health. During the afternoon at the Knowledge Spa, I met up with Amanda Datson, Research Feasibility and Communications Manager at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, to share best practice on patient and public involvement in research.
Overall, this is the drop-in session with highest attendance to date! We hope to foster these relationships with colleagues in Cornwall, and perhaps collaborations such as these will develop future seed corn project ideas.