EMBL Australia travel grants are assisting dozens of students to expand their research horizons by travelling to inspiring and informative European conferences and courses every year.
Ebony Monson, now a third-year PhD student in the Helbig Lab at La Trobe University, received a $2000 grant last year, which helped her pay her way to the EMBO – EMBL Non-Coding Genome Symposium at Heidelberg, Germany, in October.
Following this, she presented work generated in her PhD project – which examines the role lipid droplets have in an antiviral response – at the 7th Annual Meeting of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society (ICIS) in Vienna.
Ms Monson said she found both events extremely beneficial to both her research and career development.
“Attending the Non-Coding Genome meeting at EMBL Heidelberg allowed me to explore a different area of research that is quite novel in our field of innate immunity,” she said.
“It allowed me to be exposed to the most recent research being performed and gave me new ideas for projects within our lab.
“The meeting also allowed me to form networks within this field of research and, as this is quite a new area of study in the innate immune system, this will be massively helpful in the future.”
Ms Monson said she was thrilled to present her work at ICIS in front of some of the leading experts in the field, to hear about the most current (and unpublished) research from invited speakers and to develop her networks in the field.
“The ICIS meeting allowed me to set up potential collaborations with a few researchers at the meeting and to receive fantastic advice on my project as I come into the third year of my PhD,” Ms Monson said.
She said the opportunity to travel to Europe for the first time and experience research on an international scale was incredible and unforgettable.