Journal of IiMER Volume 13 Issue 1 Invest in ME Research Encouraging Young Researchers In highlighting some of the issues with ME a major problem is the lack of biomedical research into ME and the funding required for it. Another issue with ME that the charity has been attempting to resolve is the need for new research talent to enter the field. Medical students receive extremely poor education on ME in their curriculum - sometimes even nothing. Not only might this be negligent, as young doctors are subsequently unqualified to deal with ME, but it also means that potential recruits to ME research and treatment positions are discouraged due to ignorance of the condition. Medical students are unaware of the career opportunities. One way to get around this problem was to make students aware of the research that was being undertaken. With the help of the University of East Anglia Medical School the charity was able to fund and facilitate the participation of a number of medical students in the research being performed at Norwich Research Park. The idea was to fund the inclusion of medical students in research via a process of intercalation during their fourth year of medical studies. This led to collaboration with research at Oxford University with Professor Angela Vincent and with Dr Lesley Hoyles at Imperial College London. This has proven to be very successful. Apart from influencing opinions of their peers the medical students have been very active and well received in the research teams. Navena Navaneetharaja was one medical student funded by IiMER and Navena spent time with Professor Maureen Hanson at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York - developing another of IiMER's strategies in forging international collaboration in research. Thinking the Future network To ensure that a foundation of biomedical research into ME Invest in ME Research (Charity Nr. 1153730) investinme.org can be sustained and to encourage new ideas from new areas then we cannot rely just on this family of researchers that has been built up from all parts of the world at Colloquiums. We need to draw in knowledge and expertise from other areas – as we have been doing for many years with our research Colloquiums and international Conferences. Importantly, we also need to encourage early career researchers – and young researchers. In 2018 the charity initiated the young/early career researcher conference - Thinking the Future - an initiative to build a network of new and young research capacity for the future. The Thinking the Future network has the opportunity for developing this group of international, early career researchers which will, in turn, facilitate further international collaboration in research into ME and new ideas being formulated. In fact we have already had several meetings with NIH to collaborate on developing this network. Recently the Thinking the Future workshop was held by NIH in Washington and 40 young/ecr researchers attended. Dr Daniel Vipond from Quadram Institute represented the charity and spoke at the Washington TtF event. We are happy that eleven young/ecr investigators will be attending the TtF3 in London in ME Conference Week - funded by travel awards from NIH. We wish to facilitate and maximise the easy networking of attendees in order to build the network in USA and join it with the established group of European young/ecr researchers so IiMER will cover all registration costs for these delegates – to the TtF workshop and to the 2-day Colloquium and the public IIMEC14 conference. We hope this initiative will provide a focal point for all young/ecr researchers who wish to become involved in research into ME and help describe the exciting career path that this could become. Page 13 of 52

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