Research Retreat Experience

I just returned from a 2 day research retreat with the Anatomy and Cell Biology department and I would like to detail some of my experiences there. The retreat was at a hotel 50 minutes by car away from downtown Montreal. As soon as we got there, we checked in (but our rooms weren’t ready yet), and the research talks would immediately start. The chair of the department gave an opening (which I missed as I was in line for check in), then a professor talked about the Naylor Report. This report basically showed that funding for research in Canada was decreasing and that we were declining inĀ our competitiveness compared to other countries. It would be important for all of those interested in pursuing a career in research or are already in research to write letters to their MPs or even try to get the attention of the Minister of Science before the budget in 2018 is decided.

After that, talks by graduate students and professors began. Many topics from microtubules, endosomes, axon growth, and gene regulation. It was very interesting to be able to listen about the research going on in the department of Anatomy and Cell Biology and also outside the department. We also had a keynote speaker, a doctor who is a professor at McGill, talk about Parkinson’s disease. Even though I got a little confused as he talked, it was quite fascinating to see what they were able to discover.

After dinner, we had a poster session. The graduate students were to be judged for best poster in their own category and the undergraduate students were to be judged for best poster in their own category. I had my own poster and gave my spiel if other students or professors came and asked. I was a little nervous in the beginning, but it was a good experience to be able to articulate what my research project was in the time limit given which was 5 minutes. It was also a great time to get to know other students. I got to know the undergraduates who had posters as well. I also talked about my poster to some professors in our department.

At the end of the night, all the students and professors got together for some time to hang out and chat. The next day, more talks continued and the awards for best poster were announced. We had lunch and then went back home. I really enjoyed the experience of making the poster using PowerPoint and going through that process of revising it. Also, learning about what other research is going on, making new connections, and relaxing were all fun things!

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