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Having work accepted for presentation at a conference or other event is an exciting opportunity for IPC professionals. It offers the possibility of meeting peers, discussing and developing projects with other experts, and the chance to discover new innovations in the field.
However, attending these events can be expensive - event fees, travel, accommodation and other expenses add up.
HIS therefore offers travel grants to support members in an early career or trainee post to present their research at a scientific conference or meeting. The grant provides a contribution towards the costs of registration, travel, accommodation, subsistence and childcare, and is awarded for face-to-face, hybrid and online-only events.
Four recipients of the HIS Travel Grant relay how the funding supported them in their careers.
For more information on how to apply, please take a look at the Travel Grant Information Page here.
Infection Control Lead Nurse, Portugal
When I saw that the FIS|HIS 2022 International Conference was accepting abstracts I thought about a quality improvement project that I developed with the team at the hospital where I used to work – we thought that maybe it would be a good opportunity to share our experience.
Our poster was accepted. As you can imagine, we were delighted – but the economic effort needed to attend the event was something to consider. From the team, I was able to participate for the three days, so I took my chances and applied for the HIS Travel Grant – and it was granted. It was the first time that I ever had such opportunity.
The HIS Travel Grant covered the majority of my travel expenses and so made it possible for me to attend the event, and to come to the beautiful city of London.
The FIS|HIS 2022 International Conference is both international and includes a collaboration of societies across the United Kingdom, with different specialties within healthcare. That’s why, for me, this was a unique opportunity to learn from different points of view about the implementation of infection prevention and control programs, to learn from other colleagues’ experiences, from their difficulties and achievements.
At some sessions, and also at the poster walk, I was able to network, and to proudly talk about the work we developed. These were some of my goals for the FIS|HIS event. But I achieved much more: priceless education, inspiration, new ideas, discovered innovative products and met new people. At the poster walk I was flattered that our poster aroused the interest of one of the Clean Hospitals Project members, who was interested in our work on the healthcare environment cleaning process, by the implementation of a new cleaning method using the WHO’s multimodal strategy. I was able to exchange some ideas and got important contacts.
And last, but not least, this was my first time in London, and in my free time I was able to walk around this beautiful, eclectic and vibrant city. I really wasn’t expecting so much and such good vibes. I’ve been t the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, had lunch at Borough Market and walked along the Thames river all the way until Big Ben. I saw Westminster Palace, went to Westminster Cathedral and walked along the Birdcage Walk, all the way to Buckingham Palace.
These were unforgettable days. Thank you HIS for the opportunity.
Final year medical student, Edinburgh
I was the presenting author for my poster presentation, titled ‘Is the combination of UV-C light and bleach less effective than bleach alone for Intensive Care Unit surface disinfection?’ at the FIS|HIS 2022 International Conference.
FIS|HIS International 2022 was held in person at the Business Design Centre, London on the 22nd and 23rd of September and virtually on the 26th of September. It is the largest UK-hosted, international infection conference and included over 35 sessions, 5 plenary lectures, debates, clinical cases and networking opportunities. There was also a poster walk where poster presenters were given the opportunity to present their work.
I was interested in attending the conference as it allowed me to share this interesting translational research in the area of decontamination with an international audience. I was also excited at the opportunity to gain knowledge and discuss scientific advances with other medical professionals and researchers from various backgrounds.
I am grateful to have been awarded the HIS Travel Grant to support my participation at the conference.
The grant helped cover my expenses, including the conference registration fee, travel to London from Edinburgh, accommodation whilst staying in London and the printing fee for my poster.
Presenting my poster at the conference provided me with the opportunity to receive invaluable feedback from infectious diseases and microbiology experts regarding my research work. Discussions with other researchers working in the field of decontamination helped me look at my project from a different perspective. This experience has also taught me to effectively communicate research findings, which is an essential skill as a researcher.
Attending the Healthcare Infection Society Lowbury social event allowed me to form connections with clinicians and academics throughout the UK. Their career journeys have inspired me to consider infectious diseases as a specialty and to incorporate research work alongside clinical work in the future.
Overall, I enjoyed attending the FIS/ HIS International Conference. The highlight, however, was being selected as a winner of the Healthcare Infection Society Poster Prize. As part of the award, I have been invited to submit a manuscript for publication in Infection Prevention in Practice with all open access fees waived. I am humbled to receive this award and am grateful for the opportunity to share the findings of my research work with the scientific community.
FY2 doctor, Warwick
When my abstract was accepted for a poster presentation at the FIS|HIS International Conference 2022, I was ecstatic. However, the costs of registering for and attending the in-person conference were a considerable amount, and I had to consider some sources of funding to be able to attend the conference. As it would be my first conference, I wanted to be able to experience presenting my poster in person, networking, and attending the lectures provided by experts in their field.
I was made aware of the HIS travel grant via the conference website, and saw that it covered all of the major costs; including travel, registration, poster printing, accommodation, and food during the conference.
The event I attended was the FIS|HIS 2022 international conference, a highly anticipated event for those in the field of infection. It was a large event, with participants traveling from all over the world to attend. There were lectures held by prestigious minds in the field of infection, as well as many parallel sessions running that I was able to choose from. There were attendees from various grades and professions, from medical students to consultants, from pharmacists to presenters from large companies. During lunches and coffee breaks, there was a chance to network and view posters in the gallery. There were about 200 poster presentations available to look at, and it was wonderful to be able to view such a wide variety of work.
The HIS travel grant was very much appreciated as it enabled me to fund my attendance for the in-person conference, instead of presenting at the virtual conference on the 26th September only. One of my aims was to experience the conference in person, and also to network with other conference attendees. The experience was also invaluable in allowing me to pursue my interest in infectious disease and microbiology, as I managed to speak with many seniors regarding potential career pathways, and the pros and cons of specialising in the field of infection. Besides the delicious food and drink, there were also a few booths present at the gallery that I was able to visit, and there I learnt about some of the newest technology that could be used to assist in infection control and disease monitoring; for example, there was a hand scanner machine that could detect a person’s hand hygiene, and could potentially be used to reduce the spread of infection via skin contact in hospitals.
The Lowbury Lecture that opened the conference will be an experience that stands out in memory. I will never forget the excitement of having so many people in the same place who were passionate about the field of infection. Getting to receive a lecture from someone so famous in the research of Staphylococcus aureus was an honor, and I learnt so much about infection control measures that we use daily in hospitals, and why we do them in a certain way. I also attended a session which focused on newest research, and gained some ideas on future audit and QIP opportunities.
There was also a dinner event hosted by HIS at a nearby restaurant. Enticed by the free food, I signed up for the event, but I also managed to speak to a group of registrars based in Bristol, where I am aiming to apply for next year. Listening to their experiences and advice really helped me, the results hopefully showing when I begin the specialty application process in a few months.
Being in London, I definitely did not miss the opportunity to travel around and get some souvenirs for my family back in Malaysia.
Clinical Microbiology Trainee, Dublin
The HIS travel grant is also available to those who wish to attend online conferences.
I watched the excellent presentations from FIS|HIS International 2022 on the virtual platform, and I reviewed the ePosters online. I look forward to being able to access the presentations for the coming 6 months. I thought that the standard of posters at this year’s Conference was excellent.
Despite not being able to attend the conference in person, I still benefited from attendance to the excellent presentations.