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Early Career Researchers (ECR) Day - 19th November

Pain theme early careerPain@Otago Research theme is excited to host a one day event for early career researchers (ECRs) interested in pain research.

The Pain@Otago funded ECR event aims to provide a safe space for sharing ideas and foster peer learning for new and emerging researchers working in pain and to create a networking opportunity for ECRs to establish a core group of pain researchers.

This event will have two main components:

In the morning, we will have a Personally Arranged Learning Sessions (PeArLs). In the PeArL sessions, the ECRs will have the opportunity to present briefly their preliminary research ideas and/or topics related to their current research. The peers will assist in further brainstorming and contribute to idea development for the ECR presenter. To find out more about PeArLs and to submit an abstract see our dedicated page. 

In the afternoon, the sessions will be focused on career development for ECRs. Invited speakers from multi disciplines will lead these sessions (please see programme).


The event is available from a distance via Zoom

Funding support to attend

Pain@Otago has funds to support flights for three to four participants to attend the networking event in Dunedin.

We wish to invite early career researchers and pain clinicians who are interested in pursuing pain research to help them attend the event in person.

For people to be considered for travel support, they should:

  • be preferably from other campuses (e.g. UOW or UOC), universities (e.g. Victoria, Massey and AUT)
  • or pain management clinicians with an interest in pain research.

Preference will be given to those who are current members of Pain@Otago and at early stages of their research career.

To apply, please provide 2 -3 paragraphs on your current and future research interests. Also note how attendance to the event will be benefit to your research. Submit applications to by Tuesday 30th October.


Date: 19 November,
Venue: School of Physiotherapy, Room: 102
Available via zoom

9 to 9:30amPain @ Otago senior representative
Pain @ Otago ERC representative
9:30 to 10:30am PeArLs session
Chair: Dr Kelby Smith-Han
3 ECR presenters
5 minutes talk, 15 minutes discussion (20 minutes total per presenter)
3 PeArL Talks (one hour total)
10:30 to 11:00am Morning tea and Networking
11:00am to 12:00pmPeArLs session continued
12:00pm to 1pm Light Lunch and Networking
1 to 1:20pm“The untold story: research fellowships and developing a research pathway”
Speaker: Dr Dan Ribeiro
Senior Lecturer, School of Physiotherapy
1.20 to 1:40pm“Taking care of yourself: how to deal with rejections, importance of resilience and seeking support”
Speaker: Carina Perner
Occupational Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisor,
University of Otago
1:40 to 2:15pm “Reflections from developing collaborations between clinicians and academics”
Panel: Dr Hemakumar Devan, Gail Hyland and Chris Higgs
Moderator: Dr Jessica Mills, Clinical Psychologist, Canterbury District Health Board
2:15 to 2:40pmAfternoon tea
2:40 to 3pm

“Women in Academia”
Dr Rebecca Grainger, Associate Dean of Medical Education, Senior Lecturer, Department of Medicine, UOW

3 to 3:25pm“Important factors for developing networking”
Dr Julie Timmermans 
Senior Lecturer – Higher Education Development Centre, University of Otago
3:25 to 3:45pm“Your presence in the virtual world: social media presence, do’s and don’ts, importance of branding and communication”
Samuel White
Social Media Advisor, University of Otago
3:45 to 4pmDebrief and closing

Organising committee

Lead organisers: Dr Dani Aldabe (Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Anatomy) and Dr Hem Devan (Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Physiotherapy) and Dr Jessica Mills (Canterbury District Health Board)

Dr Divya Adhia, Assistant Research Fellow, School of Physiotherapy
Saurab Sharma, PhD candidate, Dunedin School of Medicine
Dr Bronnie Thompson, Senior Lecturer, University of Otago, Christchurch
Huijuan Tan, PhD candidate, School of Physiotherapy