Champions testimonial - Daniel Morse
Daniel Morse, on being a Microbiology Society Champion:
“In my honest opinion, being a Champion brings many more benefits than it actually requires of you for the most part. I’ll try and be concise but will explain some of the key things from my perspective, and I’ve been doing it for more than four years now.
- Engaging and increasing exposure. This is really the big role for Champions. Having a genuine passion for microbiology, whether research or diagnostics, in academia or industry – being able to engage with others and talk about the benefits the Society provides is really important. There are some loose expectations about promoting the Society a couple of times a year (if and when possible) but how you do that is really up to you. You can arrange a seminar and have some promotional materials, you could do a more public event like have a stand or stall at a small conference, meeting or gathering, or even in public places. I’ve done one in the past in a hospital concourse (where the general public congregate and where staff and researchers go for lunch), so it was perfect for making the Society more visible to everyone.
- Helping out at conferences/meetings. This is one of the best bits about being a Champion. You sometimes get invited to help out at the Society’s Annual Conference, or at a Focused Meeting. These can be anywhere in the UK, but you tend to be invited if you’re local (there are many Champions around the country). I did one earlier in the year in Cardiff (when I was at Cardiff University) for a Focused Meeting. I helped out with a roving microphone, uploading presentations and checking things all worked smoothly, like transitioning between talks. You get to go for free and get fed! The Society pay reasonable travel costs too, so if you have to get a train somewhere, or pay for parking and fuel, they can reimburse these within reason.
This for me is the best opportunity, because you get to engage with others in your field of research, keep up to date with cutting edge research and can use the opportunity to promote yourself too.
There is also an annual Champions meeting at the Society’s offices (which I haven’t been able to get to yet, they always seem to fall on days that I’m away!), where you get to meet other Champions and the staff (who are super lovely people!).
- Grants/etc. As a member (and a Champion), you are still eligible for the grants that the Society can provide. I’ve had a couple of these recently which I’m very grateful for. It doesn’t make any difference whether you’re a Champion or not to the outcome as they’re peer reviewed and scored, but with other societies, if you’re involved, I don’t think you’re eligible for the grants they offer, so that’s a plus for joining the Society as a Champion!
All in all, it is a really good opportunity to gain some great experiences, whilst giving back to the Society itself. It is most definitely a win-win for me”