PSA Conference Travel Award Report
My PSA travel award helped to cover my expenses to attend the annual Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) conference in Auckland, New Zealand. The travel award allowed me to present a major component of my PhD research to a national and international audience of experts within my field for the first time. In addition to presenting my electronic poster, attending the conference in person allowed me to meet and discuss my research with other scientists and fertility professionals. In particular, I had an opportunity to discuss my research with a prominent sperm biologist whose work a large proportion of my PhD is based on. Through this meeting, I received several invaluable insights into my PhD, including giving me new perspectives on how to interpret my results. This personalised feedback was extremely useful and will greatly improve the quality of my thesis and publications arising from it. This meeting also increased my confidence in my own PhD thesis, as my work was validated by experts in my field. Meeting other scientists and academics also provided opportunities for possible future collaborations between my research group and other universities. Attending the FSA conference also allowed me to network with several professionals in the fertility industry, including clinicians, embryologists, counsellors, nurses, pharmaceutical representatives and policy makers.
The conference also exposed me to many avenues of exciting research taking place around Australia and New Zealand. The focus of the conference was directly related to my area of research (human reproduction), so it was useful to be kept up to date of current research going on the field, particularly research relating to sperm biology, the focus of my PhD. It was also reassuring to learn, via various presentations, that my research is still highly relevant to the field and generates a lot of interest.