Release of the i3-IRG Newsletter 2009
The 2009 Newsletter of the i3-IRG is now available as pdf download.
This is the first of what I think should be a continuous series of annual Newsletters for the i3-IRG. The main purpose of this Newsletter is to inform the members of this IRG as well as the School of Medicine and Cardiff University about the major activities that happened within the i3-IRG during the past calendar year. The breath of news will include areas as diverse as portraits of new members of the i3-IRG, major scientific breakthroughs, list of publications, reports from our annual i3-IRG meeting (to be extended to international meetings where members of the i3-IRG have participated), grant success and “reflections” from previous i3-IRG members. Graduates and junior members who seek career opportunities elsewhere are invited to reflect upon their i3-IRG experience and their thoughts, both critical and happy, will provide an invaluable mirror of our i3-IRG success.
Most activities of the i3-IRG have been returned in the past RAE (2003-08), and the report has highlighted the sound standing (Place 8 out of 15 returns) of our IRG in Infection and Immunity research within the UK. This news is very positive for several reasons. First, the report acknowledges the strength and breath of research provided by the numerous junior research groups. Second, the i3-IRG is recognized for its good esteem indicators, reflecting active participation of members of the i3-IRG at national and international meetings and policy making studies. Third, the RAE report highlights an above average research output, as measured by the number and quality of research papers. Of note, the overall standing of the i3-IRG primarily depends on its research output that includes scientific papers as well as major contributions at international meetings and novel findings with translational potential. This past evaluation clearly shows that the i3-IRG is on the right path. It also indicates that we have to remain focused in our pursuit of scientific excellence. Standing up for our research, e.g. during discussions with editors of major journals or with funding agencies, will certainly be positive for achieving the long-term goal of the i3-IRG, sustained high-quality output in our field of research. To be fair, the RAE 2008 report has also revealed several problematic areas in the category “research environment”, which, given the commitment of Cardiff University School of Medicine to our IRG, will be addressed and solved in a concerted action.
To maintain and improve the research output of the i3-IRG, we will develop a sensible strategic plan defining a road map for achieving our ambitious (but feasible!) goals. In the short term, we will apply for “Centre” status of our Infections and Immunity research, which will further strengthen collaborations within the i3-IRG as well as translational research with clinical and industrial partners. Further ahead, our aim is to become recognized by national and international institutions as a premium address for i3-related research. Ideally, i3-IRG at Cardiff University should be sought after for its graduate programmes, for its scientific expertise and for its major influence on local and national science programmes. Our present standing as a research organization fully supports the feasibility of this vision.
I wish to thank all the members of the i3-IRG steering committee for their invaluable contributions to the everyday and prospective activities within our research grouping. I extend a warm welcome to our new IRG members and, finally, I wish all of you an exciting and productive new year in the i3-IRG.
Chair of i3-IRG Steering Committee
- 1st May 2009