Young Investigators’ Network

The SIOP YI-NET have been exceptionally busy over the past year, with four new board members joining us: Austin Brown, Gemma Bryan, Jon Fisher and Marinka Hol. We now have 6 different YI committees, run by the board members and a number of active YI members. The YI work in 2017 has been kindly sponsored by Roche, and we greatly appreciate all their support.

Blog

The SIOP YI-NET Blog launched nearly a year ago, in February 2017, as a platform for YIs to share their experiences in paediatric oncology. Every week, a SIOPYI-NET member posts about issues they face as researchers and clinicians in pediatric oncology. The posts are written by YIs from a range of different backgrounds (including epidemiologists, clinicians and qualitative researchers) and countries, including low and middle income countries. Topics have been wide ranging and have included: work-life balance and feelings of guilt, visiting a paediatric cancer service in Cameroon, life as a new Fellow and pursuing opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, we designated September 2017 Mental Health month, where we invited researchers, medics and psychologists to share their views on mental health and discussed strategies to actively counteract signs of distress, depression and frustration. This mental health month was an attempt by YINET to break with the stigma of mental health issues and raise awareness in our field. Future posts are planned focusing on the research of our Washington 2017 YI award winners, and the importance of conducting research in developing countries. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the posts, comment and share with your colleagues! Only with your help can we build an international online platform for networking and collaboration in pediatric oncology!

Social media

The SIOP YI-NET has built a presence on various social media platforms, such as Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/siopyinet), Twitter (@SIOPYI_Network), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/siopyinet) and Instagram (siopyinet) by regularly posting content targeting YIs. We have gained followers from 44 different countries, most of them (89%) young professionals (18-44 years) related to pediatric oncology. Facebook (1,686 fans), Twitter (332 followers), LinkedIn (1333 connections) and Instagram (106 followers) social media channels represent a large number of people sharing and looking our daily posts, representing an increase of 43% of followers from last year. The goals of these social media platforms are to inform YIs on SIOP YI-NET committee and SIOP activities, important scientific information, training opportunities, latest relevant papers, ensure more traffic to our blog and website and increase childhood cancer awareness to build a SIOP YI community on social media.

Educational Day

The YI Educational Day in Washington DC was a great success! The day saw over 130 YIs registered, with a packed room for most of the sessions. The day started with a series of lectures, focused on issues such as mentorship, international collaboration, twinning programmes and career development. The expert lunch session was fully booked, with YIs having the opportunity to share discussions over lunch with expert researchers in various fields. After lunch, the Paediatric Blood and Cancer team provided another excellent session on scientific writing. This was followed by something new for the YI day – methodology masterclasses! Here YIs spent time learning about different methodologies (systematic reviews, epidemiology, translational research, and trial design) in interactive small group sessions. All in all, the feedback for the day was excellent. We’re very much looking forward to Kyoto 2018, and are already planning the new programme ready for this year’s Young Investigators! Please remember to encourage your young researchers to submit applications for the YI Awards when they submit their abstracts!

Collaborative Event
The SIOP YI-NET hosted the Young Investigator Collaborative Event at Roofer’s Union prior to the 2017 SIOP Congress in Washington DC. For the third year in a row, the event was sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital Global Hope Program and over 100 participants of the Congress attended. The YI-NET is excited to announce plans to host the 4th annual Young Investigator Collaborative Event at the 2018 SIOP Congress in Kyoto, Japan. The Event brings investigators together from across the globe, offering an informal venue for junior investigators to reconnect with old friends and establish new collaborations. Heavy appetizers and refreshments are provided free of charge. The Event includes activities to encourage conversation, information on global research opportunities open to young investigators, and door prizes. Please keep an eye out for additional information and we look forward to seeing you in Kyoto!

Mentorship

Following a pilot programme based in Latin America, the SIOP-YI mentorship scheme is open for applications. Mentorship is an important factor in professional development and provides benefits for both the mentee and the mentor.  We have been working in collaboration with the American Society of Hematology and the Children’s Oncology Group to develop an international and inclusive mentorship programme for Young Investigators from all backgrounds.

If you are a young investigator from clinical or non-clinical background and you think you would benefit from mentorship please email siopyimentoring@gmail.com for more information and an application pack. If you are an established academic or consultant, and would like to mentor a young investigator, please use the same email address to get in touch. We try to carefully match mentors and mentees to ensure that expectations are met and the relationship is beneficial. Each pair retains a named contact within the SIOP-YI mentorship committee to facilitate and maintain the relationship.

NEW Surgical programme

The SIOP YI Board has started a new committee, the Paediatric Surgery Education committee. Recognizing the fact that a multidisciplinary approach in pediatric oncology care is of the utmost importance to warrant a cure for all pediatric malignancies, SIOP-YI will start a new project focusing on pediatric oncology surgeons. We want to improve the involvement of pediatric surgeons by offering several programs to young surgeons/researchers and people with an interest in the surgery field. Therefore, the upcoming year we will organize two main events. First of all, during SIOP in Kyoto, a breakfast session for young surgeons and researchers in the surgery field will be organized. This session will start with a few short lectures on specialized surgeries followed by breakfast at small tables were young talents can join experts in the field. With this session being a day before the start of SIOP, the YI have the opportunity to extend their network and prepare them for the rest of the conference. Secondly, the committee has been working on a (funded) exchange program, with the aim of young talents from Lower and Middle-Income Countries exchanging to different centres in the USA and Europe.