14th Symposium of Periodontology
Predictable tissue management around teeth and implants.
A critical reassessment
24-26 November 2023
Megaron Athens International Conference Center

General Introduction to the Workshop

An increasing number of researchers have been studying the occurrence and effects of throughout various ecosystems in recent years. There is a large diversity in terms of both the background of scientists who work in this field and approaches to tackle important research questions to understand the impacts of plastic pollution in the environment. However, particularly for early career researchers who may have predominantly been conducting their work during the COVID pandemic, understanding the connections across disciplines and meeting both experts in the field and their peers have been difficult. To strengthen the research profiles of these up-and-coming researchers, we have developed a platform for experts to lead students in interactive activities in addition to key-note lectures by the experts for young scientists to understand the state of the science in several domains (analytical chemistry, fate and transport of pollutants, ecotoxicology, policy development).

In June 2021, the organizers of this conference hosted a one-day workshop for early career researchers which was attended by over 300 young scientists (mainly PhD students) with an additional 25 experts leading various rounds of small break-out discussion sessions on select topics of interest and providing feedback for best scientific practices (e.g., experimental design, good laboratory habits, writing, publishing, oral communication strategies and skills, etc.). While the initial format was held virtually (due to COVID travel restrictions) and was kept short (because sitting in front of Zoom for days on end is difficult), the overwhelming response we received through a follow up survey of attendees indicated that the format helped to increase networking, they learned about new scientific developments through discussion sessions, and they learned about skills which they could use in their daily work. Therefore, we would like to be able to extend and expand this format to a week-long conference to encourage the further growth and development of early career researchers in the field of environmental microplastics.

Key topics/focus

The overarching goal of this conference is on increased interaction between students (PhD candidates, early-stage Postdocs) and field-leading experts. Through a series of novel and targeted interactive development and break-out sessions, we strive for active participation of a wide variety of scientists from different backgrounds to increase our collective understanding on the most important research questions in the field and up-to-date approaches in tackling microplastics research. In this way, the early career researchers not only have the opportunity to learn more about the scientific and methodological research and expand their scientific network by intense communication in small circles, but also learn career building skills which they can put into practice in their daily work.

This conference will have three main foci to help early career researchers become more knowledgeable in the field of environmental microplastics studies and be better equipped to be competent and confident researchers in the future. These include 1) key-note lectures by experts highlighting the state of the art in the field, 2) interactive sessions between students and experts for more in-depth scientific discussions and increased networking amongst participants and 3) student development sessions, where lectures are given to help students have the information and tools they need to work in the field of academic science.

Main objectives and importance for scientific co-operation

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of such a large and multi-faceted topic, microplastic research attracts scientist from very diverse disciplines ranging from polymer chemists to environmental scientists to human and eco-toxicologists. This requires cooperation and collaboration amongst scientists in order to both ask the correct questions and to correctly interpret results, but understanding the viewpoints of those who have a different scientific background is not always easy because of the different language and methodologies which are used within each field. Especially for early career researchers, learning how to communicate with each other well will help them navigate and properly evaluate the wide variety of studies which are published today, and help them to start thinking beyond their own field of research. Additionally, by strengthening their scientific networks, both within peer circles and being able to approach experts more easily, they will be able to get the advice and help they need to conduct their best research.

With this conference, we aim to increase the confidence and scientific development of early career researchers working in the field, so that we can support ambitious and talented young students in their efforts to understand the impacts and implications of (micro)plastics pollution in the environment.


CONVIN S.A. 29 Kosta Varnali St., 15233,
Chalandri Athens, Greece

Tel: +30 210 6833600  convin.gr

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