SRF Chair Elect

We welcome our new SRF Chair Elects

Statement from Chair-elect Dr Richard Lea

I am immensely proud and honoured to be voted by Council as Chair-elect of SRF. It has always been a privilege to be a member of SRF and to serve on Council as past treasurer and current programme Chair. The effectiveness of SRF reflects the dedication of all on Council and I look forward to further inspiring interaction with a devoted and steadfast team.

My vision for our Society is that the views and needs of the SRF membership are paramount and that Council continues to ensure that all new SRF strategies are introduced in a fully transparent and encompassing manner. Given the membership backing and now considerable success of the recent Joint Fertilities meetings, I believe that the cross-society relationships we have with ARCS (Association of Reproductive & Clinical Scientists) and BFS (British Fertility Society) are integral to future conferences. Moving forward, I have every confidence that there is scope for the development of new and exciting cross-society initiatives, both national and international, and that we will maintain our reputation of being an all-encompassing, friendly society able to deliver scientific exchange at the highest level. Now the Joint Fertility format is beginning to embed down, I personally feel that we have maintained our legendary SRF presence in all its guises: the SRF satellite day, early career sessions, prize and exchange presentations and of course, the legacy of our socials! This is key to who we are as a Society and long may it continue!

Despite future uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic, Council will continue to review funding/support strategies for our membership, seek public engagement opportunities and support aspiring early career and established scientists in the advancement and promotion of reproductive science. I am very much looking forward to contributing to the SRF as Chair and to the challenges ahead.

Dr Richard Lea

Dr Ali Fouladi-Nashta – Chair elect Grants and Awards Committee

I am immensely grateful to the SRF members who honoured me with their votes to become the Chair of the Grants and Awards Committee. I have been a member of this committee during the last three years and helped the SRF to support its members by provision of grants and scholarships for students and scientists at all stages of their careers.

We have created well-defined frameworks for all the funding schemes to make them fair and well-justified. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the current Chair of this committee Dr Adam Watkins for all the hard works he carried out in this position.

As the new Chair of the Education and Awards Committee, I will utilize my vast experiences and will work to the best of my abilities and with the other members of this committee to continue this tradition. We will also explore the possibility of creating novel funding opportunities such as PhD studentship, cross-society funding initiatives or joint training workshops with other fertility societies involved in the Fertility Conference.

I welcome suggestions and feedback from the SRF members on how we can improve our supports.

Suman Rice – Chair elect Programme Committee

I would like to thank the SRF for the vote of confidence in appointing me as the new Chair of the SRF Programme Committee (PC). Since my election to the Council, I have gained considerable experience on the work of the PC and also the joint PC for Fertility, having attended all the meetings alongside Richard Lea, the current chair.

This has allowed me to forge valuable working relationships with colleagues from BFS and ARCS. I am currently engaged in standardising the judging process for the poster presentations at Fertility, thereby allowing for more equitable outcomes and the introduction of a new prestigious conference prize winner.

My aim is to continue to build on the excellent work of my predecessors to deliver a stimulating annual Fertility conference programme, notwithstanding the current challenges posed by the Covid19 pandemic. The need to encourage a progressive platform of conference speakers is an issue that I feel strongly about. As the first female BAME SRF Council Officer, I will commit fully to working hard to ensure gender balance and diversity representation in conference participation. The generosity of our bursary scheme has allowed for SRF members from low resource countries to attend Fertility, and I would work with other committees to promote and integrate this into the conference programme. The pandemic has taught us to communicate in different ways, and we can continue to harness this with various platforms of activity to broaden and expand the benefits to SRF members both at and around the main conference event.

Prof. Suzannah Williams – Chair elect Membership and Public Engagement Committee

I joined the SRF as an undergraduate student and have been on council from 2009-2013 as a member of the Programme Committee, and from 2019 as a member of the Grants and Awards committee. As a member of council, I have been vocal about issues of equality, diversity, and transparency.

Outside of the SRF, I support academic development by mentoring and initiated a career planning workshop, both within the University of Oxford. I have a keen interest in public engagement and speak at schools, give public lectures, engage in social media, have published in The Conversation, and have recently been appointed as Lay Editor for the newly launched SRF journal; Reproduction and Fertility.

As Membership and Public Engagement Officer, I aim to initiate new ways to support our members including a mentorship scheme and providing access to life coaches to support academic career progression. I will also work to expand the SRF’s Public Engagement programme. We will explore options targeting those most suitable and sustainable, and those with the most impact for members and the society.