UK Preconception Early-and Mid-Career Researchers (EMCR) Network

The UK Preconception Early-and Mid-Career Researchers (EMCR) Network was established in October 2021. The Network brings together UK-based students, early- and mid-career researchers, clinicians and policy makers, and mentors to support the next generation of leaders in pre- and interconception health and care.

The UK Preconception EMCR Network aims to:

  • Provide a safe and supportive environment to discuss and share research, expertise and skills
  • Create opportunities to develop new research ideas and form multi-disciplinary collaborations
  • Provide mentorship and peer-support opportunities for personal and professional development
  • Build capacity to generate impact in pre- and interconception health and care across research, education, policy, healthcare and public health

The Network is part of a wider network of Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum Early- and Midcareer Researcher Collectives (HiPPP EMR-C) to support opportunities for international engagement and collaboration.

Read more about our Network in the Terms of Reference

2024 UK Preconception EMCR Network Conference

Members of the Network are organising an annual conference on preconception health and care.

This year's 1-day hybrid conference will be held on Thursday 14th November 2024 at the University of Leicester and on Zoom.

The conference will include a Keynote presentation, showcase preconception health and care research conducted by students and early- and mid-career researchers and professionals, and conclude with a workshop.

Mentoring and Peer-Support Scheme

Based on member feedback and input, we have developed a mentoring and peer-support scheme. Our members can sign up to be matched with a mentor (more senior expert in preconception health and care) and/or peer-supporter (a member with similar level of experience) to promote professional and personal development goals.

If you are interested in supporting our members as a mentor, please complete this Form.

If you are a member of our EMCR Network and would like to find a mentor or peer-supporter, please complete this Form.

Leadership Team

Chair: Dr Danielle Schoenaker, University of Southampton

Co-Chair: Dr Kathryn Hesketh, University of Cambridge

Secretary: Merissa Elizabeth Hickman, University of Leicester

Secretary: Dr Lolita Alfred, City, University of London

Mentoring and Peer Support Scheme Officer: Dr Dunla Gallagher, Queen’s University Belfast

Event organising: Dr Stephanie Hanley, University of Birmingham

Event organising: Ms Catherine Stewart, University College London

Lead mentor: Professor Judith Stephenson, University College London

Join the network

To join the UK Preconception EMCR Network as a member, please complete the Registration Form.

Contact us

For more information, please contact us at