Bruised and battered, a spot of "career therapy", in the form of the AQR New Researcher's Forum, proved to be the perfect remedy.

For some it was a chance to catch up with new buddies, others the chance to make new acquaintances, but for most it was the lure of free alcohol and the opportunity to have a good old bitch about their jobs that saw an impressive turnout last week.

The token old(ish) fogey of the night came in the form of David Spenser, who delivered a captivating show that included personal research-related disasters, survival tips and the shocking but highly enticing news that it is possible to become rich and famous in this industry.

As the Forum drew to a close and the budding researchers left to wreak havoc on the nearest bar, the sense of relief and re-newed confidence that had penetrated through the previously disillusioned layers of youthful skin was very much in evidence. This was in no small part, down to David's "worst group EVER" tale ­ it's fair to say that, if he managed to continue successfully on the MR path after that disaster, there must be a real chance for the rest of us.