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Research is the foundation of the dietetic profession, providing the evidence base our practice, education and policy work relies on. The Symposium provides dietitians, dietetic students and researchers an opportunity to showcase their research, highlight the ongoing development of dietetic practice, and be published in the BDA Journal Human Nutrition and Dietetics (JHND).

This year's Symposium took place on Wednesday 8 December 2021.

60 abstracts were presented across the 11 research streams from the four nations. Alongside the abstracts Dr Miranda Lomer and Danni Bear also gave presentations.

Read our round-up here.

Booking terms and conditions can be referred to here

View the programme here

Any queries please contact


Miranda Lomer PhD RD - Senior Consultant Dietitian in Gastroenterology, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Diet and gastroenterology: how clinical practice influences research and vice versa

Research and clinical practice are very closely intertwined and have formed the basis of my career in diet and gastroenterology. This lecture will provide some examples of how research and clinical practice have influenced the other in my work focusing on functional gut disorders and inflammatory bowel disease.

About Miranda - She is a Senior Consultant Dietitian in Gastroenterology at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London and has an adjunct appointment as Reader in Dietetics at King’s College London. She was chair of the Gastroenterology Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association (BDA) from 2006-2010 and represented the BDA on the National IBD Standards Group Steering Committee from 2007-2012. She was a committee member of the Dietitians of European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) Working Group from 2015-2018. Dr Lomer is Editor of a book entitled Advanced Nutrition and Dietetics in Gastroenterology. She gave the BDA Elsie Widdowson Lecture in 2014 as recognition of her international impact in dietetics. In 2016 she was awarded an MBE for services to dietetics and gastroenterology. 

Danielle Bear, MRes - Principal Critical Care Dietitian, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

My research career - why, what and how

Danielle has been the Principal Critical Care Dietitian at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) for the past 11 years. Danielle has recently completed a Health Education England / National Institute for Health Research (HEE/NIHR) Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship where she explored the measurement and prevention of skeletal muscle wasting during critical illness and the effect on recovery. On the back of this, she was awarded the prestigious British Dietetic Association Rose Simmonds Award for the best research publication of 2019. Danielle has been instrumental in guiding critical care dietetic services during the COVID-19 pandemic, being awarded British Dietetic Association Roll of Honour in 2020 and 2021 for her work.

Dom Farsi, PhD Researcher

Quorn’s Mycoprotein and Gut Health: What does the science say?

Here at Quorn, we are committed to exploring the health benefits of our unique mycoprotein, and to do this we collaborate with nutrition experts all over the country. Gut health is rapidly gaining interest amongst consumers and health professionals alike and so in today’s session, we’ll be hearing from PhD researcher Dom Farsi from Northumbria University who set out to explore the influence of replacing meat with Quorn’s mycoprotein, with a specific focus on gut health. Dom performed an investigator-blind, randomised crossover study in a cohort of 20 healthy males, which comprised 2 week study phases separated by a 4 week wash out. During study phases, participants supplemented their habitual diet with 240g per day of either red and processed meat, or the weight equivalent of mycoprotein (as Quorn products). The primary outcome was the effects on faecal water genotoxicity. Other endpoints were related to gut health including changes in gut microbial composition, faecal nitroso compounds, and faecal and urinary metabolites.


Quorn square Yakult new 2021 square






We believe most (if not all) of our members are currently undertaking research, whether they are in traditional research settings or in practice.

Research can be defined as 'the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions'

The symposium aims to:

  • Provide a forum for the presentation of research findings and methods in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
  • Foster collaboration between researchers within the dietetic profession.
  • Identify and share effective interventions and practice within the key topics of the symposium.
  • Stimulate an increase in the quantity and quality of research in dietetics and nutrition.
  • Promote dietitians as leaders in the field of nutrition and dietetic research.


Who can present?

Anyone who is researching in the field of dietetics and human nutrition is invited to submit their abstract to the symposium. 

We welcome students, new graduates, practising clinical dietitians and dedicated researchers, as well as non-dietitians, to present and attend. The Symposium is for all members of the dietetic workforce.

Previous attendees include those taking their first steps in research, presenting their student research projects alongside MRes, PhD and clinical dietitians’ projects. The event will enable dietitians to showcase their research and practice, and participate in workshops to develop their skills.

We've been delighted to welcome to previous symposiums:

  • dietitians who have completed research from Masters Dissertation, MRes, or other higher degrees
  • researchers involved in a dietetic research area
  • dietitians involved in research programmes
  • dietitians who have undertaken an audit or evaluation of practice
  • dietitians working in clinical practice
  • student dietitians who have recently completed their final year dissertation projects

Research Streams

Each year, we have a number of streams, in 2021 we will hear work from across 11 main streams, no work will be rejected based on theme.

  1. Clinical Nutrition, including malnutrition 
  2. Critical Care - supported by Critical Care Specialist Group
  3. Gastro - supported by the Gastroenterology Specialist Group
  4. Maternal and Fertility Nutrition - supported by Maternal and Fertility Nutrition Specialist Group
  5. New to Research, including MRes and PhD research - supported by Yakult 
  6. Nutrition Support - supported by PENG Specialist Group
  7. Obesity - supported by Obesity Specialist Group
  8. Paediatric – supported by Paediatric Specialist Group
  9. Public Health, including freelance and industry - supported by Public Health Specialist Group - Definition of a public health abstract
  10. Renal Nutrition - support by Renal Nutrition Specialist Group
  11. Service Evaluation 

How to submit your abstract

1. Prepare your abstract in line with the submission guidance

We have provided guidelines for authors in the abstract instruction document. Further information on conference abstracts can be found in JHND NOTES the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics Editor’s blog.

The abstracts are judged anonymously using the reviewers guidance. The abstract submission process is open to everyone and no abstract will be rejected based on topic.

To submit an abstract, please read the abstract instruction document and JHND NOTES and abstract example.

2. Register your abstract using the online booking system and upload your abstract submission

Review the research stream and submit your abstract in your chosen stream via the online booking system selected streams open until July. Please check if bursaries are available.

If you have any problems with the online booking system please contact or call 0121 200 8080.

Next steps

1. Following submission you will be contacted by the team to confirm receipt of your submission and to advise of the next steps.

2. Your abstract is sent for peer review

3. In September, following review, you will be advised whether your abstract has been accepted or rejected and whether any amendments are necessary. Any required amendments will be communicated to you. Should your abstract be rejected, you will also receive feeback. 

4. You will be provided a time frame to return your abstract with any amendments.

5. Start to prepare your three slide powerpoint presentation.

Deadline for submission will be in November, exact date tbc. You will be allocated five minutes to present and an additional two minutes for Q&A. Slides should be in 16:9 format.

6. Attend and enjoy!

Financial support

Some BDA Specialist Groups have provided bursaries to cover the cost of attendance in the past. When you submit your abstract you will be asked if you are interested in a bursary to cover your registration fee, we will provide further information following submission of your abstract. Bursaries are subject to the abstract being presented on the day and will be reimbursed after the event.

GET Trustees have also established funding to support BDA members attending conferences and events.  Please submit your form and abstract at least three weeks before the relevant Trustee meeting, to allow it to be assessed and reviewed.

What happens on the day?

In addition to the abstracts being presented during the day, we also hear from dietitians involved in the world of research. We have previously heard from Dr Gary Frost, Dr Clare Pettinger, Professor Mary Hickson, Maria Barrett, Sally Abbott and more.

We have also held breakfast sessions with Quorn Foods and California Walnut Board in the past and also masterclasses on pitfalls and perils of manuscript submission, funding opportunities with GET and top tips on using Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN)

Initial timings for the day are 9.15am-4.30pm. However, the programme is defined by the number of abstracts being presented on the day so these may change. We will notify attendees of the final timings as soon as the programme is finalised.