It is with great pleasure I welcome you to our second newsletter of the PROTECTED ITN. In this issue we present some of the exciting work and events that have commenced since our first newsletter. Early stage researcher secondments are off to a successful start and our network has started to share samples for the development of innovative assays which will answer some key questions about our exposure to chemicals and their safety in relation to our health. Our first scientific dissemination prize has been achieved by our University of Liege early stage researcher at the 2017 meeting of the Belgian Society of Toxicology and Ecotoxicology (Beltox). Thi Que Doan was presented with first prize for best poster on her work exploring the effects of Persistent Organic Pollutants on the Ary hydrocarbon receptor. Community engagement is an important part of our work at Queen’s University Belfast, so it is also with great pride I announce positive connections being made with the public. The Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group, from Derry~Londonderry in the North West recently visited some of our early stage researchers within the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, eager for more information on the expertise and tools we are developing within the PROTECTED project. Our visitors, recognised the major impact we are making in safeguarding human health, commenting: “These amazing young researchers made us feel so welcome and were keen to show us some of the vital research being carried out in this area. It was so inspiring to meet them and to hear first-hand about their work. They are the talent of the future.” Please enjoy finding out further details on all these exciting elements within this issue.