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The Marie Curie Alumni Association General Assembly was held on 6th and 7th February 2015, in Porto, Portugal. The host for this event was the Almeida Garrett Municipal Library, located in the gardens of the Palácio de Cristal. This was a great opportunity to meet other MCAA members and to learn about the activities and future plans of the association.

 

What was approved?

The minutes of the previous General Assembly that took place on November 2014 were unanimously approved, as well as the 2014 MCAA report of activities.

How was the 2014 budget distributed?

The treasurer of the MCAA, Roy Someshwar, presented the Association’s 2014 financial report as well as how the budget was distributed:

  • Micro Grants (72%);
  • Chapters (16%);
  • Working Groups (12%).

Like the minutes and the activity report, the financial report was unanimously approved.

Useful tips for getting reimbursed

The treasurer took the opportunity to remind Alumni of reimbursement rules:

  • send all your receipts both online and as hard copies;
  • send within one month from the date of event;
  • travel by car is an eligible expense;
  • provide a declaration of attendance;
  • provide a report of the event with pictures.

He added the following tips:

  • make a copy of all receipts before posting;
  • if possible, underline the date and amount with a highlighter;
  • Respect the deadline of 1 month.

From now on, these procedures will no longer be a mystery to you!

Working groups and Chapters, what’s new?

Seven Working Groups and 17 Chapters have now been created within the MCAA. During the GA, Francesco Grassi, the MCAA’s Vice-Chair, appointed the Chairs of each Working Group and Chapter (who are considered as ex-officio members of the Board). Each Working Group Chair had the opportunity to present his/her activities as follows:

  1. Communication WG – Wuraola Akande
  2. Events & Networking WG – Francesco Sanna
  3. Information & Data Access WG – Mauricio Manfrini
  4. Policy on Successful Researchers WG – Marco Masia
  5. Grants & Awards WG – Anett Kiss
  6. Gender Equality for Mobile Researchers in Science WG – Giovanna Avellis
  7. Internal Governance & Chapter Management Team WG – Kiran Kumar Chereddy

Opportunities to compete!

A representative from FameLab presented the concept –  a communications competition designed to engage and entertain by breaking down science, technology and engineering into three-minute presentations.

Contestants from around the world take part, armed only with their wits and a few props that they can carry onto the stage – the result is unpredictable and aims to encourage curiosity and findt about the latest research. A winner of the 2014 Portuguese edition shared her experiences and told how challenging it was to compete.

Participant’s portal: a helping hand for researchers

A European Commission representative reiterated that the documentation underpinning the Horizon 2020 programme represents extends to 2 000 pages, but that the Participant Portal is there to help to guide researchers through their funding applications.

To complete this presentation, Zoran Andjelic, Ordinary Board Member, shared his experiences as  a coordinator of research projects. He presented each of the projects, describing the process from proposal writing to project implementation. At the end of his presentation, he gave advice to members on how to be successful, especially in project negotiation, project kick-off and project realisation.

Understanding researchers’ career pathways

A representative from the European Science Foundation (ESF) presented the “Career Tracking Pilot Project”. It aims to:

  • create a framework that will look for the first time at the neglected population of early career researchers;
  • develop a career tracking instrument and process;
  • produce data analysis and data reports;
  • identify and communicate methodological and statistical steps.

What’s next for the MCAA?

The Plan of Activities 2015 was presented by Francesco Grassi. He recalled the purpose of the Association: “to promote and exploit, in the broadest sense, the full potential of the community of researchers who have benefitted in terms of mobility from the People programme”. It is crucial to “brand” the Marie Curie experience as it represents a “privileged community”, a “potential to exploit”, “services and networking opportunities”.

Roy Someshwar presented a potential model for the sustainable development of the association, and for generating external revenues.

In 2015, the MCAA will continue do its best to provide its Members a space where they can make their voice heard!

Two Alumni were awarded a prize!

Find out who they are in our article “MCAA Award Ceremony”.

 

Important documents