The Greek Chapter, an official component of the MCAA, is up and running again since 2019. Newly appointed Chair, Eirini Papageorgiou, and researchers from near and far gathered in Athens to discuss about the visions and missions of the Chapter for the upcoming months.
Chapter’s creation and members
In 2015, 18 Marie-Curie members in Greece took the initiative to found the Greek Chapter with the guidance of the MCAA Events and Networking Group. The Chapter initially organised a flurry of events and activities both for Marie-Curie beneficiaries and the general public, but people’s attendance started to decrease over time.
Now, Eirini Papageorgiou – the new Chair of the Greek Chapter (elected in January 2019) – will pick up the torch and continue the work to further promote the Chapter. The aim is to increase the number of members (who currently count 98) and boost participation at future meetings and activities.
The first annual meeting that took place in Athens in July 2019 proved a great opportunity to meet the Greek Chapter members, share opinions and decide on the future plan of activities and events that will further increase the visibility of the Chapter. “We want to create a club that someone would find interest in joining – so it has to be both educational and fun,” said Eirini Papageorgiou.
During a round table session, attendees formed in small groups to discuss important objectives and activities. Eirini Papageorgiou highlighted that focusing on matters that are practical, feasible and visible would be a good start. “We would like to show that the Chapter is present and active, and exploits the services that MCAA offers. We want to be not only a Chapter in papers, but also in practice,” she said.
The Chair and attendees agreed on a list of objectives during the meeting. Several main goals are listed below:
- Incorporating active social media channels into the MCAA Greek Chapter marketing strategy to promote events and activities, grow membership and keep members engaged and informed.
- Organising a certain number of local networking meetings each year at which members of the Greek Chapter can gather to chat, exchange ideas, knowledge and experience.
- Making Researchers’ Night more interactive and engaging through interesting installations. Visitors will have the chance to discover how research and science contribute to improving everyday life. Kids will also explore, play and learn science in a fun and tangible way.
- Advertising the Greek Chapter through open seminars and workshops especially when the Chapter community grows in number. Topics should include preparation of successful MSCA-IF proposals, CV writing, protection of intellectual property, and career development after the MC fellowship.
- Promoting Science Slams events where scientists communicate their own scientific research work in a fun way.
According to Eirini Papageorgiou, this annual meeting is the first of a series of events to follow. Her aim will be to create further opportunities for discussions and networking to encourage members’ collaboration. “We are a local hub, not just a group of researchers,” she said.