Meet MCAA at ESOF, the biggest science conference in Europe

by Aurelia Chaise



When Europe’s largest interdisciplinary science meeting convenes in September, the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) will be there. Joining thousands of leading researchers, innovators, policymakers and academics, the association will show a strong presence in terms of both attendance and participation.

As a biennial, pan-European, general science conference, the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in Trieste, is dedicated to scientific research an innovation. MCAA members are in line to deliver stimulating content and lead lively discussions around several timely issues.


Aligned with its mission to create a better world, MCAA is actively participating in these discussions by providing expertise from various fields, offering transferable skills, making policy recommendations and also asking intriguing questions,” says MCAA’s Chair Mostafa Moonir Shawrav. “MCAA's goal by attending this year's ESOF is to specifically help the wider scientific society address the key current and upcoming challenges.”


Four virtual (live-streamed) sessions will be led by MCAA members on September 2-4.

MCAA’s strong presence at ESOF will commence by Lidia Natalia Trusilewicz, a senior researcher with expertise in materials science. This MCSA fellow will lead the 2 September session titled The prestige of scientific expertise vs. technology demand: parallel routes with a common innovative purpose? The aim of this session will be to explore ways to maximise the collaboration between the scientific community and business environments locally. For instances, panellists will discuss scientists’ role in establishing relevant networks outside of academia and build trustworthy connections between the scientific expertise and private stakeholders.

 On September 3, two virtual sessions will be led by MCAA members. The first, in the morning is titled: Effective Sustainable Policies for Career Development in Research. Led by MCAA member and head of the Research Funding Working Group,  Gábor Kismihók, this session will strive to raise awareness about the need to empower researchers and secure a globally competitive European Research Area.

The afternoon session on September 3 is titled: Mind the gap: Bridging the expectation gap between researchers and employers. Led by MCAA’s Chair Mostafa Moonir Shawrav, this session will focus on how to tackle the expectation gap between researchers and employers, from a number of different perspectives such as changing academic research culture, changing organisational perspectives and how researchers can better prepare themselves for different careers.

The fourth session, scheduled on September 4, will explore the topic of gender diversity in science.  Titled Inclusion and gender diversity in research environments: a little less conversation, a little more action please, the moderator Karen Stroobants, a board member of the MCAA, will discuss the progress made and remaining barriers that need to be overcome to achieve gender diversity in research among researchers and policymakers. A scriber will capture the outcomes of the discuss so these can be formulated as a set of recommendations for European policymakers and institutions.

Former MCAA chair, Brian Cahill, who is a member of the governing board of EuroScience, will moderate three sessions. The first, titled Impact of COVID-19 on the career development of Researchers will be held on 3 September. The other two sessions Who is responsible for transferable skills and how can RRI and Open Science help? and Voice of Early-Career Researchers on Research Culture take place on 5 September.

Participation of MSCA projects

22 projects funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and managed by the Research Executive Agency (REA) will take part in this year’s ESOF. Click here to find out more about the seven sessions where MSCA projects are involved.

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