MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ANNIVERSARY
CELEBRATING MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE'S 150TH BIRTHDAY IN ROME
In Rome, Italy on 10 November 2017 MCAA members celebrated the 150th anniversary of Marie Sklodowska Curie's birth. Angela Bellia was there and told us all about the event.
Alessandra Luchetti, head of the Research Executive Agency, reminded those present why the European Commission decided to name one of its most important European research programmes after the Nobel Prize Laureate by outlining her achievements. In addition to her scientific accomplishments, the Polish-French scientist is of course also well known for having crossed national borders. Daniela Corda, Italian Delegate for the MSCA, stressed the importance of researcher mobility; Marie Skłodowska Curie was a pioneer here, inspiring researchers all over the world.
As the Chair of the Events &Networks WG, Angela Bellia highlighted the huge effort and the hard work by the MCAA over the past few years, which has given Marie Curie Researchers greater opportunities to develop their careers and make an important contribution to wider European society. In addition, she emphasised that the association acts a ‘bridge’ between researchers and research institutions.
During the first roundtable, Vice Rectors Antonino Rotolo, Marcella Bonchio and Marco Sgarbi discussed the recruitment of Marie Curie Researchers at the Universities of Bologna, Padua and Venice. The Universities of Padua and Venice provide the largest number of funded Marie Skłodowska Curie fellowships in Italy.
During the second roundtable, Ciro Franco from Sapienza University of Rome and Sonia Silvestri from the University of Padua, discussed the importance of mobility in academic careers. Luigi Caranti, Chair of the Italy Chapter and professor at the University of Catania, and Dario Pellizzon, Honorary Member of the MCAA and Head of the International Research Office of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, highlighted the fundamental contribution of the MSCA to researchers’ careers.
This event also looked at Italy’s recently adopted policy for the recruitment of Marie Curie Researchers at universities and research institutions. Many MCAA members can now benefit from a fast-track application process.
This achievement is unprecedented and currently has no equivalent in any other European country.
During the ceremony, 10 researchers and their projects hosted in Italian universities were presented with awards. The ‘Marie Skłodowska Curie Researchers 2017 in Italy’ award aims to highlight the presence of MC researchers in Italy.
The celebratory event was organised by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research, together with the MCAA’s Events & Networks and Italy Chapter, and in collaboration with the European Commission and the Research Executive Agency.
MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ANNIVERSARY
CELEBRATING MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE'S 150TH BIRTHDAY IN POLAND
The events included the Medicina-Scientia-Cultura conference (MSC2017) organised by the Polish Chemical Society and the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Museum in Warsaw as a finale to a series of events across Poland (http://msc.warsawtour.pl/calendar/index_en.htm and http://www.warsawtour.pl/en/warsaw-for-everyone/in-the-footsteps-of-maria-sk-odowska-curie-160224.html).
MSC2017 took place in Warsaw on 6-8 November and celebrated Marie Skłodowska-Curie in the context of science, medicine and culture. Every day of the conference addressed a different topic at different Warsaw universities. Marie’s involvement in medicine was discussed at the Medical University of Warsaw (module Medicina). The importance of science for modern society was the focus of the conference at Warsaw University of Technology (module Scientia). Finally, the socio-cultural aspects of women in science were considered at Warsaw University (module Cultura).
The conference concluded with a festive gala organised at the Warsaw University of Technology, attended by 22 MCAA members from around Europe to whom an exclusive invitation had been extended. The gala celebration was opened by Marie’s grandchildren, Hélène Langevin-Joliot and Prof. Pierre Joliot. A multimedia dance show and a symphony orchestra played works dedicated to Maria Skłodowska-Curie. The gala dinner also provided an opportunity for other MCAA Fellows visiting Poland to meet and spend time together before the following day’s intensive workshop.
The ‘Standing up for Science EU’ workshop on 10 November was organised in association with the Voice of Young Science network of the charity Sense about Science. This was the first VoYS media and policy workshop held outside of the UK or Brussels. MCAA Polish Chapter members Michał Karpiński (Vice- Chair) and Maria Górna (ex-Chair) co-organised the workshop and secured generous financial support from the host University of Warsaw.
The event was attended by over 50 participants representing the event’s sponsors, as well as 22 MCAA Fellows. The focus was standing up for science in everyday life and in policy-making. The programme covered presentations from scientists who have contributed to the popularisation of science in mainstream media. Scientists shared their bitter-sweet experiences of sharing information and how this had had an impact on their understanding and execution of their research. The perspectives of policy-makers and their advisors were also covered in a session on how scientific research is used to determine policies for the near and long-term future. Another session provided insights into the role of journalists, what they expect from researchers, and their point of view on the process of communicating science to the general public. Participants heard about good practices for clearer communication and were encouraged to volunteer to disseminate their work through different media.
The workshop was very well received by participants and partners. As a pilot event for the international ‘Standing up for science EU’ series it paved the way for future workshops in Brussels and Spain in 2018.
In addition to the conference and the workshop, a get-together was organised in Klub Zak in Gdansk on 7 November – Marie Skłodowska- Curie’s actual birthday. The event helped recruit two new members and opened channels of communication to a few more. Flowers were also laid during ceremony in front of the monument of Maria at the site of Warsaw’s former Radium Institute.
MCAA FINANCIAL AFFAIRS WORKING GROUP REPRESENTED AT THE BCF CAREER FAIR BELGIUM
The second edition of the BCF (Bio/Life Sciences, Chemistry, Food or Pharma) career event took place on 16 November 2017 in Ghent (Belgium). Zsofia Butell was there and told us how it went.
The BCF Career Fair Belgium is the largest career event in bio/life sciences, chemistry, food or pharma and an excellent networking opportunity for everyone who is currently seeking a job in this sector. An impressive number of exhibitors (over 60) were present to gain exposure and advertise their open vacancies or services. Participants were able to attend exciting plenary talks and round-table discussions on career-related topics, have their CV checked and get advice from a professional career coach.
The event was a great opportunity to advertise our upcoming Annual Conference and General Assembly
and to seek industrial partners to support the MCAA. Over the past few months the Financial Affairs Working Group (FA-WG), together with our contractor, has been working hard to develop a financial framework to attract sponsorship, and thereby secure sustainability and the means to meet the MCAA’s future needs. These efforts resulted in an attractive brochure with different sponsorship packages offering mutually beneficial partnerships.
Today there is a clear demand from young and talented researchers to develop their skills and volunteer work in a professional organisation that can offer a stepping stone to an ever-evolving cross-disciplinary career.
As the chair of the FA-WG, I would like to encourage early stage researchers to develop invaluable soft skills, like networking, business negotiation, communication and budget management – to name but a few.
If you are interested in supporting our fundraising efforts, please join the Financial Affairs Working Group to develop your personal skills and widen your professional network!
EURAXESS RESEARCHERS AT MOTION EVENT ON EUROPEAN RESEARCH DAY
ADVANCING YOUR RESEARCH CAREER IN EUROPE: FUNDING AND FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIAN RESEARCHES
The event targeted students from IIT Gandhinagar, Marwari University, and other nearby academic and research institutes, but also attracted participants from all over India. More than 180 participants were attended the event in Ahmedabad on 15 September and Dr Praveen Kumar represented the MCAA’s Indian Chapter, providing information for the young Indian researchers present. The feedback was very positive and encouraging.
DR PRAVEEN KUMAR
EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE (EPO) EVENTS
A series of four study visits are being organised by the EPO for 2018.
The aim of the study visits is to raise and increase awareness of the European patent system among students in all fields at European universities and among other interested parties.
The visits provide hands-on experience of the EPO, and offer insight into the work of EPO experts, patent examiners and lawyers.