The Marie Curie Alumni Association’s Events and Network Working Group sponsored the recent 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EEA). The EEA 2017 took place in Maastricht from 30 August to 3 September, and coincided with the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty. The event was attended by between 2 000 and 2 500 participants. Angela Bellia was there and told us all about it.
The EAA is an association for all archaeologists in Europe and beyond. It has participatory status in the Council of Europe, is a member of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, and has been chosen as one of the Voices of Culture and Heritage for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
This year, the E&N WG set up a booth at the MECC conference venue to promote the MCAA’s activities. Our stand was visited by over 300 scholars and researchers. The booth not only acted as an information point on MCAA activities for many young researchers and supervisors preparing proposals under the MSCA Programme, but also for the dynamic and lively community of MCAA archaeologists within the EAA.
The overall objective of our participation in the event was to reinforce the network of this particular community of MCAA Fellows: it is both dynamic and powerful in terms of intellectual ambition and practical relevance. The E&N WG plans to become a focal point for these MCAA Fellows (past and present). In this vein, the event was an opportunity to share good practice and to encourage debate on past and ongoing experiences in archaeology.
At the booth, MCAA Fellows promoted various MCAA groups to companies, autonomous researchers, and political and research institutions. The event also furthered collaboration with the MCAA’s Archaeology and Heritage Research Area Group and led to progress on the creation of a new Chapter in South America thanks to a past Marie Curie Fellow who took part in the EEA meeting.
Along with the majority of MCAA archaeologists who visited our stand, we plan to attend the 2018 EEA Annual Meeting, which will take place in Barcelona. Our MCAA panel will highlight how the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowships are contributing to the development of researchers and their future perspectives in the archaeological field. We also aim to discuss the situation in which many postdoctoral fellows find themselves, having
to accept temporary and insecure posts.
Download the Programme: http://www.eaa2017maastricht.nl/program-at-a-glance_1
EEA 2017 Sponsor page: http://www.eaa2017maastricht.nl/current-sponsors-exhibitors-ambassadorsadvertisers
EURAXESS Czech Republic organised its first career day for young researchers on 9 June 2017 in Prague. The aim of the day was to present career opportunities in the field of research and development – both in the Czech Republic and abroad – to young researchers. Matthew DiFranco, from the Management Working Group, was there to represent the MCAA.
This event was part of a Czech Science Fair sponsored by the Czech Academy of Sciences. The Science Fair was great…it took up two large halls in a convention centre and included stands from many Czech research institutes with lots of handson opportunities and live demos, along with stands from commercial and private research and tech firms. It was aimed more for primary and secondary schools, and there were lots of school groups and families there. I wish I were a Czech kid, because it looked like a lot of fun!
The Career Day was in an adjacent, smaller hall, and I believe EURAXESS was the organiser. They had a prominent stand, and we were well placed at the entrance. There were about 20 other stands, along with a few seminar areas. However, the event was not very well attended. We did get a few researchers coming to talk about MSCA actions and even met one recent Individual Fellowship awardee. But in general, it seems like there was not a large contingent of undergrad or postgrad students and researchers.
Nevertheless, it was good to spend the day with Lucie Homolová and Manuel Acosta, the Czech Chapter Chair and former Chair, respectively. Since they weren’t in Salamanca I could update them on our goals for Chapters. I also encouraged them to run more networking events throughout the Czech Republic and to liaise with the National Contact
Points (NCPs), EURAXESS and Universities to publicise MCAA to prospective members, MSCA Project Leaders and the research community in general.
Chapter Management Working Group
I got some very good feedback from Lucie and Manuel, that even though the event was not so well attended they were very happy to have the MCAA there, since it helped them to feel more connected to the MCAA Board, and to the organisation in general. I’m very happy to hear this, as it reinforces the role of the Chapter Management Working Group – to establish better connections between the Chapters and the MCAA Board. I will encourage the Chapter Management Working Group members to attend events outside of their own chapters in the coming months.
The MCAA China Chapter and EURAXESS China held a successful brainstorming meeting with prospective China-based applicants for a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship at the German Chamber of Commerce in Beijing on 31 August.
The EURAXESS Country Representative outlined the different aspects of applying for an individual fellowship. This was followed by an hour-long discussion in both Chinese and English during which Marie Curie Fellow Qin Xiangang of the China Chapter shared his experiences. China Chapter Chair Chengjun Yu, and Marie Curie Fellow Wei Sha, joined the discussion, answering written questions online.
The presentation slides are available here.
The Indian Chapter is going from strength to strength. Until May 2017, the Chapter had only 28 members altogether. Now, following awareness-raising by the Chapter itself, with MCAA support, it counts around 230 members. This massive increase happened in just three months.
Hot on the heels of a successful kick-off meeting, the Chapter held its first event on 30 August in Chandigarh. The event, designed to promote funding and fellowship opportunities for Indian researchers in Europe, was organised in association with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIR-CSIO), EURAXESS India and the Delegation of the European Union to India.
The feedback from participants was positive and in particular highlighted the value of sharing and comparing personal experience and observations. Attendees reported feeling encouraged in relation to future challenges, as well as a feeling that the local scientific community had been strengthened.
The event received a huge response; more than 200 participants were selected from all over India, and included MCAA Indian Chapter members.
Speakers included Prof. S. M. Shivaprasad of JNCASR Bangalore and Director of Karnataka Higher Education Academy, and representatives from the co-organisers.
Motivated by a successful event, the Chapter is planning others for the coming year so that a larger community of Indian researchers – as well as the Indian Chapter – can benefit from these networking opportunities.
CHAPTER MANAGEMENT AND EVENT ORGANISATION
CHAPTER CHAIR: Dr. Praveen Kumar
BOARD MEMBERS: Dr. Kiran Kumar Chereddy, Dr. Amit Zodge, Dr. Shikhar Agrawal, Ms. Arthi Kizhedath, Dr. Surendra Yadav
EVENT ORGANISER: Ms. Pooja D., Scientist, CSIR-CSIO, Chandigarh