MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD
Since the board elections at the MCAA General Assembly in Leuven on February 3, the MCAA Board has been hard at work, much of it behind the scenes. Our outgoing Chair and current German Chapter Chair, Brian Cahill, handed over a fantastic opportunity for MCAA: 8 accepted ESOF sessions organized by MCAA members, in addition to an MCAA stand and stand-alone session, plus two events in collaboration with external partners in the weekend prior to the event. Since then, Policy Working Group Chair Fernanda Bajanca, and Board Member Sara Ricardo have been leading the preparations for MCAA’s activities at ESOF. Sara Ricardo is also leading a session on the lost generation of European scientists and how to make the system more sustainable, in which board member Maria Gorna will be taking part.
Mostafa Moonir Shawrav, Vice Chair, has taken on multiple roles to promote MCAA. He is leading the task force for the MCAA Annual Conference and General Assembly to be held in Vienna on February 24-25, 2019. Behind the scenes, Mostafa has dedicated his time to improving internal governance, implementing a communications structure for the board, contractor, and working groups and chairs; and creating more transparent guidelines for working groups and chapters. Mostafa is also organizing and chairing a special session at ESOF where the 2017 MCAA major survey results of more than 5,000 researchers
throughout Europe will be disseminated. Currently, he is also the contact person for MCAA participation in external research funding proposals.
Valentina Ferro, Vice-Chair, is leading our Communications team and is responsible for our social networking and public engagement. Valentina has been working on an initiative to unify and standardize our corporate identity. She is also working on creating new working group for research funding.
On the financial side, Treasurer Bala Attili and Chair Matthew Di- Franco are leading our efforts to define our budget for the next financial year. One major initiative being undertaken is an update to our Micro Grant program to respond to increasing demand, and the different career stages of our applicants.
Murat Grunes, Secretary, Marco Masia, Board Member, and Pavlo Bazilinskyy, chair of the Bridging Science and Business Working Group, are organizing a workshop on ‘Driving Solutions for Science in Business’ partnering with Université Paris Saclay at University of Paris Saclay in Paris on 5th-6th July 2018. They are also exploring opportunities for partnerships and sponsorships for MCAA with academic and corporate organizations, and collaborating with EIT-Climate-KIC and other organizations focused on fostering research and innovation.
Zsofia Buttel, together with Mostafa, Bala, Renaud and Murat are working to attract short- and long term sponsors for MCAA to ensure its future sustainability. Zsofia is also proposing new ideas for standardizing financial procedures.
To establish a successful partnership with the network of National Contact Points, Maria Górna aided by Sara Ricardo, both Board Members, are currently working with the Net4Mobility+ project to organize joint initiatives such as seminars on European Funding. One of the main goals of the collaboration will be improving availability of information and communication for prospective and current MSCA fellows regarding different kinds of support for researchers as well as a detailed explanation of fellowship rules in each given country.
Renaud Jolivet, Board Member, is currently working on MCAA’s mentoring academy initiative. He is also contributing to writing proposals for European Funding and exploring
long-term initiatives for MCAA.
Nehama Lewis, Board Member, will be presenting a talk on effective media outreach for researchers at ESOF. She is also working to improve internal and external communication between board and working groups.
The MCAA Board wishes everyone a fantastic summer!
MATTHEW DI FRANCO
CHAIR OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ON BEHALF OF THE MCAA BOARD