MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD
As we face the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic, I truly hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.
We are grateful to the members who are fighting in the forefront of this unprecedented crisis within healthcare systems, research institutions, pharmaceutical companies and other essential service organisations. And our thoughts are with those many who are personally affected. This is a moment to support each other, work together on innovative solutions and use our research in response to COVID-19.
Therefore, we ask you to please consult this page on the MCAA portal if you feel that you could support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are affected by this crisis and need help with your travels, please refer to EC guidelines on EU passenger rights.
In better news, while we have all been facing these challenges and thanks to the effort of the Election Task Force, the MCAA election for the new MCAA board has taken place at the end of March 2020. You will find more information about the newly elected board members in this newsletter. I am happy to introduce the new board to you:
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
• Mostafa Moonir Shawrav, Chair
• Valentina Ferro, Vice - Chair
• Fernanda Bajanca, Vice-Chair
• Francesco Sanna, Treasurer
• Marina Rantanen Modeer, Secretary
AND ORDINARY BOARD MEMBERS
• Alexandra Dubini
• Donata Iandolo
• Ana Lopes
• Sara Ricardo
• Karen Stroobants
• Esther Volz
It is a privilege being able to thank the outgoing board members for their wonderful contributions throughout the last two years. Particularly, its quick and timely decisions to cancel the Annual conference, thereby mitigating negative consequences and prioritising our members' safety.
It is, however, regretful that our flagship event could not take place this year as planned. The MCAA Annual conference is important to us as it is the opportunity for members from 140+ countries to meet, exchange, discuss, debate and learn together. Especially, following the success of last year’s conference in Vienna, we have been looking forward to providing training opportunities, thought-provoking discussions and networking opportunities with partners. As an alternative, we are discussing potential options to hold a virtual conference before September 2020. Please check our website and social media regularly for updates.
In the upcoming months, the new board would like to focus our efforts on the following issues:
Internal Governance and Financial Stability: As an international non- profit organization, it is essential to professionalize the internal workflow and governance of the association and ensure financial stability. Some targeted ideas and options are already set in motion, which we would like to coordinate with all chapters and working groups.
Policy: We have close to 15K members from 140+ countries. There are issues and challenges common to these researchers. As the representing organization, we want our members’ direct participation within the decision making process and policy development that impact them. For example, currently the MCAA board is supporting the petition aid extensions of MSCA projects following disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the interview of Alejandro Manzano Marin, who is coordinating this effort, in this newsletter. In addition, you can read the statement of MCAA on this issue, prepared by the Policy working group.
Career: What we plan for our members in this particular area is “customized support”. Researchers at different stages of their career will be provided with different training, online courses, peer-to-peer and peerfor-peer support, and overall assistance according to individual needs.
With these goals, we invite our passionate members to contribute and join in the future development of the association. You can get involved by joining the working groups that interest you or match your expertise the most, or participate in the local chapters’ activities. Please share your thoughts and give us feedback.
I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the MCAA members for their trust in electing me and the new board members. I look forward to working with the newly elected board, external and internal stakeholders and our volunteers to advance issues of importance to our members and to society.
Finally, I hope that we will all meet again next year and that you stay safe in the meantime.
Thank you very much for your contributions.
MOSTAFA MOONIR SHAWRAV
MCAA CHAIR ON BEHALF OF THE MCAA BOARD
Cancellation of the 7th MCAA Annual Conference and General Assembly
As our members have been already informed, the 7th Annual MCAA conference and General Assembly, scheduled for 28-29 March, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Task force for organising the Conference and General Assembly were closely monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak from February and were in daily contacts with the Epidemiology Centre in Zagreb, Headquarters of Civil Protection of Croatia and newly established National Emergency Centre.
As situation with the outbreaks developed form the mid-February and more countries were introducing measure of quarantine and restrictions of travels, and under the strong recommendations of the Headquarters of Civil Protection of Croatia on 4 March to cancel the conference, we had no option but to follow the advice. It was not an easy decision to make, since local task force in Zagreb, together with the Board members were preparing the conference for a long time and the organisation was mostly finished.
However, safety of our members and participant of the conference was our main concern, as well as advices from Croatian authority. However, due to the Election of the new Board members and Associations’ obligations toward the Article of Association, as members were informed, the Elections this year were online.
I would like to thank all our members who have planned to come to Zagreb, our speakers and sponsors and partners for their understanding and cooperation.
We, in the local task force for organisation of the 7th Annual MCAA Conference and General Assembly, are still hoping to welcome you in Zagreb later in 2020 or in 2021.
Dr Maja Mise Chair of the Local Task Force for GA 2020