SIX FACTS ABOUT THE GRANTS & AWARDS WORKING GROUP
'WE REALISED THAT SEVERAL OUTSTANDING MCAA CONTRIBUTORS DIDN’T PARTICIPATE BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO MODEST AND HUMBLE. THE PEER NOMINATION WILL THEREFORE FILL THIS GAP.'
A few words about Janos Kriston-Vizi
Originally from Hungary, Janos studied in the field of life sciences and decided to specialise in Information Technology (IT). This took him to the Kyoto University (Japan), where he learned robotics and worked as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellow. After four years in the country, he moved to Singapore to conduct research on microscopy and image processing. In 2011, he received an International Reintegration Grants at University College Lonfon (UCL) in London to work on his Marie Curie project “3D image analysis tool development for high-content screening”.
He said: “My Marie Curie grant supported not only my research project, but also its dissemination, which was very helpful for my career.”
1. WORKING GROUP
The Grants & Awards Working Group was created by Anett Kiss, who was an Ordinary Board member of the first MCAA Board between 2013 and 2015. Asked about Anett’s work, Janos said: “Our first Working Group Chair contributed hugely to its foundations. I brought slight modifications, but the structure was already in place.”
2. AWARDS CEREMONY
“A typical year of the Working Group is a bit different from the MCAA or the dynamics of another institute as it starts in August,” says Janos. During the summer months, the members of the Working Group and the Board discuss the organisation of the Awards ceremony which usually takes places at the yearly General Assembly. As such, the Call for Awards and the application form is ready in September. In November 2018, the Working Group received 30 applications.
Then, the Working Group suggests the members of the Awarding Committee with the help of the Honorary members.
The Awarding Committee plays an important role, as it shortlists the potential candidates for the Awards. The members of the Committee gather a first time in the framework of an orientation meeting, and decide in a second meeting on the selection of the first two or three best candidates for each Award.
“The Board members take the final decision about the award winners,” explains Janos.
3. HONORARY RECOGNITION
The Honorary recognition aims to reward the persons who contributed to the development and growth of the MCAA Association. The Awardees of this year’s general assembly are:
- Anton Zeilinger, quantum physicist working at the University of Vienna;
- Theresa Lindahl and Lil Reif, national contact points for MSCA working at the Austrian Research Promotion Agency;
- Gareth O’Neill, president of Eurodoc.
4. FOUR TYPES OF AWARDS
- The Outstanding Contributor Award recognises members who have contributed the most to the Marie Curie community, in general, and to the MCAA, in particular. The Outstanding Contributor Awardee of this year is Fernanda Bajanca, who is the Chair of the Policy Working Group and deals a lot with its activities. “The participants of the MCAA General Assembly were very happy to hear Fernanda’s name as the winner of the Outstanding Contributor Award, as she is very active and popular,” says Janos.
- The Career Award recognises members leading excellent careers. Stefka Fidanova was rewarded for her successful activities in the institution of information and communication technology. “The competition was particularly hard for this Award, as it is one of the most popular. My heart is bleeding because of course all competitors were excellent, but we could reward only one!” explains Janos.
- The Innovator Award focuses on members presenting the best innovation approach in their project. Pavlo Bazilinskyy, the recipient of this award, conducts research in robotics driving. Janos described him as “very active in the MCAA and very popular”.
- The Social Impact Award highlights the positive social impact of the MCAA members’ work. Francisco Valente Gonçalvez who received the Award created a company, Rumo, which provides wellness services and counselling via an online service platform for people in an immigration status.
5. COMING UP
Junior Career Award
At the next General Assembly, it is possible that not one, but two candidates will receive the coveted Career Award. “So far, the Career Award tended to reward well established researchers against younger ones with shorter career records. We are currently working to introduce a Junior Career Award. However, we still need to define the criteria, to take into account some breaks that the researcher may have in his or her career like maternity leave or the military service, and at the same time keep the evaluation manageable,” explains Janos.
So far, participants can only nominate themselves, but very soon, MCAA members may have the possibility to present the candidature of another Alumnus or Alumna. “We realised that several outstanding MCAA contributors didn’t participate because they are too modest and humble. The peer nomination will therefore fill this gap,” says Janos.
The Awards aim to highlight the work done by members who are shortlisted,
but not part of the final selection. “In many cases, the second and the third winners are almost as good as the first one. Those medals would aim to reward them as well,” noted Janos.
6. BEHIND THE SCENES
Janos makes special mention of the collective approach of his working group and the important role each member plays:
- Anett Kiss, first Chair
- Pierre Jehel, Deputy Chair
- Asunción López Varela Azcárate
- Edit Szekely
- Kiran Kumar Chereddy
- Monica Cartelle Gestal
- Simone Linz
Janos also thanks all MCAA members for their voluntary contributions.
The board of the Grants & Awards Working Group will be renewed soon. A new board will be formed in September. So stay tuned!
Learn more about the Grants & Awards Working Group
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