News from the MCAA - The MCAA Germany Chapter: Meet the New Chair


Ehsanul Alam,

a personal account

I am Ehsanul Alam and I come from Bangladesh. Since 2014 I have been residing in Germany. After I finished my Master in Engineering Rheology, which was supported by the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, I did my doctoral studies through the Marie Curie fellowship. After my PhD I have made a transition to industry. I am currently working for Wella Germany GmbH. I have been recently elected as the chair of the MCAA Germany Chapter. My mandate started on 1st September and I can already feel a sense of responsibility in my new position..

Why did you decide to run as Chair of the Chapter?

I have been involved in the MCAA’s activities since 2015 when I was an ITN fellow (CoWet/607861, CORDIS). Together with some enthusiastic researchers, I felt the need for an MCAA Chapter in Germany to cater to the fellows who were working in Germany. We established the chapter in June 2015 and soon the members started to join in. During our first Chapter event we discussed topics such as the taxation system in Germany, career paths outside academia, entrepreneurship, and writing articles. Many of those topics are still relevant and regularly discussed on many MCAA venues. The Germany Chapter has witnessed many chairs leaders who took the activities of the Chapter to a new level. It is my belief that to work on common good one must attain a position of leadership. I have been preparing myself for the role of a Chair and I felt ready to take up the challenge.

What will be the objectives of the Chapter under your tenure?

Under my tenure, my objective will be to institute a mechanism by which many members will be ready to run for leadership positions of the Germany Chapter as well as of the MCAA. The process to achieve this is to increase engagement among members via networking events, discussion platforms and local meet-ups.

What is the role of the Chapter within the MCAA community?

My vision is to make the chapter play a pivotal role within the MCAA by mobilizing talent within the chapter by ensuring participation in the discussion for science diplomacy and policy. The chapter will discuss topics and issues within its capacities and give regular feedback to the board and also disseminate news and information within the chapter that come from the board.

Do you already have plans for events and activities? Can you tell us some?

As a start, together with the Middle-East Chapter, we are organizing a seminar on ‘Research culture and Career perspective,’ where we will talk about researchers’ mental health, career options for researchers, and brain drain. Since it will be a hybrid event, the participants will have the possibility of meeting fellow researchers during the networking session. The event will take place in October. In November, the Chapter will organize the first of its biannual meetings, where, the Chapter members will be made aware of the plans and the Chapter board will get feedback from the members to address topics and issues for future events. In December, there will be a local meetup to encourage networking and collaboration in different regions of Germany. During the first half of the next year (2023), the Chapter will organize a career event in Munich and the second chapter meeting.

How will you cooperate with other Chapters and Working Groups?

Keeping to its tradition of collaborating with other MCAA Chapters and Working Groups, the present board is collaborating with the Bridging Science and Business Working Group and Policy Working Group to organize some webinars. The Germany Chapter will also reach out to external organizations such as Euraxess Germany and the Humboldt Foundation network to organize joint events.

What would you say to members who are considering joining the Chapter?

The next two years will be crucial to set the path towards which the Germany Chapter will be led in future. None of this will be possible without active participation from the members. The new board is ready with its plan and what it needs from the members is action.

Ehsanul Alam
MCAA Germany Chapter Chair

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