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Matthew DiFranco's picture

Dear MCAA Members,

Just a reminder to everyone in MCAA that the online voting for the Board will take place from Friday, March 27 at 12:00 CET until Saturday, March 28 at 12:00 CET. The results will be posted for all MCAA members to view on the portal once they are tabulated and verified. The MCAA contractor manages the online voting system, and will publish the results shortly after voting closes. The Board will not have any involvement in the process, we have no access to the infrastructure, nor will we see the results before they are posted to the members.

For information about the candidates, please go to the Elections webpage. The link to the voting system will also be available there when it opens on Thursday.

You can also interact with the candidates on the portal here: Elections Forum

The next MCAA Board will face a number of immediate challenges which are imporant for all members to understand. Due to the current pandemic, we were forced to cancel the Annual Conference and General Assembly in Zagreb. The incoming Board will immediately have to take up decisions about rescheduling the event for September, organizing potential reimbursements for travel cancellations, and reallocating this year's budget in the face of a global pandemic.

As if that weren't enough, the current funding period for MCAA from the European Commission will come to an end in October, which means all EC-sourced budget needs to be spent by then. This also puts additional constraints on how, when or if to reschedule the Annual Conference. The Board has been actively discussing future funding with the EC for over a year, and up until the global pandemic things seemed fairly secure for at least the next year. The incoming Board will need to manage that process and ensure that MCAA continues to have a strong, productive relationship with the EC, despite the challenges presented today.

Finally, the new Board will need to define the vision for MCAA over the next 2 years, and look to secure additional partnerships and funding while organizing initiatives to fulfill that vision. Just to clarify, although MCAA may receive substantial support from the EC, we are an international non-profit organization with the ability to determine our own mission, vision and priorities. MCAA has increased our role in European Science and Research Policy over the last few years, but we have much work to do in building our initiatives to support researchers and research careers locally, regionally, nationallly and globally.

I am personally very inspired by the number of people who have applied to run for Board positions this year. I sincerely hope that, regardless of the outcome of the voting, that you all become more involved in your local Chapter, Working Groups, or in any other way with MCAA.

If any candidate has questions for the current Board members, I invite you to reach out to one of us via the portal. I also strongly urge all candidates to read the MCAA Statutes to understand more about the structure and governance of the MCAA.

I am exteremly saddened by the way in which my tenure as Chair, and the conclusion of this Board's mandate, will come to an end, but I am very optimistic about the future of MCAA.