2019 MCAA Annual Conference

Today’s post was prepared by ES-Cat ESR Aşkın Sevinç Aslan-Üzel

The Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA) General Assembly & Annual Conference was held in Vienna, 24 – 25 February, 2019: an amazing conference over two productive days, and a great opportunity for networking.

Askin and Jason pose in front of the Marie Curie Actions Alumni logo
ES-Cat ESRs Aşkın and Jason attended the MCAA Annual Conference, 2019

Different panel sessions were held in the conference with various topics, such as Entrepreneurship: How to Start a Start-up, Mentoring and Outreach Projects, Mental Health of Researchers, Workplace Harassment, Writing Proposals, Future of Research Artificial Intelligence, Refugees and Higher Education. All had an amazing and excellent discussion.

Interesting talks inspired attendees. Many take-home messages, tips and tricks for career paths were given by the inspiring speakers.

A powerpoint slide with the words "We became scientists to change the world, not to produce papers" The speakers sit in the foreground.

Furthermore, there were paper and digital poster sessions from different areas of science – from life sciences to social sciences – that gave attendees a chance to present our research.

From my point of view, it was a great experience to attend this event. I met lots of people that have different stories in academia and outside the academia. One of the most inspiring talk was given by Themis Christophidou who is the Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission. Her message was ‘Wisdom is loving the world enough to assume responsibility’. Moreover, different sessions with valuable speakers provided me different perspectives. In general, we do not need to be afraid of the future of research, just need to take responsibility, communicate, be motivated and most importantly stay happy and healthy.

MCAA 2019 in numbers:

827 registrations
650 attendees
60 country attendees
24 panel sessions
110 speakers
20 hours

If you missed the sessions of MCAA conference, you can watch on YouTube.

Save the date for the next one: The next MCAA General Assembly and Annual Conference will be held in Zagreb, Croatia on 27-29 March, 2020.

A large group photo of all the conference attendees
MCAA Annual Conference Attendees 2019. Photo by Fatemeh Asgari.

MTR – Cambridge, 2019

The ES-Cat Midterm Review (Interim) Meeting was held at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, on the 14th and 15th of January, 2019.

This meeting was an opportunity for the ESRs to meet up, present their research progress to each other, and meet with EU representatives. As we are at the midway point of the ES-Cat Consortium, a major focus of this meeting was career opportunities for ESRs. They were encouraged to be proactive in planning for life after their PhDs, and to make use of LinkedIn to highlight their broad skill sets and seek out opportunities.

So… ES-Cat is now on LinkedIn!

During the MTR, ESRs also attended a facility tour of Johnson Matthey. Solid state chemistry falls a bit outside of many of the ESRs’ specialties, so it was a great opportunity to see a very different type of lab (including some stellar small molecule crystallography equipment) and learn more about the pharmacy industry.

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