Tom Williams: Eukaryotic Division ECM Representative

Posted on April 25, 2019   by Microbiology Society

Are you an Early Career Researcher interested in getting more involved in the Microbiology Society? Nominations for Early Career Microbiologists' (ECM) Forum Division Representatives are now open. To explain what this involves, Dr Tom Williams tells us about his experience as the ECM Forum Eukaryotic Division Representative.

The ECM Forum Division Representatives ensure that the views of the Forum’s members are taken into account across all Divisions, feeding into the planning of scientific programmes at the Annual Conference and the ECM Forum Summer Conference.

With the ECM Forum Summer Conference taking place in June, we spoke with Dr Tom Williams, from the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit, University of Dundee, to find out more about his experience as the Eukaryotic Division Representative for the ECM Forum.

What made you decide to apply for the Eukaryotic Division Representative position?

I wanted to get more involved with the Society and had similar experience to what the role required, so it was a natural fit! When I applied I made sure I included my previous experience in conference organisation and explained why I wanted to be more involved with the Society.

What does your role involve?

The role involves two main parts: firstly, talking to people from all over the Society — and others at relevant events — to encourage them to join the Microbiology Society and the ECM Forum. I also help with organising the ECM and Annual Conferences; coming up with ideas for themes/sessions, identifying and inviting speakers and chairing sessions.

How did your expectations of the role differ from the reality?

I expected to have to do more on-the-day running of events, but this is mostly performed by the Society staff so I could concentrate more on the interesting speakers!

What aspects have you found most challenging?

Coming up with good session ideas and speakers for the Annual Conference.

What has been the highlight of your time on the ECM Forum Eukaryotic Division?

The annual ECM Forum Summer Conference has been a smash-hit for me, and it’s great to see people who are still early in their careers coming out in droves and really engaging with everyone’s work.

Do you have any advice for the next Eukaryotic Division Representative?

When thinking about session ideas, come up with a few speakers early on to help you see what direction and angle you'd want to take it in.

Nominations for the ECM Forum Eukaryotic, Virology and Irish Division Representatives are now open. Find out more on our Nominations page. You can also submit your abstract and register for the ECM Forum Summer Conference on the event page.