Early Career Microbiologists' Forum Update: Summer schools, socials and new roles

Issue: The Microbiome

09 May 2017 article

It has now been a month since the Society’s Annual Conference in Edinburgh! We hope you found the pre-Conference networking event to be a useful activity and that you made use of the ‘networking checklist’. These apply to any situation where you find yourself in a group of unfamiliar people, so keep practising!

Your ECM Forum Executive Committee met back at the end of January with a focus on developing the Forum and providing more opportunities for its members. This was our first meeting with the new Undergraduate Representative, Amiee Allen, who is exploring ways to increase the integration of undergraduates into the Society. As a result, we are investigating how to achieve this. Amy Richards, your Conferences Representative, is in the process of designing ECM-focused meetings to facilitate better networking between all ECM Forum members, whilst sharing our collective wealth of knowledge. We aim to roll the first event out in the summer of 2018 so keep an eye out for more information! We also discussed an annual Summer Social – a more informal event held in a few areas across the UK to enable all Forum members to get together once a year. 

We are also developing a way to involve ECMs in a co-chairing scheme at the Annual Conference, with them working alongside session organisers. This is a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone, meet new people and gain experience in how sessions at conferences are run. If this sounds like something that might interest you, drop us an email and we can give you some more information about what it involves and how to apply. 

There will soon be nominations open for several positions on the Executive Committee. Amiee’s term lasts for one year and so we will be looking for an Undergraduate Representative to replace her. If you have a keen interest in microbiology and want to network with people further down the line in their career then this is the role for you! The Programmes Representative role is being split to allow the Executive Committee to have one member on each committee within the Society’s structure. This means that Andrew Day will become the Policy Representative and we will be holding elections for a new Publishing Representative, as well as for a Chair-Elect. If you think you might like to put yourself forward for any of these roles then the current committee is more than happy to chat with you about it. Nominations for these will open in the summer so keep your eyes peeled.

As always, if you have any questions or comments then do get in touch via email on [email protected].

Rebecca Hall

Communications Representative, ECM Forum Executive Committee

Image: I. Atherton.