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Help shape the conference programme: Union Symposia and Great Debates at the 2020 General Assembly

Help shape the conference programme: Union Symposia and Great Debates at the 2020 General Assembly

Do you enjoy the EGU’s annual General Assembly but wish you could play a more active role in shaping the programme? This year, why not propose a Union Symposia or Great Debate?

Each year at the General Assembly, the conference features a limited number of Union Symposia (US) and Great Debates (GDB), which can be proposed by anyone in the scientific community. These high-profile, union-wide events are intended to be cutting-edge, current, and of interest to a broad range of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. The deadline to submit your proposal is fast approaching (15 August 2019), so here’s a quick overview of what these special sessions involve and what to consider when proposing session ideas.

Union Symposia (US)

A US session is organised as a lecture series focusing on an important theme, topic, question or event. Past sessions have covered topics on how scientists can stand up for science and promoting/supporting equality in the geosciences to the 250th anniversary of  Alexander von Humboldt and the International Year of Soil.

A US consists of two time blocks separated by a break. Each time block has three lectures of 30 minutes each (so the US has a total of six lectures). In addition, each time block can have 15 minutes for introduction or discussion.

Great Debates (GDB)

The format of a GDB session is typically a panel discussion lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes featuring 3-5 panel members and a moderator. The aim of the session is to delve into a particular question or debate topic relevant to the geosciences in a lively, interactive and entertaining way. Past debates have facilitated discussions on many different timely themes, including Plan S and Open Science, early career scientist mental wellbeing, low-risk geo-engineering, and the role of scientists in policy.

Early career scientists having Great Debate round-table discussions on mental wellbeing in research at the EGU General Assembly 2019.

Proposing a US or GDB

Submitting a proposal for a US or GDB involves many of the same steps you would need to take when submitting a session to other programme groups, however there are some additional guidelines and important notes to keep in mind:

1) The EGU strongly encourages diversity in career stage, gender, and country of work or origin for US and GDB speakers and conveners.

2) The EGU recommends a maximum of three (co-)convenerships at its General Assembly. One additional (co-)convenership for US and GDB is allowed (i.e. a maximum of four).

3) Proposals of US and GBD need to include the following extra information in the proposal form (this information is confidential to the programme committee):

    • a justification of the union-wide character of the proposed session;
    • a list of preliminary speakers;
    • an indication of whether the proposal should be included in another programme group as a regular session if the proposal is turned down for US or GBD.
    • whether the proposers have a contact person in the programme committee or the EGU office.

4) Speakers in Union Symposia (US) are solicited. They need to submit an abstract using a password provided by the US convener by the abstract deadline of the General Assembly.

5) As a guideline, US and GDB speakers, conveners, and moderators do not receive discounted abstract processing charges, registration fees, or travel reimbursement.

6) Limited financial support is, however, available in special cases. The EGU will consider support requests for speakers (up to 2) who bring something extra to our participants, who are not space or geoscientists, who would otherwise not attend the EGU’s General Assembly, and who do not have funds to cover their expenses.

7) Financial support requests are subject to approval by the treasurer, executive secretary, and programme committee chair and form part of the evaluation of US and GDB proposals. We consider requests for day-pass registration and support for accommodation and/or travel. As a guideline, travel support should not exceed €350 for travel within Europe and €1,000 from outside Europe, respectively. Accommodation should not exceed €120 per night, and up to 2 nights can be granted if justifiable.

Each submitted proposal is evaluated by the EGU’s Programme Committee before the deadline of the general call-for-sessions. Rejected proposals can then be considered for resubmission as a regular session.

Wondering whether your session would fit as a US or GDB? Just ask Programme Committee Chair Susanne Buiter (programme.committee@egu.eu). You can also find more information about the call for sessions (and the organisation of the scientific programme in general) on the EGU 2020 website.

The EGU’s 2020 General Assembly, takes place in Vienna from 3 to 8 May, 2020. For more news about the upcoming General Assembly, you can also follow the official hashtag, #EGU20, on our social media channels.

We’re hiring! New job opportunities at the EGU Executive Office

We’re hiring! New job opportunities at the EGU Executive Office

The EGU is hiring for two job vacancies at its Executive Office in Munich, Germany. The deadline for applications is fast approaching (14 July 2019) so send your submission soon!

Chief Strategy & Finance Officer
The EGU has recently launched a new strategy to set a direction for the Union and to guide the work of its Council, committees and staff until 2025. This is an exciting time in the development of the EGU and we have created a new position of Chief Strategy & Finance Officer to lead the development and implementation of the Union’s strategic plan and vision, with particular responsibility for the financial security of the Union going forward. This role will be part of the EGU leadership team and will report directly to the EGU Executive Board.

The full job vacancy, including key responsibilities, person specification and how to apply, is available at https://www.egu.eu/jobs/2428/egu-chief-strategy-finance-officer/. Informal enquiries about this position can be made to the EGU Executive Secretary Philippe Courtial (executive-secretary@egu.eu).

Head of Media, Communications & Outreach
We are also seeking to appoint a Head of Media, Communications & Outreach to manage EGU press and communication activities and lead the media, communications and outreach team. This position will replace the current Media and Communications Manager role. Responsibilities include managing press releases and other news, organising press conferences and running the press centre at the EGU General Assembly, as well as overseeing all aspects of EGU communications and developing a forward-looking vision for communicating the work of the EGU.

The full job vacancy, including key responsibilities, person specification and how to apply, is available at https://www.egu.eu/jobs/2427/egu-head-of-media-communications-outreach/. Informal enquiries about this position can be made to the EGU Media and Communications Manager Bárbara Ferreira (media@egu.eu).

A behind-the-scenes look at EGU’s new office

A behind-the-scenes look at EGU’s new office

Earlier this month, the EGU has entered a new chapter in its development by officially relocating its Executive Office – here’s your chance to take a virtual tour of the new space!

The EGU Executive Office, currently staffed by seven employees (and growing!), serves as the Union’s headquarters. The office works year-round assisting the EGU membership, implementing media, communications and policy initiatives, and managing various EGU-related websites, among other activities.

Previously, the EGU staff occupied a small office space within a Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität building in central Munich, but now the EGU team is settling into larger and more modern premises in Munich’s Berg am Laim area.

This move plays a part in the EGU’s new strategy, which was launched concurrently with the Executive Office’s relocation. This new strategy will set a direction for the Union and guide the work of its Council, committees and staff until 2025. By moving to a larger space, the Executive Office will be able to expand and provide the support needed to implement the EGU’s goals for the coming years.

“The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität hosted the EGU Executive Office after its establishment in Munich in the summer 2010,” explains EGU Executive Secretary Philippe Courtial. “The move to new premises marks a milestone in the young EGU history and offers a great, new working environment and new perspectives to the EGU Office staff, and it will allow us to reach our strategic growth ambitions as well.”

The EGU staff is still unpacking and organizing the new space, but here’s a sneak peek into where our team works to support the Union’s goals!

Welcome to Kastenbauerstraße 2 (K2), home of the new EGU Executive Office!

(Credit: B. Ferreira/EGU)

The new EGU Executive Office is located on the second floor of one of the wings of the K2 office building in Berg am Laim, Munich. The image above shows the outside entrance to the wing where the office spaces are located.

 

Credit: Olivia Trani

One of the first rooms you’ll find is the office common area. Here we have a small kitchen, equipped with some office essentials (coffee and cookies), and a table where our staff members often meet for lunch.

 

Across from the kitchen is the office’s meeting room, which can hold up the 17 people. With this amount of space, the Executive Office aims to host meetings and workshops for EGU committees.

 

Four of the rooms are occupied by the office staff. This is where most of the EGU team’s day-to-day activities take place! You can learn more about the Executive Office team members and our activities through the EGU’s website.

 

The new space also has four empty rooms which will support the office as our team expands both in the near future and in the coming years. At the moment the EGU is looking to fill two job vacancies: Head of Media, Communications & Outreach and Chief Strategy & Finance Officer. If interested in joining the EGU team, you can learn more about the positions on the EGU website.

 

(Credit: B. Ferreira/EGU)

On the ground floor you’ll find the building cafeteria where all employees from companies based at K2 can order some lunch, grab a coffee, or munch on a Bavarian classic, a Butter Brezel 😊

 

We’ll end our tour with a photo of the building’s courtyard connecting to the cafeteria, which features nice art installations and tables for employees to enjoy a break outside.

Thanks for joining us on this tour!

By Olivia Trani, EGU Communications Officer