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What’s on for early career scientists at the Assembly in 2019

What’s on for early career scientists at the Assembly in 2019

This year, there’s a great line-up of early career scientist (ECS) sessions at the General Assembly. Not only that, but there are opportunities to meet those that represent you in the Union, get to know other ECS in your field, and make the most of both the scientific and social sides of the conference…

Networking

First up for ECS is the icebreaker event during the opening reception on the Sunday before the meeting, while this is open to everyone attending the Assembly, there’ll be a spot especially for early career scientists – the “ECS Meeting Corner” (Foyer E). So, if you’re coming alone, or if it’s your first time, you’re sure to find a few like-minded fellows!

This year also be sure to take advantage of the Networking & Early Career Scientists’ Zone (formerly called the Early Career Scientists Lounge), located on the Red Level of the conference centre. The zone is the perfect place to grab a coffee, catch up with your peers and make new connections in a more relaxed setting.

This year there will be a series of pop-up style events held at the zone too. You can check out the notice boards to find out all the details; the image below also shows a few of the sessions already planned for this year. There will also the opportunity to provide feedback via suggestion boards.

 

The Early Career Scientists Networking and Careers Reception, with drinks and light snacks, aims to bring together early career scientists, award-winning researchers, members of EGU’s Council, and selected industry partners exhibiting at the General Assembly. The reception offers an opportunity for ECS to ask career-related questions and for established scientists, in and out of academia, to share their experience with young researchers in the early stages of their career. Places at the reception are limited, however, please stay tuned to the EGU’s social media channels, particularly Twitter, during the General Assembly, as we’ll be advertising any extra spaces that become available.

Job Centre

The Job Centre at the General Assembly offers the opportunity to connect employers/recruiters and highly-qualified candidates in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The centre is located on the basement level of the conference venue.

The General Assembly offers several opportunities to advance your career in the geosciences, both in and outside of academia. (Photo credit: EGU/Kai Boggild)

If you are looking for a new position, the Job Centre offers many opportunities for scientists to get career advice, meet recruiters, and seek out jobs:

  • Ivo’s clinic: Ivo Grigorov, research coordinator at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources at the Technical University of Denmark, offers daily clinics for scientists seeking advice and training for job applications.
  • Post your CV & find job listings: at the entrance of the Job Centre, close to room -2.32, there is a job-posting pillar offering space to put up your CV and browse job adverts from recruiters.
  • Present yourself: Take the chance to advertise your skills to potential employers with the Meet the talents session (JC1), scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, 18:00–19:00, on the gallery on the Green Level 1 (first floor).
  • Visit the job presentations in room -2.34: check the meeting programme to find days and times that employers of interest are presenting.
  • Use EGU’s online job platform: search for vacancies at: https://www.egu.eu/jobs/

You can find more information about the Job Centre and other opportunities for advancing your career at the General Assembly through this blog post.

Building a great CV

It’s not all about the social stuff though, there’s a veritable feast of courses where you can fine-tune your skills and grab those all-important nuggets of information to help you forge a career in academia. From Union-wide sessions to workshops and short courses, there’s a lot to choose from, including division-specific sessions like How to write (and publish) a scientific paper in Hydrology, Meet the Experts: Geomorphology, the Polar Science Career Panel, and Seismology 101. You can get advice on how to peer-review, gather tips on how to find funding and write a research grant, and learn how to get involved in the policy process – but this is just a snapshot! Take a look at our shortlist or the extended list of sessions of ECS interest to see what is on offer this year.

Also be sure to stop by the Early Career Scientists’ Great Debate, a session that aims to give a more prominent voice to ECS members on important research-related issues. This year’s debate will discuss how ECS can prioritise their mental wellbeing  in the current research environment and what support would ECS like to see from organisations like EGU or their employers. At the session, participants will be invited to join a round-table discussion where everyone will be given the opportunity to discuss the chosen topic with other conference attendees.

Have a say in how the EGU runs

Like last year, we’ll be hosting a lunchtime session, the ECS Forum, to let early career researchers know how they can get involved in the Union and gather feedback to make what we’re doing even better. ECS representation in the Union is growing leaps and bounds, with most divisions appointing ECS officers whose role is to feedback from the ECS community and make sure we do our best to act on your suggestions. What better way to tell us what you want than over a lovely lunch where you can meet your representatives?

Take the chance to meet the EGU early career scientist representatives at the Wednesday ECS Forum. Credit: EGU/Keri McNamara

The representatives will be making themselves available throughout the conference for informal chats at the EGU Booth. Take a look at the programme to find out when you can catch up with your division representative. Olivia Trani, the EGU’s Communication Officer and point of contact for the ECS members at the EGU Offices, can also be found in the zone during most coffee breaks. Feel free to approach her if you have any questions or suggestions about ECS related activities!

The Union Level Representatives (Stephanie Zihms and Raffaele Albano) and the Executive Office ECS Contact, Olivia Trani (EGU Communications Officer), will also be available from 10:45–11:30, on Tuesday the 9th, at the EGU Booth, to answer all your ECS related questions and to discuss any ideas you might like to bring forward.

You can also let us know what you think via the ECS survey which will become available during the General Assembly. You’ll find it included within the EGU 2019 feedback survey.

ECS recognition at EGU 2019

Keep your eyes peeled for posters that are part of the Outstanding Student Poster and PICO (OSPP), and check out this recent blog post for some tips on how to make your presentation stand out from the crowd.

Finally, don’t forget to save space for a few talks from outstanding early career scientists. The winners of the Arne Richter and division awards will be giving talks throughout the week and are well worth a listen. Check the online programme to find out when and where they are taking place.

See you at the conference!

The EGU General Assembly is taking place in Vienna, Austria from 7 to 12 April. Check out the full session programme on the General Assembly website and follow the Assembly’s online conversation on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

Advance your career at the General Assembly 2019

Advance your career at the General Assembly 2019

Attending the EGU General Assembly offers you countless opportunities to meet scientists from all over the world, learn about the latest advances in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences, and present your research to the science community. This annual meeting is also a great chance to network, pick up tips on how to boost your career, and find job opportunities. Here are just some of the ways the General Assembly can help you advance your career in the geosciences, both in and outside of academia.

Job Centre

The Job Centre at the General Assembly offers the opportunity to connect employers/recruiters and highly-qualified candidates in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The centre is located on the basement level of the conference venue.

Employers and recruiters can use the space in two ways to raise awareness of their current job opportunities. First, recruiters can put up paper-copy job adverts or small brochures on the centre’s job-posting pillar close to room -2.32, at the basement level. In addition, the centre has a job presentation space (room -2.34), which is equipped with a projector and is available for employers/recruiters to present their vacancy(ies) on their own notebook to interested job seekers.

Job presentations are listed online in the meeting programme under programme group JC. You can find more information on how to reserve a 30-minute presentation time slot on the EGU 2019 Job Centre page.

Next to the job presentation room, rooms -2.35 and -2.36 are available for job interviews. These are booked through door sign-up sheets.

On the flip side, if you are looking for a position, the Job Centre offers many opportunities for scientists to get career advice, connect with recruiters, and seek out jobs:

  • Ivo’s clinic: Ivo Grigorov, research coordinator at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources at the Technical University of Denmark, offers daily clinics for scientists seeking advice and training for job applications.
  • Post your CV & find job listings: at the entrance of the Job Centre, close to room -2.32, there is a job-posting pillar offering space to put up your CV and browse job adverts from recruiters.
  • Present yourself: Take the chance to advertise your skills to potential employers with the Meet the talents session (JC1), scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, 18:00–19:00, on the gallery on the Green Level 1 (first floor).
  • Visit the job presentations in room -2.34: check the meeting programme to find days and times that employers of interest are presenting.
  • Use EGU’s online job platform: search for vacancies at: https://www.egu.eu/jobs/

Please note that a conference registration as participant or as exhibitor is required to take part in the Job Centre.

Networking at the General Assembly

Beyond the Job Centre, the EGU offers other events and venues with networking in mind.

The Networking & Early Career Scientists’ Zone, on the second floor of the conference centre, offers a space to catch up with your peers and make new connections. Scientists across all fields are encouraged to meet here to grab a free coffee, have informal discussions, organise and attend pop-up events, and perhaps even find opportunities for new collaborations. Check out the Zone’s notice boards to find out all the details. On these boards you can also find information on various topics, such as interest group meetings and division social events taking place during the conference.

The ECS lounge (now called the Networking and ECS Zone) at EGU 2014. Credit: Stephanie McClellan/EGU

In addition, the Early Career Scientists’ Networking & Careers Reception, an informal EGU-hosted event with drinks and light snacks, will bring together early career scientists (ECS) and experienced researchers with the aim of facilitating new connections. This reception allows ECS to get to know and get advice from researchers further along their career, and for established scientists, in and out of academia, to share their experience with researchers in the early stages of their career.

To attend the reception, which is scheduled for Tue, 9 April, 19:00–20:30 in room F2, you need to register in advance. Please sign up using this form. Places at the reception are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Your place is guaranteed only once you receive a confirmation email from the EGU Communications Officer, Olivia Trani.

Sessions for advancing your career

The General Assembly is also a source of many short courses with career development in mind. You can check out the following sessions to explore career options and get advice for how to thrive as a geoscience professional – be it in academia or outside:

Meet the Experts: Geomorphology (SC3.1/GM12.1)

Academia is not the only route: exploring career options for Earth scientists (SC3.12)

Polar Science Career Panel (EGU Cryosphere and APECS co-organised) (SC3.15)

Making your PhD aspirations a reality! (SC3.18)

How to make the most of your PhD or postdoc experience for getting your next job in academia (SC3.19)

Balancing work and personal life as a scientist (SC3.20)

The EGU General Assembly will take place from 07 to 12 April 2019 in Vienna, Austria. For the full session programme and more information on the General Assembly, see the EGU 2019 website and follow us on Twitter (#EGU19 is the official conference hashtag) and Facebook.

GeoPolicy: Conquering conferences – how scientists can make an impact at a policy driven event

GeoPolicy: Conquering conferences – how scientists can make an impact at a policy driven event

Last week I was in Brussels for the EU Green Week, an annual event that discusses European environmental policy. The event was jam-packed with policy-makers, entrepreneurs, innovators and a handful of researchers. Green Week allowed me to network and gain a better understanding of upcoming political issues while enabling the EGU to show-off some specialist knowledge with Nick Arndt, the Chair of the EGU Outreach Committee, participating in a panel discussion.

Green Week’s high level of participant diversity and focus on success stories and political cooperation is commonplace in policy driven events. However, it is a stark comparison to the academic focus and technical presentations that embody scientific conferences. These differences also permeated into the social aspects of the event with each participant seemly at the event for a specific promotional, networking or policy related purpose. The limited number of researchers present at Green Week was also quite noticeable but unfortunately rather typical of a policy focused event. And I say unfortunate because while these events tend to have a very different focus from academic conferences or meetings, the presence of scientists is vital.

Although it may seem a little contrived, the networking aspect of these politically orientated events is absolutely essential for collaboration, intersectoral coordination and, of course, science-policy communication.  Attending events such as Green Week allows scientists to communicate their research to a non-academic audience while also: introducing scientists to formerly unknown organisations, demonstrating alternative methods of communication and highlighting issues that need greater research.

So, by now I’m assuming that I’ve convinced of the importance of scientific presence at policy driven events. Great! But how can researchers make the most of their resources and energy during the relatively short period of time that they have to network during the event?

  1. Be prepared: Investigate which organisations, companies and policy-makers will be attending and presenting. This can help you work out which presentations you should attend, potential connections you can establish and which components of your research are most relevant for you to showcase. Researching the websites or LinkedIn profiles of key participants may also give you additional talking points.
  2. Know your message: Conversations flow fast at policy driven events. This was particularly evident at Green Week with participants trying to network with as many people as possible during the short coffee breaks. It is important that you can present your research or convey a particular message within 60 seconds. Remember that policy-makers are interested in research that is relevant for their sector, identifies practical solutions and that can be used to identify policy options.1 For more tips on presenting information to policy-makers see the policy section of the EGU website.
  3. Find a conference buddy: Making a strong connection with someone who works in a similar field but different sector can be a diving block into a pool of new contacts. Determine the types of people your new buddy is interested in and try to introduce them to relevant people within your own network. Not only will this help your conference buddy and strengthen your connection, there’s a good chance that they will return the favour. While this is generally more beneficial during the event, introductions can be made afterwards via email.
  4. Aim for a two-way conversation: Although it can be tempting to talk non-stop about your own research (you are probably there to share it after all!), listening to other participants can be a valuable skill. Being an active listener helps you to understand the needs of the policy-makers, innovators and organisations that you are speaking with, subsequently allowing you to link the most relevant aspects of your research to their work. This may increase their interest in your research, provide you with insights into where further research might be needed and establish a foundation for continued cooperation.
  5. Remember that it’s a long-term relationship, not a one-night stand: The fast pace of policy events means that following up afterwards is essential. Building a non-academic database of these contacts can be a good method of keeping track of the people, where you met them and what components of your research they showed interest in.2 Methods of following up after the event can range from simply adding your new connection on social media to sending them a short summary of the research you discussed with them during the event.
  6. You can also ease yourself into fully fledged policy events by attending science-policy events that are relevant to your research. Many of these events are advertised and regularly updated on the EGU Science Policy Events page.

     

    References:

    [1] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1442-8903.2008.00416.x/full

    [2] https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2013/mar/25/academics-policy-engagement-ten-tips