Early Career Events at EPSC2021
Noah Jäggi, Chair of the EPEC@EPSC Working Group, reports on a packed programme at EPSC2021 organised by the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) network.
Read article in the fully formatted PDF of the Europlanet Magazine.
The EPEC@EPSC Working Group’s efforts to help, guide, educate, and involve early career participants joining the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC2021) did not disappoint!
To make sure no early career felt lost during EPSC, the mentoring@ EPSC programme matched mentees with mentors ahead of the start of the meeting. EPSC2021 kicked-off for early careers with an icebreaker event, which allowed participants to make acquaintances and find out about all the events organised by EPEC@EPSC. As well as a social event, where all kinds of creative games were played online to connect the early careers, the annual Science Flash contest was, for the first time, combined with a quiz where early careers could demonstrate their knowledge in all things space-science.
The principal activities organised for early careers were three short courses, evenly distributed over the 1.5 weeks of the live programme, which targeted different soft skills and topics of high value for future career paths. The first short course was given by João Retrê (University of Lisboa, Portugal) on communication during the age of virtual meetings. This had a large focus on the importance of body language, not only from the standpoint of the presenter, but also the listener. In the second short course, Dan Bower (University of Bern, Switzerland) gave a rundown on how to write a successful proposal – i.e. one that gets accepted. The closing short course about mental health was given by Alan Percy (University of Oxford, UK), who was back for the third time in a row by popular demand. The focus this year was on coping with different degrees of stress as well as self-imposed perfectionism, how to discover such behaviour within oneself, and how to find a healthy balance. As is the case in all short courses, a lot of discussion ensued and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
The Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) General Assembly, organised by the EPEC Co-chairs, Erica Luzzi and Ines Belgacem, provided an introduction to the wider activities carried out by the EPEC community. The respective chairs of the EPEC Working Groups presented past activities, the ongoing projects and proposals, as well as fresh ideas for the future. At the end of the presentations a significant amount of time was spent in a fruitful discussion, where all the participants could ask questions, comment on the working groups, and propose new ideas. Reaching out to new people is always a primary goal for the EPEC community, and the General Assembly has been the perfect occasion to find new members and strengthen our inclusive network.
More than 90 early careers enjoyed activities during EPSC 2021, organised through the hard work of a small group of EPEC members. If you are an early career wishing to see what’s going on behind the scenes and would like to help build a new set of early career activities for the next virtual or in-person EPSC conference, please get in touch or subscribe to our mailing list.