EMWA Election 2021
Dear EMWA members,
All candidate statements are in and we need you to vote for your next Vice President, Treasurer, Honorary Secretary and PR Officer:
- Satyen Shenoy for Vice President
- Sarah Choudhury for Treasurer
- Somsuvro Basu for Honorary Secretary
- Evguenia Alechine Candidate for PR Officer
- Maria João Almeida Candidate for PR Officer
Candidate statement for the position of EMWA Vice President
Hallo! I am Satyen, a freelance medical writer based in Germany. I have been an EMWA member since 2012, not long after having switched my career track from biomedical research to medical writing. Although I have always been interested in scientific communication, my decision to join EMWA hinged on the desire to develop into a professional medical writer.
In many ways, my development as a medical writer has paralleled that as an EMWA volunteer. Indeed, since first getting involved with EMWA as a freelance advocate in 2015, I have had the pleasure of volunteering for EMWA in many roles – as a member of the Freelance Business Group (including later chairing the group), the Expert Seminar Series committee, the Medical Communications Special Interest Group, and the EMWA Ambassador Programme. Perhaps the most exciting of all these opportunities has been developing and conducting an EMWA EPDP workshop in partnership with Dr. Carola Krause, as this allowed me to realise my passion for teaching.
To me, volunteering for EMWA has been a rewarding experience for multiple reasons. Besides personal growth, I derive a deep satisfaction from the teamwork and being able to contribute to the growth of our organization. Working together with fellow EMWA members – some vastly experienced, some as fresh to the field as I was 10 years back, and others in between – has been insightful. Over this time, through participating in conferences and online fora, I have had numerous opportunities to listen to exciting ideas from medical writers on how to improve EMWA’s benefit to our community. I thank them for sharing these ideas with me. And as I forward my candidature for the position of Vice-President, it is my desire, as one of the members of EMWA’s Executive Committee, to foster some of these ideas and initiatives and bring them to fruition. In this, I request your support. Thank you.
Candidate statement for the position of EMWA Treasurer
I have been an EMWA member since 2005 and a previous Executive Committee (EC) Member, serving as Honorary Secretary from 2011 to 2014. I have contributed to the EMWA Journal, EMWA webinar program, and became Treasurer in 2019. I hope to serve EMWA again. Over the last 18 months, I have enjoyed both the highs as incoming Treasurer inheriting a healthy reserve built up by instating MKSAM, courtesy of then President and Treasurer (Rita Wellens and Gillian Pritchard, respectively), to the subsequent ECs with James Visanji as outgoing Treasurer. Equally, the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, just one of the many reasons why this reserve is so important.
We are a not-for-profit organization; reserves are important to keep EMWA viable. Cancellation cover, for example, doesn’t cover communicable diseases. Maintaining the reserves have been achieved by rationalizing EMWA expenditure, including a new fixed rate contract with MKSAM until Dec 2023 with a commitment for MKSAM to refund services not used. So far, we have saved approximately 25,000 Euros. Deposits from postponed conferences have also been deferred.
In addition to managing EMWA’s budget, other important tasks include managing findings from EMWA’s auditors. As incoming Treasurer, I took on the huge task of addressing and driving these with the EC, including: GDPR, conflict of interests, risk registers, and most importantly ensuring that our governance documents cover EMWA post-BREXIT, as a UK registered association to be exempt from paying Value Added Tax in countries when we start holding face-to-face conferences again. The Sponsorship Officer role with a defined Job Description was moved under Public Relations to ensure a productive working relationship.
Through all these challenges, with the help of the fantastic EC I work with, we made the November 2020 virtual conference, a first for EMWA, a success. We are implementing further cost savings in financial services, and reducing exchange costs. Membership prices will be held for an eighth successive year and workshop and seminar prices have been fairly held. This has been achieved with no compromise to the quality of service provided to the our EMWA members. The reserves have enabled us to provide support to Special Interest Groups, invest further in the Journal, webinar program, website and virtual offerings. As the incoming Treasurer, I worked with the outgoing Treasurer to ensure a smooth transition. Therefore, I believe the membership would benefit from the learnings to date and the efficiencies in having a continuation serving in this role.
Candidate statement for the position of EMWA Honorary Secretary
Dear EMWA members and Executive Committee,
With great pleasure I am, Somsuvro Basu, applying for the post of EMWA-EC Honorary Secretary.
In the previous job as a Science Communication Officer at the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), I was responsible for the conception, launch, coordination of contributing writers of a popular science magazine, intending to bring science close to a broad readership. I had successfully proposed and finalised the magazine’s mission statement, which required thorough communication and negotiation skills. My role involved maintaining synchronisation between the team players and coordination with six research institutes’ scientists.
In addition to overseeing the magazine, I was appointed as vice-chair of the EU-LIFE Communications Working Group. EU-LIFE is an alliance of 14 independent European research institutes in the life sciences. EU-LIFE contributes to the improvement of research by influencing European science policies and developing, implementing and disseminating best practices in the organisation and management of research institutes. Within this working group, I had acted in the formulation of EU-LIFE’s communication and outreach strategy. One of my key responsibilities was to organise regular group meetings, documenting meeting-minutes and follow up with WG members to accomplish the action items.
Along with my career, initially as an academic researcher and later as a science communicator, I embarked upon different genres of ventures that refined not only my communication skills but also my organisational and management skills—the prerequisites for the Honorary Secretary’s role.
My alliance with EMWA began in 2017, and along this journey, the bonding got stronger. Initially, I was associated with SoMe group. After four years, currently, I am a part of the Medical Writing Journal’s editorial board and already acted as a guest editor for the Trends in Medical Writing issue.
As a prospective Honorary Secretary, I would bring experience as a passionate cum an adaptable colleague (who has worked in 3 countries with co-workers from 10+ nations), who appreciates being challenged to find solutions from a manager’s perspective and also a team-player.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Candidate statement for the position of EMWA PR Officer
I’m Evguenia, and I would like to express my interest in the PR Officer position.
Born in Russia, raised and educated in Argentina, I found medical writing as a passionate career path after finishing my PhD. I joined EMWA in 2016, and since then I’ve been training my skills and proactively networking in the industry. Now, as an accomplished science communications consultant, I share my knowledge with other PhDs all over the world to promote and raise awareness of medical writing as a profession. I’m also an active member of AMWA, BELS, and Cheeky Scientist (helping PhDs transition into industry). I’ve always worked remotely, which allows me to be location independent and to travel between Europe, Asia and South America.
I combine my passion for teaching, coaching and making science communication accessible to different audiences and in different languages with a personal mission to make this world a better place.
Since my first conference in Munich back in 2016, I’ve attended 5 conferences, earned the EPDP certificate, joined the PR team (lead by Beatrix Dörr) as a social media manager, became section editor of Medical Writing, contributed to the conference events, co-lead career coaching at the internship forum, gave a webinar on personal branding, and even lead yoga sessions. In 2018, I became more involved with the journal, started a section (My First Medical Writing) for aspiring medical writers, acted as guest editor (Editing and AI issues), and finally became co-editor.
Through my experience, I’ve become naturally comfortable networking and liaising with people and organizations all over the world and across different languages. I also have a strong and positive online international presence. My experience out of academia growing my career in a foreign language and without prior awareness of medical writing as a career option, allows me to make a significant contribution to the EMWA community from a different perspective.
Some aspects I would encourage are promoting and raising awareness of medical writing as a profession within academia and at universities all over the world, supporting EMWA’s continuous growth with a focus on the increasing online activities, developing communication strategies to contribute to both current and future members, and coordinating with other teams to further brighten EMWA’s image.
If you share my mission, please support my candidacy for PR officer. I will work hard to represent you and our organisation to the best of my abilities. Thank you!
Maria João Almeida
Candidate statement for the position of EMWA PR Officer
My name is Maria João Almeida, I am 45 years old, and I am a pharmacist currently working as Medical Director in a communications agency. I live in Lisbon – Portugal, and I am an EMWA member since January 2015.
My experience as Public Relations Officer at EMWA during the last four years has been gratifying, especially this last year, when we had to adapt our lives due to the pandemic. We had to cancel the Spring Conference but rapidly adapted to a virtual presence, which is, more than ever, established and successful, retaining and gaining new corporate sponsors. Our first virtual edition of the Conference was a success and a milestone for the entire association. These are challenging times for everybody. Some people were faced with significant losses (personally and professionally wise). I have been genuinely inspired by all of the testimonials that I have read so far. I've managed to work with the team of volunteers, improving the association's presence in the Social Media networks, with the #EMWAtogetherapart initiative, and the association's visibility with other writers' associations. Our monthly NewsBlast was proven to be a success, and we have managed to add some very nice member offers too. As a member myself, during the conferences I have attended, I have established networking relationships and got the chance to meet other colleagues from different countries, even on the virtual edition. I have participated in the freelance forums, which I believe are a must in my professional activity. My presence at the conferences' workshops also allowed me to accomplish my first EPDP certificate. In consequence, I have expanded my knowledge and my work volume increased.
I would be honoured to be re-elected as Public Relations Officer and maintain all the work I have been doing so far, going bigger in our virtual presence, marketing and advertising our Conference and Symposia via social media (Twitter and LinkedIn). Owing to this experience, I believe that this opportunity would be a consistent growth for me within the association and at the same time beneficial for the organization as I am already familiar with this position.
I consider this opportunity as a unique way to develop new competencies and knowledge and, above all, to make my contribution to make EMWA an exemplary association for its members, embracing all and making them feel at home.