The 7th Conference and Members’ Meeting of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) took place in Berlin, Germany from 31st October to the 2nd November 2016. As in the previous year, the EUSPR Early Careers Forum (ECF) was represented at the conference with an early-careers event on every day of the conference, including:
This year, we also offered members of the Early Careers Forum the possibility to participate in the abstract review process, so as to help them develop their own abstract writing skills as well as to gain insights into what happens “behind the scenes” once an abstract is submitted.
The EUSPR generously sponsored 15 bursaries to support early-career preventionists with attending the conference, as well as the pre-conference workshop and the lunch during our networking event – many thanks!!
This year’s pre-conference workshop was entitled ‘Give me the money!’ – how to ask for research funding, and took place on the 30th October. This day-long workshop was aimed for early career researchers and convened by two ECF co-leads: Dr Kimberley Hill from The University of Northampton and Angelina Brotherhood from the University of Vienna. The workshop aimed to take a practical and prevention-oriented perspective to securing funding, something which is viewed as important for early career researchers wanting to develop their identities as independent researchers.
Kimberley and Angelina began the workshop with an interactive overview on what kind of funding opportunities were available, where to look and how to apply. This session provided delegates and convenors an opportunity to share their experiences in applying for grants. Following this, a diverse panel of prevention researchers provided their own insights during a structured panel discussion. Panel members included Boris Chapoton from the Hygée Center for Cancer Prevention in France, who provided an insight into non-academic organisation funding; Professor Rosaria Galanti from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, who reflected on prevention research funding in medical fields; Dr Jeremy Segrott from Cardiff University who discussed UK public health funding; and Professor Marie-Hélène Véronneau, from the Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada, who spoke about lessons learnt with international funding opportunities.
During the afternoon of the workshop, delegates had the opportunity to partake in reviewing and discussing real-life examples of grant prevention applications. Delegates chose which applications were most suited to their own experiences and were given criteria and guidance for reviewing applications in groups. Access to feedback from actual reviewers was also released to delegates so that they could compare notes. The workshop ended with a fantastic keynote by Dr Zila Sanchez, who provided an in-depth, insider’s view of the grant review process. This included what aspects of applications reviewers look for, what the process is really like and some top tips for early career researchers.
Feedback from the workshop was particularly positive, with most workshop delegates stating that they were very satisfied with the workshop. In particular, delegates enjoyed hearing about other’s experiences and recommended that future workshops provided more opportunities for this. Many stated that they very much enjoyed reviewing real-life applications and found the keynote and panel discussions very useful. Delegates noted that the workshop allowed them to see which aspects of grant applications were most important and that they would now seek out other funding opportunities, including those outside of their own country.
Slides from the workshop have been shared with members of the EUSPR Early Careers Forum. More info is also available from the conference web page.
Early-career delegates had the opportunity to attend a special networking event prior to the start of the conference. Senior delegates interested to connect with early-career delegates also attended.
ECF Lead Angelina Brotherhood welcomed delegates and described the activities of the Forum since the launch event in October 2015 (please see our Activity report). Delegates were then invited to introduce themselves and their professional passions and dreams by discussing the question If I had two years’ worth of research funding (incl. a research assistant), what project would I undertake? Delegates clearly enjoyed this hypothetical exercise, having no problems to come up with ideas. It was noteworthy that the suggested research projects were not ‘day dreams’ but realistic projects that built upon delegates’ previous or current work.
Following this, two representatives from the Early Career Preventionists Network (ECPN) of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) based in North America introduced themselves and the work of the ECPN. Diego Garcia-Huidobro and Marie-Hélène Véronneau (pictured above) encouraged delegates to connect with like-minded preventionists in other parts of the world. They also highlighted the different routes available to obtain funding to attend next year’s SPR conference in Washington, DC. For more information about the ECPN, please see Marie-Hélène’s post in our blog or check their website.
ECF Co-Lead Kimberley Hill (pictured above) then introduced the new structure of the Forum committee. We have identified and defined specific committee roles (e.g. Editor-in-Chief, Conference Officer) in order to make the committee work more transparent and attractive. Aniek van Herwaarden and Dijana Jerković (pictured above) spoke about their experiences of serving on the committee over the past year. The current committee’s term comes to an end in 2017, opening up the opportunity for others to get involved. The call for applications will be published on this blog in due course.
Kimberley then invited delegates to provide feedback on the Forum activities by discussing the question What have I enjoyed most about the EUSPR Early Careers Forum since its launch last year? Delegates were also encouraged to make critical statements. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Delegates appreciated the Forum activities, in particular the possibility to network with others prior to the conference start and to contribute to the Forum activities in different ways. One group highlighted the following points:
- “Meeting nice people, feeling like we are not alone”
- “Gaining hope + joy”
- “Connecting with people”
- “Sharing experiences – good workshops”
- “Bursaries + information”
In addition to the networking lunch, some 10 early-career delegates ventured out on the 31st October to explore Berlin and socialise in a less formal setting as part of our Halloween Get-Together. Many thanks to Boris Chapoton for organising this event!
We had a great number of applications for presentations to the early-career parallel sessions. Consequently, two separate sessions were organised. These parallel sessions also provided the opportunity for two of our early career delegates to experience chairing a session. We’d like to thank Alexandra and Aniek for guiding the parallel sessions in a friendly and competent manner!
Next, an overview of the content of these sessions is provided:
Session 1 started off with a presentation from Aniek van Herwaarden. She presented on the importance of therapist-client relationships and program integrity in treatments for children with mild intellectual disabilities. This was followed by different studies about substance use prevention. Sinziana-Ioana Oncioiu presented on the role of waterpipe use in Swedish young adults, which was found to be predicted by being drunk. Dijana Jerković presented on the explanation of cannabis use among students who live in student dormitories. Interaction of self-determination and extraversion was found to be a risk factor for cannabis use. Victor Martinez-Loredo concluded the session with his research on alcohol-related problems in adolescents. Amongst the factors of impulsivity and sensation seeking, his study showed only self-reported impulsivity to predict alcohol-related problems.
Session 2 started off with a presentation from Patty Leijten where she discussed her research on parenting behaviors and their effect on compliance of children. She conducted a multilevel meta-analysis and suggested that children comply because they want to avoid social exclusion from their parents. Next, Magdalena Kozubal presented on her research which targets bystanders in cyberbullying. She introduced an intervention of empathy activation which shows emotional faces to social media users. Not only complex prevention programs, but also simply activating empathy reduced reinforcing behavior in cyberbullying bystanders. Thirdly, Diego Garcia-Huidobro presented on how to engage Latino fathers into parenting programs in North America. This qualitative study suggests several adaptations to parenting programs in order to optimize parenting programs and engage non-attenders and fathers. Lastly, Alexandra Morales presented her research on prevention of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies in adolescents. Her research addresses barriers to condom use and gender differences. Her presentation highlighted the importance of overcoming the barriers to condom use in Spanish adolescents and targeting this problem in prevention.
This year, we also invited early-career members of the EUSPR to participate in the abstract review process. Dijana Jerković was one of the members who took up this opportunity. She commented on her experience as follows:
“The abstract review process was a very exciting experience for me, since it was the first time that I participated in this responsible task. I was assigned ten abstracts selected from the main programme and from the early careers’ submissions: a mix of posters and oral presentations for which the authors indicated a preference.
All abstracts were written very well, so some of the criteria that I took into account when making the decision were: relevance of the topic for the conference theme as well as for prevention research, practice and policy; quality of the abstract and the study; clear description and correct interpretation of the results (if available); as well as the novelty and implications for prevention research in general.
Each abstract was reviewed by more than one person, so the responsibility for the final decision was shared. This was very helpful, especially from the early career researcher’s perspective. I enjoyed this process a lot, since it enabled me to be actively involved in the conference programme planning, as well as to practice a broad range of skills necessary for abstract reviewing and writing”.
At the EUSPR Conference, awards are given to early-career preventionists for outstanding promise based on a paper or poster presentation at the conference. This year, the awards went to (for details, please see the picture captions below):
- Aniek van Herwaarden
- Martha Canfield
- Nicole Gridley
Congratulations to the winners! Well deserved!
Finally, we would like to acknowledge and thank the following early-career members and friends of the EUSPR for their support with this year’s ECF conference events, in particular:
- Angelina Brotherhood
- Boris Chapoton
- Diego Garcia Huidobro
- Dijana Jerković
- Kimberley Hill
- Laurie Kelly
- Alexandra (Sandra) Morales
- Stuart Smith
- Sanela Talič
- Aniek van Herwaarden
- Marie-Hélène Véronneau
In addition, thanks to all delegates and presenters who attended and contributed to our sessions and helped make the conference a success! Hoping to see you all again next year!
If you wish to get involved with the Early Careers Forum, please get in touch.