Letter from the outgoing Chair

Sharath Sriram

Sharath Sriram
Chair, EMCR Forum Executive
Australian Academy of Science

As we step into a New Year, 2016 represents a significant change to the EMCR Forum leadership team and executive committee.

A very motivated team of Nikola Bowden (Chair), Adrian Carter (Deputy Chair), and Michael Crichton (Deputy Chair) step up into the Forum’s leadership roles following our annual face-to-face meeting in February.

At this meeting, half the existing Forum Executive is stepping down. Kate Hoy and Andrew Siebel were wonderful to work with as Deputy Chairs during my period as Chair, while the energy of Maggie Hardy, Rachel Popelka-Filcoff and Andreas Fouras drove many of the Forum’s activities, submissions, and outcomes. The Forum Executive will have five excellent researchers stepping up to represent Australian EMCRs, each one an outstanding researcher and proven communicator.

Reflecting on the last couple of years, we are particularly proud of our achievements in triggering changes to the quality of discourse. Along with many others the Forum advocated for and contributed to the growing conversation around enhancing gender equity in science and research. We welcome and are eagerly following the progress of the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) initiative which grew from these conversations. The Forum has been actively engaging with advisers in government departments relevant to EMCRs in highlighting challenges facing young researchers who represent the future of Australian innovation, while being the workforce that drives current outcomes. This has enabled ongoing support for the Future Fellowship scheme, amongst others.

As I step down as Chair, and serve a last year on the Forum Executive supporting the new leadership team, I am excited as we start charting out plans for our next major meeting—Science Pathways 2016: Future Leaders. You will be hearing much more about our plans for the Sydney-based event to be held on 26-28 September in the coming months.

Wishing everyone a successful year in 2016, filled with days of discoveries and passionate discourse.

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