During the yearly retreat in January, MultiPark’s group leaders proposed a new structure for the interactions between research groups: The formation of special interest groups. MultiPark’s coordinator, Angela Cenci Nilsson, explains the current status of this reorganization.
Can you please summarize how the special interest groups are intended to operate?
Special interest groups (SIGs) are groups of scientists encompassing all academic levels (from PhD students to Professors) who meet regularly to create opportunities for in-depth scientific discussion and collaborations. The SIGs are self-organizing and self-managing groups, freely deciding on the frequency of their meetings. The minimum recommended meeting frequency is twice a year. Recommended activities include:
- Organize joint journal clubs and project presentation seminars
- Organize brain-storming discussions to address a new scientific and/or technical direction
- Discuss joint grant applications
- Discuss the management of joint infrastructures
- Discuss collaborations and exchange of students and/or technical personnel
Some of these activities (e.g. project presentations and journal clubs) will be announced on the MultiPark webpage for them to be open to the entire network. In addition, SIGs are expected to support MultiPark in organizing network-wide events, such as MultiPark retreats, MultiPark Café, and infrastructure workshops.
What will be the benefits of this new organization for our researchers?
We expect multiple benefits from the SIGs. Immediate benefits will come from the increased opportunities for scientific exchange and collaborations offered by this group structure. Moreover, the SIGs may provide opportunities for improved integration of our early career researchers in the science and the activities of MultiPark.
How can MultiPark benefit from the reorganization as a strategic research area?
“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open.” I hope SIGs will contribute to increased openness and generous exchange within our network. Moreover, I expect that regularly scheduled scientific activities such as Journal Clubs and project presentations will greatly boost the opportunities for scientific growth beyond the boundaries of one´s individual research group.
Finally, I hope that our young scientists will want to take the lead and become SIG coordinators. Coordinating a SIG will be an excellent opportunity for professional development, I think.