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Education and Careers
A message from the Emerging Researchers in Ageing Committee
Christian Beech, Paul Nash, and Judith Phillips with the Minister for Social Services for Wales, Gwe

The British Society of Gerontology’s Emerging Researchers in Ageing (BSG-ERA) group offers an invaluable network of support and learning to anyone with an interest in ageing research (seehttp://www.britishgerontology.org/index.asp?CatName=Students/ERA&CatID=11).  Our membership ranges from students at various levels of post-graduate study to those who have submitted or completed their PhDs within the past two years. 

Our membership also includes policy-makers, health and social care professionals and academics that are new to or have an interest in ageing research.  We are constantly encouraging people at all stages of learning and professional development to join ERA and ensure all members benefit from the diversity and range of perspectives and knowledge different people can bring. 

Within the last few months, an ERA Committee has been established whose task it is to serve the ERA membership and further the interests of the Society.  We are presently working on ideas to ensure a range of exciting and relevant opportunities to network and learn is made available to our members.  One of our first tasks is to develop our mission statement and terms of reference which will set out a longer-term strategy to develop ERA. 

Part of this will include developing a transparent procedure for the election of ERA committee members. This year we will be inviting expressions of interest and nominations to the ERA Chair and committee positions. If you are interested in becoming involved with ERA at this level, or are keen to offer support in any other way then please contact Christian Beech, Chair of ERA atC.L.Beech@swansea.ac.uk or on 01792 602513.

International Collaborations
ERA has enjoyed a successful 2009, of particular note the first joint live seminar or ‘Webinar’ between the UK and Australia.  Professor Judith Phillips of Swansea University and Professor Helen Bartlett of Monash University, Melbourne presented their perspectives on developing International collaborations. The Webinar was very well attended on both sides of the world and positive feedback was received including great interest in making this a regular event.  We are therefore very pleased to announce that we are working once again with ERA-Australia and have scheduled two more live Webinars for April 21st and September 15th 2010. 

For each event a topic will be selected and speakers will be invited to participate.  In April, the topic will be ‘The impact of the global financial crisis on ageing’ (more information will be made available in the near future).  We are presently very keen to invite more UK sites to participate in these Webinars.  For information on the technology required to support this event, please visithttp://www.ja.net/services/video/agsc/AGSCHome/ . At the last Webinar, there were seven Australian sites but only one from the UK.  It would be great if we could arrange for more UK link-ups to show our support and contribute to this exciting and innovative venture for ERA. 

In November, Chair of ERA Christian Beech attended the Gerontological Society of America’s annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia where he participated in an Emerging Scholars and Professional Organisation (ESPO) symposium and spoke briefly about the work of ERA at the ESPO breakfast meeting.  Whilst in the US he and the ESPO Chair had the opportunity to meet the Chair of the Israeli ERA group and are presently looking to support this group in developing its own activities and lead to further opportunities for International collaboration.

Mentoring Scheme
Past-Chair of ERA, Ian Sidney is presently developing a mentoring scheme which would be available to interested ERA members in either offering or receiving mentorship.  This would be a useful mechanism for linking up people within similar research areas on a cross-institutional basis to provide support, advice and encouragement.  If you are interested in participating in this scheme, either as a mentor or to be mentored please contact Ian Sidney ati.sidney@ilcs.keele.ac.uk.

ERA 2010 Conference
Our next conference will be hosted by University of East Anglia, Norwich on April 22nd and 23rd.  The conference theme will be ‘Challenging Exclusion, Promoting Empowerment:  New Research in Ageing’.  The call for abstracts will be sent out early in the New Year but the programme so far promises not to disappoint (For call for abstracts, provisional programme and registration follow this link: http://www.britishgerontology.org/index.asp?PageID=86). 

We are also putting together a programme of events for the main BSG conference in July at Brunel so if there is anything specific you would like to see on the programme, please let us know.

Finally, we are keen to make ERA accessible and relevant to our members, we have our own Facebook page ‘ERA (BSG Student Group)’.  If you are on Facebook, please add the group as a friend as we use this method to request and share information in addition to our main pages on the BSG website.  Also, please don’t forget to also join up to BSG and ERAMAIL.

There is little doubt that ERA owes its success and increasing vibrancy to the commitment and dedication of its members.  It is important to also remember the hard work of the past Chairs, each of whom contributed significantly to the foundations of success we have the opportunity to build upon in 2010.  Following the establishment of a dedicated ERA Committee we are now in a stronger position to move things forward and serve the ERA membership and overall Society more effectively.  The ERA Committee would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous 2010 and look forward to working with you over the coming year.

ERA Committee:
Christian Beech, Swansea University (Chair)
Hannah Marston, Teesside University 
Julie Melville, Keele University
Sharon Middling, Keele University 
Paul Nash, Swansea University
Yiu Tung Suen, University of Oxford
Sue Venn, University of Surrey

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