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Activities

Join Us!

Your membership to BSG and ERA is of paramount importance to ensure the continuity and success of the Society. We rely on our individual members to encourage people they meet through their work to join us – so please tell you friends and colleagues about us! Much of our recruitment is achieved through formal and informal introductions often via conference and seminars; the BSG website; BSG and ERA members’ existing networks. Our ERA members may be the students and ECRs of today, but may be the Professors and senior gerontological academics of tomorrow. At BSG and ERA, we are committed to supporting and developing your future career in gerontology. So why not join us now!

Learning and Development

In recent years, the main event held by ERA has been its annual conference. The conference is usually held across two half-days prior to the BSG annual conference. This event gives students and people new to the field of ageing the opportunity to present their research to a friendly audience, where constructive and supportive feedback can be given. For many people who attend, this may be the first time they have presented their work or project publicly, and we understand that it can be very nerve-wracking. At the ERA conference, we ensure there is a supportive presence, where we all learn from each other and take a genuine interest in one another’s work. In addition to the opportunity to try out new skills, the conference is also about learning and at each event the Committee seeks to invite established academics and researchers to present their work or host a seminar or workshop. Seminar topics will be based around the development of key skills for early career researchers, such as how to write a research proposal or writing for publication. Positive feedback from our members and visiting guests at the ERA conferences reflect just how valuable and sought after such opportunities are.

Mentorship, Support and Guidance

BSG-ERA understand how isolating PhD study can be, which is why the opportunity for mentorship, support and guidance is so important for our members. The ERA Committee has been established a support network of people at various stages of their academic career willing to support early career researchers. Such support may be topic specific, where individuals connect based upon similarities in research areas or methodologies. Other forms of mentorship and guidance can be based around personal issues, such as managing a family and early research career or PhD. It is important to recognise the diversity of the academic community and the various walks of life represented within our membership. ERA welcomes expressions of interest from people wanting to mentor others, and be willing to offer advice either on specific matters or general issues around transitioning post-PhD and so on. Likewise, if you feel that you would benefit from being matched with a mentor, please contact Deborah Morgan with a brief description of your research area, and what you would like to achieve from a mentorship scheme.

International Collaboration

BSG-ERA recognises the value of building and maintaining strong networks and relationships with other ERA organisations around the world. There are many benefits to such collaborations, including a learning exchange of one another’s achievements and challenges, improving outcomes and provisions for members, and investing into the future of ageing research. BSG-ERA currently has strong links with ESPO (Emerging Scholar and Professional Organisation, which is part of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA)) and ERA-Australia. Within the last year, BSG-ERA has worked with both organisations; once by the Chair addressing the ESPO breakfast meeting at the GSA annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia and the other through a live ERA web-seminar. Also within the last year, BSG-ERA has been involved in discussions with the student organisation of the Canadian Association of Gerontology and with representatives of researchers in ageing in Israel. We hope to develop further alliances and networks with these and other organisations of mutual benefit to ageing research. Please let us know if you have links with such organisations around the world, or if you would like us to facilitate any networking with international ageing organisations.

Building Capacity for the Future

The ERA Committee is resolved to taking a critical stance on how and why we do things the way we do. We are a smaller organisation than those in the USA and Australia, but we are keen to learn from our colleagues in how to build a robust organisation that serves our membership well. Our priority areas for development include formalising the way ERA operates and manages its business. Historically, there was just one Chair who was responsible for all of the tasks associated with the organisation.

However, in 2009, as a result of the growth of our organisation, a full ERA Committee was established. to the committee incorporates a secretariat and a more robust structure to support the Chair and to share the load of managing BSG-ERA duties. The Era Committee is also responsible for looking for new ways to welcome new members, building capacity not just within ERA but also the wider Society. The committee identifies potential members from a range of disciplines, and publicises the BSG and ERA more widely and effectively. The committee carefully considers the needs of our members through open communication and feedback, to ensure we provide relevant and enjoyable development opportunities for doctoral students, post-graduates, and early career researchers.. If you would like to join our ERA committee and contribute to the continuing success of the organisation, please contact Deborah Morgan.

Ultimately, we continue to rely on the goodwill of our members to support our endeavours and to engage with the Committee in planning events and seeking our learning opportunities. We are always delighted to hear from people from around the country who are interested in either hosting an ERA conference or a seminar in their region. Please contact Deborah Morgan.