29th EMBL Alumni Association board meeting

Board 500

EMBL Alumni Association board welcomes new advisor and discusses progress on strategic initiatives

There was much progress to report at the 29th EMBL Alumni Association board meeting, held on Friday 21 July 2017 at EMBL Heidelberg.

Nik Miller, Director of the Bridge Group, was welcomed to the meeting as formal advisor to EMBL Alumni Relations, a role which began in February 2017. In this capacity, Nik provides a third important element of support to EMBL Alumni Relations, together with the EMBL Alumni Relations office and EMBL Alumni Association through the board. Nik offers unique expertise from a truly external source - with an interest in EMBL and supporting the organisation's ambition to deliver world-class alumni relations.

The board discussed progress on strategic initiatives including:

  • Hosting a new type of conference that would bring together top industry representatives and life scientists to explore opportunities and challenges in science. There was continued enthusiasm for organising such an event and a pilot conference at EMBL Heidelberg is being considered for 2019.
  • Establishing an alumni volunteer programme that would give alumni a platform for offering their time and expertise in ways that would benefit EMBL and the entire community, as well as formally acknowledge their efforts. An Alumni Volunteer Officer has now been recruited and will support the strategic development and implementation of this programme.
  • Building a contact relations management (CRM) system and new alumni portal, which will be launched in the coming months and replace the existing database and alumni directory/up-date form. The new portal will allow alumni to share their contact, employment and biographical information, up-load a profile photo, search and sort the directory, edit the mailings they would like to receive from EMBL or EMBO, and e-mail one another directly from within the portal.
  • Finalising the first Alumni Impact Report, which outlines EMBL's impact through the activities, achievements and successes of our alumni. The report will soon be disseminated widely and available to read and download online.

In addition, the board received up-dates from EMBL staff on other key areas including strategy & communications, resource development and archive initiatives.

After the meeting, board members met with and congratulated the recipients of this year's John Kendrew and Lennart Philipson Award, Philipp Keller and Matthias Mann, respectively. Both prizes are awarded by the Alumni Association.

There are more than 7,000 former EMBL staff members around the world; half of whom belong to the Alumni Association.