Core activities of EMEUNET

Communication and interaction

The development of the EMEUNET website was one of the first tasks of the group, underlying the importance of providing a viable means of communication and increasing the visibility of EMEUNET. The website represents a central resource towards establishing a network by facilitating communication and interaction of young rheumatology professionals. The mailing list provides an important and effective medium to facilitate communication between young European rheumatologists. Educational, research and grant opportunities, as well as particularly relevant news and events are publicized on the website. Furthermore, the website has an educational purpose, with clinical and research links to relevant websites.

All the news and essential information can also be found on the EMEUNET facebook page. In addition, EMEUNET posts regularly educational and scientific content on Twitter.

At the annual EULAR Congress an EMEUNET Booth is set up as well as social events organized to facilitate networking at the Annual EULAR and ACR Meetings. Newsletters are regularly prepared and circulated within EMEUNET.

Education and Mentoring

EMEUNET is engaged in several educational activities, in particular in conjunction with ESCET, the EULAR Standing Committee on Education and Training, but also with other standing committees.

EMEUNET working group members are eligible to propose sessions to the scientific committee of the EULAR meetings, in particular to ESCET for the “The Young Rheumatologist” track of the EULAR congress. These sessions are then chaired by the respective EMEUNET members.

An advanced Epidemiology Course was organized for the first time in 2012 and has been held annually since then, and the first edition of an Immunology Course was in April 2016.

A mentoring process on how to review articles was set up together with the Editor of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. This is a unique initiative with the aim of training young researchers to become good reviewers and improve their skills in research, ultimately leading to a higher educational and research level.

At the ACR Annual Meeting 2013, meetings of three leaders in the field with a selected group of ten EMEUNET members were organized to discuss projects and career plans. This type of informal mentoring is organized regularly at EULAR and ACR meetings ever since.

In 2014, EULAR made it mandatory to involve two members of EMEUNET when forming a task force to develop EULAR recommendations, thereby giving these EMEUNET members an invaluable learning opportunity.

Contact with and understanding of EULAR

A major limitation for many young people who are interested in contributing to and moving things forward within EULAR is the lack of understanding on how an organisation like EULAR works and functions. To address this need, members within the EMEUNET Working Group have the opportunity to observe the work of the various Standing Committees of EULAR, gaining valuable insight into the practices of EULAR as well as possibly providing an active voice for the young rheumatologist there. The role of these EMEUNET observers has been discussed with and approved by the parent organisation.

Needs of young rheumatologists

A first survey has been performed in 2009 on the needs of young rheumatologists (Gaujoux-Viala, Ann Rheum Dis. 2012) and was followed by a second survey on mentoring within EULAR countries in 2012 (Frank-Bertoncelj, Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2014) In another project differences and similarities in rheumatology specialty training programmes across European countries have been identified. (Sivera F, et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015). Recently, a survey conducted on educational needs of young rheumatologists and researchers confirmed that EULAR's training opportunities are well appreciated among young clinicians and physician researchers in rheumatology (Beyer C, et al RMD Open 2016).

Other projects

Many other projects can be and will be promoted within EMEUNET – if you have suggestions, contact the working group!