The Development of EMEUNET
In 2009, EULAR made a strategic decision to establish a platform for young rheumatologists; EULAR leaders charged three young rheumatologists with this task: Maya Buch (UK), Laure Gossec (France) and Daniel Aletaha (Austria), who were already involved in EULAR activities. The three young rheumatologists then laid the foundation for the development of a formal young rheumatologists’ network, called EMEUNET – the Emerging EULAR NETwork.
Initially a Working Group of 25 young rheumatologists was established. These individuals were identified either through EULAR activities they may have participated in, or alternatively, by recommendation of more senior rheumatologists within EULAR, as no formal selection process had yet been established.
As of 2012, in order to ensure that the process of entry into the Working Group is transparent and open, an annual application process was set up. The process is based on an application form available on the EMEUNET website (and sent to all EMEUNET members by email), which includes a curriculum vitae outlining clinical and research experience as well as a motivation letter and a supporting letter from the head of department.
The application process is competitive and takes place annually in April-May. Applications are scored by the EMEUNET Steering Committee (SC) and a decision is made primarily on scientific merit, but influenced also by other factors, including country representation, age, and prior work done within EMEUNET or in national young rheumatologist’s associations. New Working Group members are notified in May, and welcomed in at the EMEUNET Business Meeting at the annual EULAR Conference in June. Working Group membership is for 3 years and the current Working Group has around 40 members from 21 EULAR Countries.