First, I’d like to thank the SPC members who participated in our SPC Fall Survey. We collected nearly 150 responses and gathered valuable feedback on our SPC programming and the needs and challenges many students and postdocs are facing.
According to the survey responses, over 70% of our SPC members pay out-of-pocket for SER membership. We work hard to keep the membership rate as low as possible. Students and post-docs qualify for a discounted membership rate of $35 (without journal access), a rate much lower than the that for many other professional society memberships.
Nearly 60% of SPC members report lack of funding as the primary reason for not attending the annual meeting. Late last year, we had a fundraiser dedicated to award more SPC members with travel scholarships to attend the 52nd Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 18-21, 2019. With the additional fund, we are able to award a record-breaking total number of 12 travel scholarships for the 2019 SER annual meeting. Further, SER is looking for SPC members to serve as meeting volunteers each year. Accepted volunteers can receive complementary registration. Spaces are limited, so plan to sign up to volunteer in March 2019. The link to sign up will be available soon – please continue to check the annual meeting page. This opportunity is limited to SER SPC members so make sure you renew your SER membership!
We recognize not all of our members are able to attend the annual meeting. Thus, we strive to provide quality digital programming throughout the year. On January 23, we had an online SPC journal club led by Paulina Kaiser on her article entitled “Comparing methods to address bias in observational data: statin use and cardiovascular events in a US cohort“. Over the next couple of months, we have several upcoming online events. We will launch our SPC Career Development Webinar series with the first one focusing on academic job search with a tentative date in February. The Spring SERdigital will be held in March. Please stay tuned for announcements on dates/times for these events. These digital events are always free to SER members – just another benefit of membership!
Last but not least, we are soliciting T-Shirt designs for the 2019 SER Fun Run in Minneapolis and the submission portal will be open through February 8, 2019: https://epiresearch.org/annual-meeting/2019-meeting/sersper-fun-run/. The artist of the winning design will receive complimentary meeting registration to attend SER’s 2019 Annual Meeting!
As always, please feel free to contact us with your suggestions and ideas regarding the SER-SPC.
Yeyi Zhu, PhD, MS
2018-2019 SER-SPC President