Dear ACNP Members,
It is my pleasure to update you on the progress of the Membership Advisory Task Force. We have been working since 2010 to bring changes to the College that will facilitate the involvement and integration of Associate Members and to make sure that ACNP remains vital and attractive to new potential early and mid-career researchers.
Membership Advisory Task Force: Background
In 2010, the ACNP officers and Council assessed the organization and considered changes to keep ACNP attractive and accessible to early career members and a diverse pool of potential qualified members. The Membership Advisory Task Force was formed and charged with providing input about how to communicate with early career members, educate members and prospective members about the benefits of ACNP membership, and increase the perception (and reality) of ACNP as a welcoming organization to its most junior members.
The Membership Advisory Task Force has met approximately monthly since August 2010. We have worked in collaboration with ACNP leadership to spearhead changes. Some of you may have been asked over this past year to complete a survey to assess areas in which changes would be beneficial. If you responded, we really appreciate your input and have taken it very seriously, as has the ACNP Executive Committee and Council.
A full report of the survey data is available in the members-only portion of the ACNP website. There were 477 respondents (30% response rate). Sixty-two percent of those who responded were non-members who attended recent meetings, 7.6% were Associate Members, 9.2% were full members recently granted full membership, 20.3% were travel awardees. 89% were from North America, 61% were male, and 12% identified themselves as under-represented minorities. Among Associate Members only, 63% were male and 67% had school aged children or younger.
The key findings of survey:
- Of all respondents, 42% indicated that the location of the annual meeting affected attendance, with 40% indicating that travel time/distance negatively impacted their ability to attend. 50.5% had school age children or younger, 50% do not bring children to the meeting, and the other 50% said yes or sometimes.
- Networking for scientific collaboration, ability to interact with senior colleagues, and ability to hear the most up to date research findings were among the most highly valued aspects of the annual meeting and ACNP membership.
- Financial costs of membership and the annual meeting were among factors that detract from the appeal of membership.
- The selection process to full membership was unclear to many respondents and discussed in answers to the open-ended questions.
- The role, responsibilities and opportunities within the College were unclear to many Associate Members.
Key changes implemented since the inception of the Task Force:
- The privileges and responsibilities of Associate Members have been more clearly delineated, and an orientation/welcome packet has been prepared for new Associate Members;
- the strict requirement for yearly attendance has been relaxed to allow for Associate Members to have two missed annual meetings during the duration of the time the individual is an Associate Member;
- Associate Members may now attend the business meeting at the annual meeting;
- Associate Members may request invitations for colleagues through the invitation bank;
- Associate members may submit panels and proposals at the annual meeting, and special attention will be paid to participation of younger members, as well as women and under-represented minority scientists, when selecting the program;
- As many early career Associate Members may have less funding, the registration fee for the annual meeting has been lowered; Travel awardees may attend the annual meeting without an invitation for a longer tenure; Associate Members may now serve on most committees.
- The task force has been renewed at this time, and continues to operate;
- Childcare will now be subsidized at the annual meeting for Associate Members.
Member Advisory Task Force
We are delighted that in response to concerns from ACNP leadership, and with input from the membership and a pool of potential members, changes have been implemented within ACNP to encourage active participation of early career members who represent the future of the College.
What to Watch For at the Annual Meeting:
We are especially excited to announce the Special Session at ACNP for Associate Members and other Early- and Mid-Career meeting attendees. We will have a special panel entitled, "Managing Your Career – Ask the Experts," Panelists who have generously agreed to participate include:
This panel with take place on Wednesday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the annual meeting and will include lunch. Also, please watch for a poster at the annual meeting that will outline all of the recent changes for Associate Members!
After the annual meeting, there will be a survey to assess the impact of these changes, and we appreciate your time and input in advance. Please contact me with any feedback or comments at email@example.com.
On behalf of my co-chair Linda Carpenter and the other members, we appreciate your interest and feedback.
Feel free to contact any of us!
See you in Hawaii!
Marlene P. Freeman, Chair, Membership Advisory Task Force
Marlene Freeman, Chair
Linda Carpenter, Co-Chair