The ECTS Academy was founded in 2016 with the aim to bring together aspiring researchers in the musculoskeletal field to self-organize their activities and expand their network through personal contacts, which ultimately is destined to promote their careers. The ECTS Academy is open to anyone who’s work revolves around the musculoskeletal system and as such comprises clinicians of various disciplines, basic researchers, engineers, and epidemiologists. This opens the door to interact with a truly interdisciplinary group of scientists who are all linked with a common interest in musculoskeletal research. Throughout my time in the Academy, I have hugely benefited from the personal contacts I have made. Within the Academy, you meet so many motivated scientists, some of who have skills that complement yours and some who have similar research interests than you do – in any case, it is guaranteed that you will find new collaborators and ideas for your future research. One of the highlights for sure was the implementation of the EU-Innovative Training Network “FIDELIO”, which deals with diabetic bone disease, in which 9!!! out of 14 PIs are ECTS Academy members.
Besides scientific research collaboration, the ECTS Academy provides additional benefits: the ECTS Academy network offers a rich resource and interaction platform in terms of finding suitable reviewers for papers or grants or finding enthused scientists to sit on research grant committees, working groups of scientific societies, etc. Moreover, as the ECTS Academy is responsible for organizing the new investigator program at the annual ECTS meeting, you can really make an impact on the support of young researchers, for example, by providing opportunities for them to highlight their work at the meeting, by offering mentoring sessions on topics important to the next generation, and by fostering bonding opportunities such as through charity events and/or pub crawls. A final vital benefit of being in the ECTS Academy is networking with early career investigator committees of international bone (and bone-adjacent) societies. It is beautiful to see how all these groups are eager to push the musculoskeletal field forward and to engage with each other – at meetings and via social media. Especially in times of social isolation, these virtual and social media contacts are even more important as they really make you feel like being part of the big bone family, all over the world.
So, I hope I have convinced you that the ECTS Academy is truly awesome and you should definitely be a part of it. Don´t miss to apply before October 30!
After highlighting all the ECTS Academy benefits, you should also ask yourself not only “What can the ECTS Academy do for me?”, but even more so, “What can I do for the ECTS Academy?” – your input is needed to form a bright future of the musculoskeletal field!