Early Career Epidemiologists

Based on a virtual meeting of five students from around the world on 20th April 2010, and followed by the first face to face meeting during the XIX International Epidemiological Association (IEA) World Congress of Epidemiology (WCE) in Edinburgh (Scotland), in August 2011, the Executive Council of the IEA has affirmed its support of an international “Early Career Epidemiologist (ECE)” group within the IEA structure.

Currently, this Group is comprised of Early Career Epidemiologists from all over the world, namely Abimbola Aman-Oloniyo, an Epidemiologist at the Ministry of Health, Nigeria, representing the Africa Region; Sahar Abdel-Maqsoud, a Public Health Consultant in Epidemiology at Alexandria University, Alexandria University Students’ Clinic and Hospital, Eygpt,  representing the Eastern Mediterranean Region; Naomi Brewer, a Senior Analyst, Cancer Control New Zealand Sector Capability & Implementation. Ministry of Health, representing the Western Pacific Region; Sabrina Hermosilla, from Division of Epidemiology at the Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons (NYC, NY) USA, representing the North America Region; Pradeep Aggarwal, of the Department of Community Medicine, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, India, representing the South East Asia Region; María Clara Restrepo-Méndez, postdoctoral research fellow, International Center for Epidemiology in Health, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, representing the Latin America & Caribbean Region; and Ester Villalonga-Olives, Research Scientist at the Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Georg-August-Universität, Germany, representing the European Region.

This Group aims to follow the objectives of the IEA by: a) facilitating communication among Early Career Epidemiologists engaged in the development of scientific knowledge in epidemiology throughout the world; b) promoting development and appropriate use of epidemiological methods in all fields of health among Early Career Epidemiologists by promoting scientific meetings and workshops, by publication of reports and by other activities consistent with these objectives; c) setting up a network in order to enhance scientific collaboration and the promulgation of opportunities for mutual benefits including funding, scholarships, exchanges, jobs, courses or events across the world; d) promoting communication and collaboration with other public health specialties (e.g. biostatisticians, nutritionists, environmental health professionals, and mental health professionals); and e) working towards these objectives without regard to race, religion, sex, political affiliation, or country of origin.

After the successful IEA ECEs session at the XIX IEA WCE, in which more than 80 emerging Epidemiologists from around the world participated, the Group is in the process of undertaking many activities in line with its strategic plans such as developing a mentoring scheme, a Facebook page to allow members to keep in touch with each other on a regular basis, a section in the IEA Newsletter for ECE, a pre-congress course and academic or social session for ECE at the next IEA World Congress, and facilities to attend conferences, among others. Some of these activities were suggested by Early Career Epidemiologists who participated in the ECE session in Edinburgh.

The Group believes that the IEA ECE Group is an extraordinary opportunity for establishing a global dialogue among early career professionals engaged in the field of Epidemiology. Hence, this editorial invites all ECE members  – either undergraduate, master’s or doctoral level students, and researchers with < 10 years post-doctoral/epidemiological experience – of the IEA to take part in this group by sending an email to info@ieaweb.org. By joining this Group, in addition to the standard IEA membership benefits, members will be included in the network of IEA ECE with specific activities addressed to enhance global scientific collaboration among emerging epidemiologists.

Prepared by (in alphabetical order): Abimbola Aman-Oloniyo, Africa region; Sahar Abdel-Maqsoud, Eastern Mediterranean region; Naomi Brewer, Western Pacific region; Steve Francis, North America region; Shusmita Hossain Khan, South East Asia region; María Clara Restrepo-Méndez, Latin America & Caribbean region; Ester Villalonga-Olives, Europe region.