Early Career Working Group
The NMD4C is committed to empowering the next generation of neuromuscular researchers and clinicians. Providing opportunities for early-career (EC) researchers and clinicians to grow in the field of neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) is key to advancing the care, research, and treatment of NMDs for all Canadians.
The working group strives to provide opportunities for EC members to gain experience in leadership roles within the neuromuscular community to encourage engagement in shaping the future landscape of research and treatment surrounding NMDs. In 2021, EC members were invited to chair and present talks at our monthly CPD-accredited webinar series and have appointed six EC members to three working groups; we are excited to receive their perspectives, input, and feedback in guiding network activities.
Clinical and Research Fellowships
Finding meaningful funding opportunities that are available exclusively to neuromuscular clinicians and researchers in Canada can be a challenge and provides a barrier to entry for many prospective researchers and clinicians. The NMD4C together with Muscular Dystrophy Canada have created two new research fellowship funding awards for 2022/23, and with the help of MDC and the Canadian Society of Clinical Neurophysiologists (CSCN) have created three clinical fellowship funding opportunities for 2022/23!
Early-Career Members' Page
The NMD4C hosts an EC members page, where job postings, funding opportunities, and upcoming webinars are shared along with EC blog submissions from our members. The blogs represent an opportunity for EC researchers and clinicians to describe their unique journey in the neuromuscular field and to share what inspired them to pursue their work.
The network also provides networking opportunities for members in the early stages. Two virtual networking events occurred in 2021: an EC forum in February and a Gathertown event in November. These virtual events are especially important in the current climate as the desire for connection in informal, semi-structured settings remains strong while in-person meetings and conferences are further postponed.
The EC group will continue to provide leadership opportunities to EC clinicians and researchers by inviting EC members to chair and/or present at NMD4C webinars, and have EC representation on the majority of working groups. The EC group will also publish one EC blog or profile monthly to help introduce EC researchers and clinicians to the neuromuscular community. To further provide opportunities for connection, the NMD4C will host two early career events or forums in 2022. As in 2021, the EC team will aim to secure sustainable funding for clinical neuromuscular fellowships and postdoctoral research fellowships through ongoing partnerships with MDC and the CSCN.