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Compiled by: Stephanie Hayner, PhD, Dawn Neumann, PhD, Brad Kurowski, MD, MS, Chari Hirshson, PhD, Megan Mitchell, PhD


The Early Career Networking Group (ECNG) had another successful annual conference. Thanks to all who attended and we look forward to an exciting year as we work towards the goals and realization of the ideas which were discussed. Read on for details about each of the ECNG events during the conference, including the preconference Early Career Development Course and Reception, the Physicians Task Force Meeting, the Social Outing, and the ECNG Business Meeting.

Early Career Development Course

This year’s Early Career Development Course, Charting, Navigating, or Staying Your Career Course: Identifying and solidifying your role on a team, was a huge success with over 30 attendees and 25 faculty. Our well-received 2014 ACRM Annual Conference Attendeeskeynote address, Answering the Needs of People Requiring Rehabilitation: A National Plan to Foster Collaborative Rehabilitation Research, was delivered by ACRM Past President, Dr. Tamara Bushnik and described the elements of an Executive Order from the White House directing major U.S. federal research agencies to develop a National Research Action Plan (NRAP) to direct their efforts over the next 10 years.

We would like to thank the funding representatives from NIH, NIDRR, VA, and EU 2020, and early-career funding recipients for their insightful panels on successfully obtaining funding in rehabilitation research. They were extremely informative.

In addition to multiple small-group breakout sessions with leaders in the field focused on building collaborative teams and conducting team science in rehabilitation research, our most highly-rated session was an interactive presentation about identifying leadership styles. Drs. Claire Kalpakjian, Noelle Carlozzi, Dawn Neumann, and Brooks Wingo discussed how each style plays an important role in team building.

The Early Career Development Course Task Force did a phenomenal job planning and coordinating this day-long activity and looks forward to another great pre-conference in 2015!

Early Career Reception SponsorsEarly Career Networking Group Reception

As the second year in which the reception was open to all conference attendees registered as early career, students, residents or fellows, the reception was a huge success with approximately 100 guests. It was a great opportunity to meet other early career members and network with leaders of ACRM, including editors of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the president and members of the ACRM Board of Governors, and the chairs and representatives of all the ACRM networking groups (NG), interdisciplinary special interest groups (ISIG), and task forces. Each group introduced their purpose and current projects to help new early career members quickly connect with peers who share their professional interests and goals. Special thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, Shepherd Center and Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center.

ECNG Physicians Task Force Meeting

The ECNG Physicians Task Force had a productive meeting in Toronto. We further refined our product focused on how to be successful as an academic clinician and we discussed broad ideas for the next steps for our group. We are excited to develop our next project as a group. Topics of interest included:

  • Multidisciplinary Collaborations (i.e., functioning in an interdisciplinary team and interdependent research)
  • Mentorship (i.e., mentorship on clinical/research team leadership and leadership within one’s institution and outside an institution more broadly)
  • Programmatic Development (i.e., developing synergistic clinical and research programs, maintaining credentialing or accreditation for specific programs)
  • Health Care Reform/Organizational Medicine (Practice within the ever changing health care system, maintaining balanced professional and personal life, systems-based practice)
  • Evidence Informed Practice

ECNG Social Outing

After the success of our informal off-site social outing at the 2013 Annual Conference, the ECNG decided to hold a more formal social outing in 2014. This hugely successful event was spearheaded by Drs. Emily Nalder, Kristin Day, Dawn Neumann, and Chari Hirshson. We met for drinks, appetizers and good times at Jack Astors. Our social was so successful in fact, we will be starting our own task force within the ECNG for planning future events at both the ACRM Annual Conference and Mid-Year Meeting! Please contact Chari Hirshson for further information.

ECNG Business Meeting

Even being held at an early hour, The ECNG business meeting was not only a chance to introduce new members to the ECNG mission and update members on the work of the task forces throughout the past year; it also provided an opportunity for stimulating
conversation about goals for the upcoming year. The majority of our discussion revolved around how to establish a mentoring program and recruit involvement of mid- and senior-level members of ACRM.

Early Career Networking Group

The enthusiasm and generation of ideas surrounding this topic was so great that the Mentoring/Advising Task Force was created, geared towards formulating a multi-tier mentoring program within the ACRM and managed by the ECNG. If you are interested in becoming involved with this new task force, please contact Megan Mitchell. In addition, travel awards for future conferences, a pilot grant offered through the ECNG and fundraising ideas were discussed.

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