SSM Network Platform
Coronavirus pandemic has imposed a new style of working for most researchers and scientists, but it’s important to remain connected during these challenging times.
SSM set up the Network Platform, a secure area of the website for members to login, in order to find out information and research interests about other SSM members. The Network Platform’s primary focus is to link people with specialised professional interests within the SSM community and to encourage the generation and sharing of resources and ideas for the advancement of research in Social Medicine and Population Health. In the current climate, an online platform for networking may be more important than ever with people working from home and possibly feeling isolated.
Over the past couple of years, Network Interest Group sessions have been organised at SSM Annual Scientific Meetings to facilitate a starting point for informal networking in order to share ideas and foster connections between SSM members with similar research interests across different levels of seniority. At such Network Interest Group sessions at the last ASM (Cork, 2019), there was a discussion about how to take the Network Platform forward, and setting up a Slack channel was suggested as a way of people interested in a particular topic staying in touch, sharing relevant information, sharing teaching material etc. Slack is an organised online space for everything related to a project, topic or team.
Following the ASM, Mark Gilthorpe set up a Slack Channel, where all members who attended the ‘Methodology for Observational Research’ network interest group (the most popular Network Interest group at the 2019 ASM), were invited to join in November 2019. So far 25 members have joined this ‘Methods’ channel. Please do contact Mark if you would like to be added (M.S.Gilthorpe@leeds.ac.uk). The Slack Channel is a good place to advertise local methods seminars and to help promote interactions amongst ECRs and MCRs, e.g. to support an exchange of invites to give seminars gain experience and build the CV around the promotion of methods. The Network Platform also has dedicated methods training materials in the members’ area of the SSM website, currently hosting lectures by Mark Gilthorpe but open for submission from anyone willing to share training materials.
Additional Slack channels for other network interest groups may really thrive in the current climate of people working from home and being unable to connect and network in the workplace or at conferences. Of course, there are other possibilities to facilitate networking too such as using Microsoft Teams.
So, if you are an SSM member who would like to get involved in facilitating a network interest group (e.g. through a Slack channel, Microsoft Teams etc.) then please do contact us on SSM@hg3.co.uk. We would be grateful to welcome any new topics of interest groups, in order to connect and support each other, especially during these current difficult and unprecedented times.
Past ECR Network Platform Officer
Eftychia Kotronia has been newly elected as ECR subcommittee Network Platform Officer and will continue the role of developing the SSM Network Platform.