When was the SIB Sezione Giovani established?
SIB Sezione Giovani, the Junior Section of the Italian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was established just last year, in November 2020. Our section has been created to coordinate the activities and promote the network and engagement of SIB members who are under 35-40 years of age (mostly PhDs, postdocs, and young researchers). Because of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, we have not yet had the chance to meet in person and our activities have been restricted to online events.
The idea to create the Junior Section came from a suggestion from the Junior-GBM. They contacted the SIB Board asking if they had a junior section. SIB did not have one, so they decided to create it. SIB was then surprised to see how active their Junior Section was organizing events and other activities, as it was still a very new section.
How many members do you have?
Currently there are about 700 members enrolled in the Society, 260 of which are young members under 35-40 years old.
Do you have a specific structure?
We are seven delegates in the SIB Junior Section, one for each research area (SIB groups). In the case of the protein group, which is the largest group, we have two delegates. We tend to divide tasks among us, for example we have one social media manager, one responsible for emails, and two or three responsible for the contacts with FEBS and other European Junior Societies.
What activities do you do?
We organize webinars on a monthly basis for the young members. As an example of that, this year the online congress of the SIB Protein group has been successfully organized and led by SIB young members.
A new webinar series started in November 2021, in which any SIB young member will have the opportunity to speak about their research work. We believe that this kind of event could be beneficial in many ways: both for helping young members to know each other better and maybe start new collaboration, but also for the youngers to practice presenting their work in an informal situation.
We generally reach out our members through a mailing list and advertise our events on the SIB Facebook page; however, since everyone is always very busy, it’s not always easy to get the young scientists involved in our activities and the next thing we’ll do in the near future would be to implement our social media channels.
How does you fit into SIB?
We strictly work together and collaborate with the main Society. This year, the junior delegates were appointed as part of the scientific committee for the SIB national congress. In addition, young members participated as Chairs and speakers in the online congress.
We regularly meet with the senior delegates, and they constantly involve us in the key decisions regarding our society.
Do you have a budget?
The SIB Junior Section does not have a budget (SIB groups do not have set budgets), but their activities are funded by the Society, according to the presented and planned projects. We are still a very new section and we have not yet had the chance to spend any money!
How do you recruit more members?
We generally recruit more members to the Society during meetings and events organized by SIB, to which everyone interested is invited to participate. We have a mailing list and a SIB Facebook page, however we believe that in order to improve our communication we should use social media channels, which is the easiest way to reach out and communicate with young SIB members and also to attract new people to the Society.
There are several benefits to joining SIB as a young member. Every year, two prizes are conferred to a deserving young researcher (“SIB Medal” Award), and one for the best publication of the year to an early career stage investigator (the “Heritage Pride” Award).
SIB also supports its Junior Members with visiting fellowships, as well as in attending national and international conferences.
What do you think motivates students and young researchers to volunteer for SIB Sezione Giovani?
Being a delegate for the Junior section of SIB could also be beneficial for young scientists who want to expand their network and develop their leadership and management skills. Our Junior SIB section was created only recently, and it has been active for less than a year. However, we can already say that the activities we organized during this year have encouraged a higher number of young scientists to participate and be involved in the Society events.
What are the SIB Sezione Giovani aims for the FEBS Junior Section?
Our aim is to connect with young scientists all over Europe, create a powerful network that could facilitate the exchange between different countries and Societies, and help the youngest in the career development. We hope that the FEBS Junior Section initiative will also contribute to bring more Italian biochemists to the Italian Society itself, and attract new scientists from other countries to travel to Italy and join SIB. We also hope to learn how to improve our section from the other European young societies which are more established than us.
Our message to the other Societies in Europe is to listen to the voice of their young members and promote the creation of young sections, because we think there is plenty of motivated and enthusiastic people out there!
Creating a new Junior Section?
If you are interested in creating a new Junior Section in your Society, or consolidate an existing one, we encourage you to read the posts and watch the videos from the other Junior Sections (Junior-GBM, ÖGMBT’s Young Life Scientists Austria (YLSA), Young NVBMB, HDBMB Young Scientists’ Forum, SEBBM Junior Consuls, and the Biochemical Society’s Early Career Advisory Panel). And if your Society already has a Junior Section, please get in touch!