NEW: Themed workshop applications!

In addition to the regular ENMC workshop applications (next deadline is 1 September 2021!) where topics of the workshops originate from the workshop organisers, the ENMC is proud to announce the new concept of “Themed Workshops”. For this type of workshops, the ENMC will identify special themes which are prioritised by the needs of the neuromuscular patient and research community (see Addendum for Themed Call) and which are transversal, multidisciplinary, unique and sustainable.

Themed workshop applications in 2021 (submission deadline is 30 September 2021!)

The proposal for the theme of 2021, taking into account the above criteria, the high importance and urgency of the topic for the neuromuscular patients, is:

 

Post-Covid-19:

Issues and opportunities for the neuromuscular field

Learning experiences from the Covid-19 pandemic regarding neurological, psychological, immunological, social, economic, technical etc. aspects for neuromuscular patients in self-isolation and SARS-CoV2-virus infected people who developed neuromuscular symptoms.

 

The rationale for selecting this workshop theme this year is to learn from the Covid-19 pandemic and the way NMD patients were assessed and care managed during the self-isolation period. For example to learn from novel monitoring techniques, which were implemented during the current pandemic out of necessity, and adopt them for the regular care management of NMD patients in the future. But also to understand how neuromuscular signs and symptoms have developed in non-NMD patients who were infected by the Corona virus.

This Post-Covid-19 theme adheres to the requirements for the Themed Workshops since it:

  • is preferably of interest for several neuromuscular conditions and if relevant even require sharing experience outside the neuromuscular field (transversal workshops).
  • require a multidisciplinary approach, i.e. a heterogenous group of participants, such as clinicians, health care professionals, basic scientists, patient and pharma representatives, technical experts and external specialists etc. need to take part in the discussions.
  • are topics and/or diseases that are not often discussed in a workshop, that are unique in the sense that the theme is of added value for the neuromuscular community and that there is no duplication of efforts.
  • are groundbreaking and strategic and require therefore development of a sustainable platform or consortium in the future.

 

Call for Applications!

Organisers, who would like to pick up this theme and apply for an ENMC workshop, are free to further define the rationale, background, objectives and resulting deliverables of the workshop, according to the regular Grant Application Guidelines and its Addendum regarding Themed Calls (Step 2: Application guidelines – ENMC).  Some workshop questions were suggested by the ENMC Research and Executive Committee, which are not mandatory to include in the applications, but perhaps are a source for inspiration:

  • Can we use the workshop platform to give an overview of the development of the WMS guidelines on Covid-19 management and vaccination of patients affected by a neuromuscular condition (NMD)?
  • What can the NMD field bring to non-NMD patients affected by Covid-19, who have developed neuromuscular signs and symptoms? Definition of possible projects involving these Covid-19 patients and funding opportunities.
  • What can we learn from telemedicine (e-health) alternative ways of monitoring NMD patients during self-isolation and/or in clinical trials?
  • Can we formulate guidelines on psychological and physical exercise support for NMD patients who are or have been on strict self-isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • Can this workshop be a starting point for the establishment of a “Post-Covid-19 consortium”, which will continue work on this topic and e.g. start a registry of patients affected by NMD in future Corona endemics?

Application selection criteria for Themed workshops:

  • Same guidelines as for the regular open call.
  • Due to the transversal and multidisciplinary character of the themed workshops, the number of participants may reach a maximum of 30 persons.
  • Due to the multidisciplinary character and the broad impact of themed workshops, applicants are encouraged to disseminate their results through multiple channels and papers.

Timeline (for the first Themed Workshop Call in 2021):

June 2021: call opening

30 September 2021: deadline for submission of workshop applications. In case you have questions, please contact the office at least two weeks before the deadline

October 2021: review and rating of the received themed workshop applications by the ENMC Research Committee, separately from the review of the open call applications

November 2021: selection of one themed workshop application by the ENMC Executive Committee. If two applications are complementary and may well integrate with each other, ENMC may accept to organise both workshops or merge them into one workshop

December 2021: Communication of the decision by the ENMC office

Following year: Execution of the themed call workshop(s) in a face to face setting in 2022

Updated application guidelines

Since the beginning of the pandemic ENMC has hosted virtual meetings in preparation of the face-to-face workshops that were postponed due to Covid-19. We have updated our application guidelines with guidelines for virtual meetings. You can find the updated guidelines here: https://www.enmc.org/workshops/how-to-apply/step-2-application-guidelines/

ENMC travel preferences to contribute to reductions in CO2 emissions

ENMC’s contribution to reduce CO2 emissions

ENMC brings on average 250-300 persons per year from all over the world to The Netherlands. This number mostly comprises participants of ENMC workshops; e.g. in 2019 we hosted 250 workshop participants at our hotel venue in Hoofddorp. But also members of the Research and Executive Committee fly in for the bi-annual ENMC board meetings. Most people travel by airplane (70-80%), the rest travels by car and by train. Plane travel and car journeys are particularly impactful on the climate1, hence we felt it is time to take our responsibility as organisation and try to help reducing global warming, even if it is a small portion. The high level of CO2 emissions are a cross-border problem and requires a European approach.

 

ENMC prefers travel by train

As of January 1, 2021, ENMC encourages that workshop participants and members of the ENMC Committees take the train instead of a plane. This may e.g. be applicable for people who can reach the meeting destination near Amsterdam within a total of eight (8) hours of travel time. We understand that people may require taking a plane because of personal, geographical or work-related reasons; it is not always convenient anytime for everyone. Therefore, this train preference is not mandatory and hence ENMC is not withdrawing its reimbursement policy for plane or car travel.

 

European guests coming from ENMC countries

Within Europe, travelling by train is becoming more the gold standard, even more so since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent flying restrictions. Therefore, it is now the right moment to encourage our European guests to take the train instead of a plane. The ENMC will cover the train tickets for persons coming from our member countries (UK, NL, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Austria, Switzerland). Although the train takes longer than a flight, it saves waiting and check-in time at airports and it may provide precious workhours. If booked at an early stage, 1st class (or Standard Premier) tickets can be just as economical as the 2nd class (or standard) ticket. To encourage train usage, ENMC will additionally cover: 1) 1st class (or standard premier) train tickets if booked in advance at a reasonable rate (< 300 euro), 2) cancellation fees for train tickets bought ahead of time and 3) one overnight stay due to the longer train trip or inconvenient travel times. In this case, the hotel will be booked by ENMC.

 

European guests from non-ENMC countries.

European guests not from ENMC member countries, are also strongly encouraged to prioritise travelling by train to take climate responsibility. ENMC will encourage the co-sponsors to cover additional costs due to train travel in line with the above-mentioned ENMC’s reimbursement policy for participants from ENMC member countries.

 

Guests from outside Europe

It is clear that participants from outside of Europe cannot take trains for their entire journey. However, if they are combining their participation in an ENMC meeting as part of a longer trip to Europe, they may wish to consider travelling within Europe by train. Physical presence at a meeting should only be considered if it is mandatory for the meeting’s success, e.g. because the person is one of the workshop organisers or has a presentation and/or contribution which is key to the outcome of the workshop. ENMC has recently set up hybrid meeting facilities, which makes it possible for people coming from these areas to attend (parts of) the meeting online. For persons coming from outside of Europe, but within train distance from the Netherlands (e.g. Eastern part of Russia), ENMC encourages train travel to The Netherlands.