2022 Candidate statements – President Elect


Rachele Donini
In the past 15 years, I’ve been involved in several European projects funded by the European Commission, with the general aim to enhance prevention science and evidence-based practice. In detail, the findings and results of the different projects contributed to:

- build and disseminate the European quality standards
- adapt the Universal prevention curriculum to the European context
- professionalise the European prevention workforce (specifically decision, opinion and policy makers) based on the European prevention curriculum
- analyse the European prevention systems and understand the impact of the prevention system on the delivery of prevention interventions
- develop a European prevention curriculum addressed to implementers.

In the past years, I’ve been training professionals on evidence-based prevention all over Europe, in collaboration with EMCDDA, and I have worked with international bodies in the prevention field. I have developed a rich and nurturing network with prevention professionals, working both on a European and International level.

In my Country-Italy, I’m part of the current panel of prevention experts in charge of updating the National plan against drugs for the upcoming years.

In case of nomination, I commit to serve EUSPR in the dissemination of Evidence- and Practice-based prevention across Europe and to increase dialogue and exchanges with other international bodies involved in the prevention field, such as WHO, UNODC, SPR, ISSUP, BRAPEP, APSI, COPOLAD and any other similar associations.

I would nudge prevention professionals, practitioners, and policy makers to join the Society. The intent is to empower dialogues between the academic world, the everyday work of people in the field, and representatives that have a relevant role in the decision-making process on prevention policies at a national, regional or local level.

As part of my role in the Society and with other board members, I would like to translate into practice the prevention science theories and contribute to bridging the gaps between science, practice and policies.

Elena Gervilla
I am a PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of Methodology and Statistics, and Deputy Director of the Psychology Department at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain. My research mainly focuses on the evaluation of interventions to prevent addictive behaviors and mental health problems and the application of evidence-based preventive programs.

The quality and warmth of the professional collaborations I have been part of at the EUSPR have been pivotal for my career as an advocate for mental health. Therefore, a meaningful goal set for the growth of our society is to foster collaborations and shared actions on effective change with colleagues from fellow scientific Societies, facilitating discussion and developing recommendations for tangible action plans in prevention. The purpose of these conjoint efforts will translate the evidence available into top-quality research, policy implementation and dissemination of resources in our community.

Being nominated for future president from the EUSPR's community of supportive colleagues humbles me and fills me with pride equally. I would gladly commit to extending the reach of our society, strengthening the methodological aspects, and promoting our results while supporting the training of the next generation of scientists and practitioners in the upcoming years. It would be a great honor to continue serving the organisation that has allowed me to grow in the prevention science field.

Ina Koning
Ina Koning is an assistant Professor at Interdisciplinary Social Science, Youth Studies, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University in The Netherlands. Koning has made a significant contribution to research associated with parenting and the prevention of adolescent substance use. She has extensive experience in leading diverse intervention studies where different phases in intervention development are carried out; from development and adaptation of interventions to process and outcome evaluation. Her research involves investigating the role of parents and the larger social environment in e.g. social media use and alcohol use. She has made a significant contribution to research associated with parenting and the prevention of adolescent substance use and problematic online behaviour; including research on environmental and digital interventions, and co-creation. Koning highly values the translation of her work to practice. She has a history of disseminating her work to utilize the knowledge gained in the most comprehensive way possible.

I am looking forward working with dedicated, highly skilled and experienced professionals from around the world in designing activities for and with the society. Following up on the current and next president, I continue to advance the society by broadening the topics of interest addressed in the society through the annual EUSPR conference and the Journal of Primary Prevention. That is, where substance use is in origin the main focus of the society, addressing behavioral addictions as well may further broaden the scope of the society. Moreover, topics such as digital interventions, process evaluation and closing the practice-science gap are subjects that lie at the heart of my research.