Early Careers Forum

The EUSPR Early Careers Forum offers early-career members of the EUSPR a dedicated platform for professional exchange and mutual support.

Members of the Early Careers Forum include:

  • researchers, policy-makers and practitioners who entered the prevention field within the last 8 years;
  • current students of a prevention-related discipline at Masters or doctoral level; as well as
  • senior colleagues interested to support early-career activities.

The Early Career Forum undertakes a number of activities during the EUSPR’s annual conference as well as between conferences. Please explore the sections below for more information.

If you are considering a career in prevention research, or you are looking for materials to help you navigate those first years of your career in prevention research, then you can also find some links to useful resources at the bottom of this page.

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For the latest news and activities, please check our blog at: http://euspr.hypotheses.org

General information about the Early Careers Forum

Why you should join the ECF

ECF Networking event 2017
Delegates at the EUSPR 2017 conference attending the Early Careers Forum Networking Event (Photo: © EUSPR)

As a member of the EUSPR Early Careers Forum, you will be able to:

  • connect with people who share the same interests and are in the same situation as you
  • exchange ideas and get fresh perspectives from colleagues elsewhere in Europe (and beyond)
  • be the first to receive invitations to EUSPR’s early-career events
  • contribute to our blog
  • have access to recommended job postings, publications, funding opportunities, etc. through our mailing list
  • receive methodological, content and careers support and advice
  • get answers to your own questions
  • become involved in planning and implementing early-career activities within the EUSPR
  • and much more …

Still not convinced? Have a look at the links below:

Our activities at the EUSPR 2017 conference Our activities at the EUSPR 2016 conference

Who can join

EUSPR Early Carrer ForumWe hope to offer a platform for exchange among early-career researchers, practitioners and policy makers who have an interest in evidence-based prevention and prevention research.

All early-career members of the EUSPR can join the Early Careers Forum. If you are not yet a member of the EUSPR, you can join the Early Careers Forum by becoming a member of the EUSPR (see How to join).

‘Early career’ members include:

  • Young preventionists (no more than 8 years since entering the prevention field through first job or commencing doctoral studies)
  • Current Masters and doctoral students in a prevention-related discipline (full time or part time)

Senior colleagues are also encouraged to join the Early Careers Forum to offer advice and support.

How to join

Membership in the Early Careers Forum is free for EUSPR members.

To join:

  • New EUSPR members can choose to join the Early Careers Forum as part of their membership application to the EUSPR.
  • Existing EUSPR members should please send an informal email to the EUSPR office stating that they would like to join the Early Careers Forum. Please briefly indicate in your email how you meet the criteria for an ‘early-career’ member as outlined above. Alternatively you can also join the Early Careers Forum as a ‘senior’ member.
  • If you are not yet a member of the EUSPR but would like to participate in the Early Careers Forum, then you can find all information about joining the EUSPR here. Membership in the EUSPR starts from €33 per year for students and selected countries, and of course you’ll have all the benefits of EUSPR Membership as well as being able to participate in the Early Careers Forum. You will be able to sign up for the Forum as part of your membership application to the EUSPR. During the registration period for the annual EUSPR conference, we also offer attractive “combined membership + conference fee” deals with a discounted rate.

By joining the Early Careers Forum, you agree to observe our Code of Conduct.

Our Aims

The EUSPR’s Early Careers Forum has been established to facilitate networking and shared learning among those members of the EUSPR who are still in the early stages of their career. It offers the first European and interdisciplinary platform for early-career researchers, practitioners and policy-makers interested in prevention research.

Specifically, the Early Careers Forum aims to offer:

  • Networking opportunities with fellow early-career researchers, practitioners and policy-makers across Europe
  • Information concerning prevention-related funding and job opportunities, upcoming conferences and interesting publications
  • A chance for early-career members to present and obtain feedback on their work
  • Methodological and professional development support
  • An opportunity to become involved in conference and society organisation

Our Activities

The Forum started its work at the beginning of 2015. Current early-career activities within the EUSPR include (but are not limited to):

  • Mailing list (via JISCMail, invite-only)
  • Blog (see here)
  • Special networking event at the Annual Conference
  • Early Careers sessions at the Annual Conference
  • Early Career Researcher Prize – for outstanding promise based on a paper presented at the conference (until 2015 with financial support from the SPAN project)
  • Pre-conference workshops exploring themes of special interest to early-career members (e.g. ‘Systematic reviews’ and ‘Writing for publication’ at the 2015 conference in Ljubljana, ‘How to ask for research funding’ at the 2016 conference in Berlin, ‘Publishing addiction science in practice’ at the 2017 conference in Vienna)
  • Input to the programme of the Annual Conference
  • Travel bursaries to support attendance at pre-conference workshops to the Annual Conference (until 2015 with financial support from the SPAN project)

-OncioiuFor full details concerning the conference events including registration for the pre-conference workshops, please visit the conference webpage.

In the future, we plan to offer more activities between conferences to engage also those colleagues who are unable to attend the annual conference on a regular basis. This may include summer/winter schools, mentor-mentee schemes, VoIP discussion groups (e.g. via Skype), etc. depending on membership preferences and availability.


Structure & Volunteers

The Early Careers Forum is a Technical Committee of the EUSPR in accordance with the society’s statute. The Forum has a relatively flat structure. It is jointly managed by Committee members who regularly communicate with Forum members to guide decision-making.

Details about the different roles of the Committee can be found here:

Overview of roles within the ECF Committee

The Forum is managed on a voluntary basis by early-career members of the EUSPR. Currently this includes (in alphabetical order):

 Emma Atkin-Brenninkmeyer has been a member of the EUSPR since 2017. She is currently working as a trainee at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in the Public Health Unit. Prior to her traineeship she completed a master’s degree in Global Health at Trinity College Dublin and in Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. Her most recent thesis focused on the introduction and operation of a drug consumption room in Dublin. Alongside her studies she has volunteered in frontline drug services in Ireland and the Netherlands. She hopes to continue her research on harm reduction initiatives, particularly social and cultural issues within drug services.


Boris Chapoton has been a member of the EUSPR since 2015. Boris is a researcher attached to the research laboratory HESPER EA7425 (Health Services and Performance Research) at Jean Monnet University, Saint-Etienne, France. With a background in health psychology and a Master’s in public health, he has worked on projects related to media influence on teenager’s substance use, on the prevention of professional risks of cancer within a professional training context and on the implementation of therapeutic patient education programmes dedicated to oral anti-cancer treatment. Boris is currently looking at developing a research project in relation to the influence of messages spread on social network sites on teenager’s habits.


Elena Gervilla has been a member of the EUSPR since 2015. Elena works at the University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, where she is currently an Associate Professor at the Area of Methodology of Behavioral Sciences and the Secretary of the Department of Psychology. Besides, she contributes as a course instructor with the Open University of Catalonia. Elena’s previous experience includes teaching and research tasks in the area of Methodology and Statistics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Main areas of research include the analysis of the risk and protective factors of alcohol use among adolescents and young adults in natural social contexts with particular interest in the improvement of the quality of the data collection and the implementation of data mining techniques. In addition, Elena collaborates closely with the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA, Spain) in the development and implementation of research projects.


Nicole Gridley has been a member of the EUSPR since 2017. She has been working as a Research Fellow within the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York since 2015 and is a member of the departments Research Governance Committee. Nicole previously completed her PhD in Psychology at Bangor University in 2014 and then worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Greenwich for one year. Her research has primarily focused on evaluating the impact of targeted and preventative parenting interventions on parental mental wellbeing and child behavioural outcomes, as well as assessing relationships between characteristics of the early home learning environment and children’s later language development.


Vasilka Lalevska joined the EUSPR in 2017. She has long years of experience working in different fields in the non-profit sector, on national, European and global levels. Since 2013, Vasilka’s work has focused on policy, both from the aspects of carrying out advocacy activities and education, with particular focus on alcohol, narcotic drugs and prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. She was part of the Civil Society Task Force connected to the UNGASS on Drugs in 2016, representing Youth. Vasilka worked for Active – Sobriety, Friendship and Peace in Stockholm and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Skopje, before joining the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA) in late 2016. Her education is in the areas of Economics (with specialization in E-Business) and Project Management, which additionally help her to pursue her interests in prevention research.

Larissa J. Maier
has been a member of the EUSPR since 2016. Larissa is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, who has specialized in substance abuse research and health psychology. For more than four years, she has conducted several significant research studies at the Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction (ISGF) in Zurich, an affiliated institute of the University of Zurich. Her main research has focused on the epidemiology of pharmacological cognitive enhancement and recreational drug use among adolescents and young adults. She has implemented an instrument for the early detection of problematic substance use patterns in nightlife settings to improve both prevention and harm reduction, collaborating closely with the Swiss drug testing services and local nightlife projects. In addition, Larissa is part of the Core Research Team of Global Drug Survey (GDS) aiming to make drug use safer, regardless of the legal status of the drug.


Sinziana Oncioiu has been a member of the EUSPR since 2015. Currently, she is a doctoral student in Public Health Epidemiology at University of Bordeaux. Her research focuses on the role of early childhood education and care in the psychosocial development of children. Sinziana is a pharmacist with two years of work experience for various public health stakeholders in Europe. In the field of substance use prevention, she has worked as a trainee in the European Commission, EUSPR and as a researcher at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Sinziana has a strong interest in intervention research and the uptake of scientific evidence into policymaking.


Samuel Tomczyk has been a member of the EUSPR since 2017 and is the current Lead of the EUSPR Early Careers Forum. He completed his doctorate in Psychology at the University of Kiel, focusing on multiple substance use in adolescents, and started his postdoctoral research on prevention in civil protection at the University of Greifswald. In addition to his research, he has worked on the development, implementation, and evaluation of school-based prevention projects. His main interests include health across the life span, substance use, and methodology in prevention research.


Previous members of the Committee (biographies accurate at the time of serving on the Committee):

Angelina BrotherhoodAngelina Brotherhood has been a member of the EUSPR since 2010 and is serving on the Board of the EUSPR (until 2017). She is currently a doctoral student at the Institute of Sociology, University of Vienna, Austria, exploring why people consume certain substances in some places but not others. Previously she worked as a researcher at the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, UK, where she is still a Visiting Research Fellow. She has also done consultancy work for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Her research has focussed on the scientific evidence base for drug prevention as well as the mechanisms for implementing evidence-based policy and practice.

Kimberley HillKimberley Hill has been a member of the EUSPR since 2011 and helped to facilitate previous early career events. Kimberley is a Chartered Psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology at The University of Northampton. She also sits on The University of Northampton’s Research Ethics Committee. Kimberley recently completed her PhD and Associate Lectureship at Oxford Brookes University. Her research focuses on the development of young people, promoting health and preventing health risk behaviours. This includes investigating the contexts in which social behaviours, such as excessive alcohol consumption, are conducted.

Dijana Jerković has been a member of the EUSPR since 2013. She works at the Office for Combating Drugs Abuse of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, as Senior Expert Advisor at the Croatian Focal Point for cooperation with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Dijana has recently completed her PhD in Prevention Science at the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb. In it, she was exploring some of the determinants for alcohol and cannabis consumption among students in student dormitories from the perspective of Self-Determination Theory. Her interests are focused on aetiology of drug consumption, as well as on enhancing the quality of prevention practice. 

Aniek van HerwaardenAniek van Herwaarden has been a member of the EUSPR since 2015. Aniek is a Research Master student in Development and Socialization in Childhood and Adolescence at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Her research experience in both The Netherlands and Sweden has guided her towards an interest for prevention and intervention research. She contributed to research on preventing problem behaviors in children through the implementation of parenting programs. She has the ambition to conduct research that focuses on development, socialization and problem behaviors in children and adolescents.

Terms of Reference for members of the EUSPR Early Careers Forum Committee

Regular or student members of the EUSPR are eligible to be on  the Forum committee. They either volunteer or are invited to take on this role. They must be approved by the other committee members and the EUSPR Board. They agree to take on this role for a minimum of 1 year. They must meet the definition of ‘early career’ at the start of their role, and can continue to co-lead the Forum for up to two years beyond that definition. Responsibilities of each committee member are decided on an individual basis, depending on personal interests and availability. Administrative support is provided through the EUSPR. No financial compensation is offered.

If you are interested to join the committee of the EUSPR Early Careers Forum, please get in touch for more information!

Special Interest Groups

Currently there are no special interested groups established yet.

As the Forum grows, we envisage that special interest groups (e.g. around certain methods or activities) could form which would govern themselves. If you’re interested in setting up a special interest group within the Early Careers Forum, please get in touch using the contact details below.

How to support and promote the ECF

There are many ways in which you can support and promote the Early Careers Forum, for example:

Contact & Social Media


If you would like to get in touch, you can email Samuel Tomczyk at samuel.tomczyk@uni-greifswald.de


You can find us as “EUSPR Early Careers Forum” at https://www.facebook.com/eusprECF


You can also find us on Twitter. Follow @Euspr_EC for Early Careers updates and @euspr for general EUSPR updates. 

We’ve created a list to help you follow members of the EUSPR’s Early Careers Forum on Twitter, please see https://twitter.com/pbm_ab/lists/euspr-ecf

The Early Careers Forum hashtag is #eusprECF.


You can join our EUSPR EC Google+ Community by clicking the following link:



And you can also find us on Instangram. Follow euspr_ec.

Mailing list information & Code of Conduct

To aid communication between conferences, the EUSPR Early Careers Forum operates a mailing list via JiscMail. Please note the following:

  • After joining the Early Careers Forum, you will be subscribed to the EUSPR Early Careers Forum mailing list. If desired, you can unsubscribe at any time, and your welcome email will include information on how to do so.
  • We will occasionally circulate details of Forum members (name, position, institution, country & status [early career or senior]) on the mailing list, so that Forum members know who else is on the list. These details can only be accessed by people who are already subscribed to the mailing list. Email addresses or other details will not be circulated. If you wish to be on the mailing list but do not agree to have your details shared, please inform us that you prefer to stay anonymous.

We want the EUSPR Early Careers Forum to be a place where early-career researchers, practitioners and policy makers can freely share their thoughts and questions on prevention research – offline (e.g. at the annual conference) as well as online (e.g. through our mailing list).

We therefore ask that all Forum members observe the usual ground rules (e.g. no abusive or offensive comments, no spam messages) and adhere to principles of good scientific practice where relevant (e.g. no plagiarism). We also ask that Forum members maintain the confidentiality of any sensitive information to which they have access through the Forum (e.g. personal information, draft publications, project ideas). If you are unsure whether any piece of information or document is confidential, please check with the relevant persons before sharing with others.

To keep our mailing list useful, please keep in mind the following guidelines when posting to the group; please take a moment to acquaint yourself with these.

Guidelines for using the mailing list

  • To encourage participation and exchange, all members of the Forum are able to post on the mailing list.
  • Posts on the following types of content are welcome (provided there is a clear link with prevention research and they are unlikely to be considered spam):
    • Studentships
    • Job opportunities
    • Upcoming conferences
    • Calls for abstracts/papers
    • Interesting publications (e.g. review articles)
    • Methodological or content-related questions and discussions
  • Please do not post commercial advertisements or invitations to take part in research studies.
  • Do not post anything in a message that you are likely to regret later.
  • When responding to a post, please double check whether you intend to respond to an individual or the entire group.
  • To unsubscribe, please do not reply to existing posts or send an email to the entire group. Instead, please visit the JISCMail web page or check the instructions that you received as part of your welcome email.
  • In case of any questions concerning the mailing list, please contact us.
  • We reserve the right to update these guidelines without notifying Forum members. Please check back occasionally to ensure you are aware of current guidelines.

Resources for those interested in a career in prevention research

Here we compile links to general resources that early-career preventionists (or those interested in a career in prevention research) might find useful. Please note that these are provided for your convenience only and, as they are external links, we cannot take responsibility for their contents, in particular their accuracy or availability.

We also regularly post interesting articles on our mailing list, simply join the Early Careers Forum to receive mailings.

In Europe

The Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN), with co-funding from the European Union, has produced database files that provide information about different aspects of Prevention Science across Europe, including an overview of academic courses related to prevention. Please be aware that this database may not cover all existing courses.

Mapping prevention (look for the “Courses” database).

In North America

The Training Committee of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) based in North America has compiled a list of degree programs or certificates in prevention science and a list of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral training/education in prevention science. Please be aware that this list may not cover all existing courses.

You can find the links here.

Career development resources for doctoral students and early-career researchers

Here we try to compile resources that provide career guidance and support for doctoral students and early-career researchers (i.e. not necessarily specific to prevention).


An excellent career development resource. The organisation is based in the United Kingdom, but the resources will be very useful also to those based outside the UK. For example, the Vitae researcher booklets and podcasts include titles such as “The Engaging Researcher: inspiring people to engage with your research” or “The Balanced Researcher: strategies for busy researchers”. There is also the Vitae Researcher Development Framework which can help you assess your own skills and training needs as a researcher. They also have a section specifically for those doing a doctorate, with many tips and guides on how to get the best out of your doctoral study experience. It includes a section with resources specifically for part-time researchers.


You can find links to interesting articles and blogs on Twitter, for example on #phdchat, #phdadvice, #ecrchat, or #AcWri (Academic Writing). You can view and access these links even if you don’t have a Twitter account! Example topics include how to plan your thesis, how to write a literature review, dealing with setbacks, time management skills, writing for publication, etc.

If you know of any resource that should be added to this list, please let us know.

Pictures/licensing: please contact us if you would like to use any of the pictures shown on this website.