Inclusion: The voice at the table
At the end of 2021, QuantIC approved the creation of an Early Career Researcher (ECR) position on its Management Board. The aim to support ECR’s in gaining this type of board level experience and to contribute to the governance and operation of QuantIC. This position also provides a direct link between the ECR community and decision-making body of the programme.
The QuantIC Management Board is currently composed of senior researchers from each of the partner institutions, the Director, Principal Investigator, and Chair of the Market Opportunities Panel. After a thorough application process, QuantIC appointed Dr Vincenzo Pusino, Research Fellow (Electronic & Nanoscale Engineering), University of Glasgow. Vincenzo attended his first Management Board meeting last month and we caught up with him to ask about the experience and his hopes for the position.
• Vincenzo, welcome to Management Board. Can you tell people what your background is and where you sit within QuantIC?
I am one of the postdoctoral researchers working on QuantIC. I am an electrical engineer by training, but thanks to my MSc and PhD degrees, I gained expertise in optoelectronic devices such as lasers and photodetectors. My work on QuantIC is on semiconductor devices for detection and imaging of mid-wave infrared radiation (MWIR). The MWIR is very interesting for imaging hydrocarbons such as CO2 and methane, and other gases. Unfortunately, commercially available MWIR cameras are incredibly expensive, thus my research is on new MWIR technologies to make cameras at these wavelengths more widely available.
• What made you apply for the ECR position on Management Board?
I was extremely pleased when QuantIC announced that there was going to be an ECR sitting on the board, as it gave recognition to the great contribution that ECRs make to the technical advances of the programme. I thought I would bring to the table not only my opinions and concerns as an ECR on the programme, but also those of the entire ECR community.
• What would like to achieve through your attendance?
Sitting on the QuantIC management board offers invaluable insight on the management and inner workings of a large research grant involving several institutions. In terms of my contribution, I thought I would add value and diversity of thinking thanks to the wide-ranging activities that I have been undertaking beyond my research: for example, my contribution to the QuantIC 3D App, my participation in a number of outreach events, and my activities as STEM Ambassador. Ultimately, however, my main goal is to give a voice on the board for the ECR community.
• QuantIC’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy was the driving force behind this appointment. How important do you feel inclusion is in leadership and decision-making and why?
There is already a strong focus on developing ECR skills within QuantIC, for we are strongly encouraged to present on the technical progress of our research at our scientific meetings. Inclusion of the ECRs on the Management Board and in the decision-making process is another step with which QuantIC recognises the huge contribution of ECRs to the programme, and I cannot stress enough how important it is for me. I also think that wide-ranging inclusion in leadership and decision-making increases transparency and builds trusts in the board following the proper procedures and always being “above board” (apologies for the terrible pun).
• Why do you feel that your voice is important and how can other ECRs in the community engage with you?
As an ECR involved in research activities daily, I can feedback my thoughts on aspects that might escape other board members at a more advanced career stage, especially on improving researcher experience. My intention is to bring to the table not only my opinions and concerns as an ECR on the programme, but also those of the community of ECRs carrying out research for QuantIC. I welcome all ECRs on the programme to get in touch to share anything they would like to bring to the attention of the board, so please get in touch! If there is anything you would like to bring up to the board, I do hope that having the chance to do it through a fellow ECR will not feel as daunting.
You can contact Vincenzo on email Vincenzo.Pusino@glasgow.ac.uk The next Management Board meeting is on Wednesday 22 June, 2022.
QuantIC’s EDI statement can be found on here.
First published: 11 March 2022