The Young Medical Ethics Network seeks to give young scientists in the field of medical ethics the opportunity to exchange disciplinary and professional information. We are not just interested in exchanging information about the opportunities for further professional development, third-party funding, or different career paths. We also want to use our meetings to present and collectively discuss ideas for research and teaching. Our professed goal is to initiate new collaborations in the field of medical ethics research and teaching between young scientists in the network.
Meetings are planned twice yearly, each taking place in different locations.
First, an open network meeting takes place in conjunction with the annual meetings of the AEM. This open format is particularly suitable for newcomers to medical ethics who want to gain insight into the work of the network and young researchers in the field.
Second, an approximately two-day meeting takes place in January at different event locations. This meeting offers young scientists training on various topics, in particular on (methodological and professional) interdisciplinarity in medical ethics, on questions and strategies of project development ("How do I get from an idea to a project?"), on writing research proposals (e.g. in In the form of application workshops), or on professional opportunities and challenges for young scientists in medical ethics.
As researchers, we always see ourselves as learners: curiosity, enthusiasm for medical ethical issues, and our own aspiration to conscientiously perform scientific work motivate us to continuously improve ourselves. In addition to ethical topics and scientific methods, young scientists must also acquire skills in project organization, teaching, and personnel management. To do justice to this abundance of tasks, it is helpful to come together and learn from the experiences of others.
Shared learning also brings together different perspectives. Experiences from the doctoral and postdoctoral phases as well as perspectives from the various disciplines, such as philosophy and medicine, can be fruitfully linked. We would like to offer a safe space in which to learn both with and from each other and to develop our own projects and ideas.
In order to embed our training in a professional framework, we are regularly advised by experts and trainers, for example with regard to the preparation of applications or scientific publishing.
The profession of medical ethicist is exciting and varied, but it is also highly challenging. The ability to work across disciplines is a basic requirement. As a medical ethicist, you apply the expertise of a humanities or social science discipline to the ethical questions that arise in medicine and healthcare. Only few have a dual qualification. Thus, most medical ethicists must acquire basic medical knowledge, understand the peculiarities of clinical practice, and be able to understand the complex context of the health system. This means that constant exchange – ideally involving cooperation between clinicians, nurses, and other actors in the medical field – is essential.
Another challenge is the precarious employment situation for mid-career academics. Established positions are scarce, so we also have to regularly apply for funding. However, due to our strong interdisciplinary focus, our field has some distinctive features in the national and international funding landscape.
The Network for Young Medical Ethics offers up-and-coming scientists in medical ethics the opportunity to prepare themselves for these challenges. Periodic workshops allow us to sharpen our skills and share our experiences. In addition, we can develop ideas and initiate collaborations through exchanges within the forum. The guiding principle is that we can best meet the precarious conditions and professional challenges that affect us all together.