Message of the President
A thoughtful time of the year

As the year comes to a close, many of us are reflecting on all that has been achieved. From my perspective, it’s been an outstanding year for the ECNP community, with a succession of highly productive meetings and events.

The ECNP Congress in Barcelona was an extraordinary success, with an exceptional scientific programme and over 6,500 participants, including some 2,000 early career scientists. The biennial joint ECNP-ISCTM day at the 2023 ISCTM Autumn Conference prior to the Congress, devoted to promoting advances in clinical research methods related to the development and use of CNS therapeutics, was again of very high quality. We also had another round of outstanding spring meetings in Nice, with the ECNP Workshop for Early Career Scientists and the New Frontiers Meeting, this year on psychedelics. The levels of energy and engagement and the stimulating discussions at the frontier of our field were truly inspiring. Finally, the yearly ECNP Workshop on Clinical Research Methods, introducing early career clinicians to research methodology, was another highly enjoyable success.

In addition to our annual events, the Executive Committee, the ECNP Office and the various ECNP committees have been working intensely to initiate novel activities to build the ECNP community and advance the mission. To expand the scope and reach of our educational programmes, the ECNP Anxiety Disorders and ADHD Networks have developed and started the first pilot ECNP Courses, with blended online and in-person lectures and learning activities. In our most recent Executive Committee meeting, last week in Utrecht, we had a chance to review the excellent evaluations of these courses by the participating students. Their enthusiastic endorsement was much appreciated. Indeed, the Executive Committee foresees a great future for this type of education, and with the implementation of a new learning management system by the Office, a sustainable and interactive platform for these activities will be in place by the first quarter of 2024.

Furthermore, the Executive Committee together with the ECNP Networks and the Early Career Advisory Panel have developed the outlines and governance model for a new ECNP Early Career Academy (ECA), which is being launched as a way to have early career scientists further engaged in our organisation. Applications for the ECA can be submitted here until 23 January 2024.

In addition, the 2024 programme for the New Frontiers Meeting has been finalised and we are very much looking forward to start developing a consensus roadmap towards a new diagnostic framework for mental disorders. Note that registration for virtual participation in this meeting is now open.

With this last presidential message for 2023, I also would like to thank all those who made this wonderful ECNP year possible, and am very much looking forward to our upcoming suite of events in 2024. I would also like to pause and consider all those people suffering, either from a mental illness or from other circumstances. In keeping with these thoughts, I wish you and your family a peaceful Christmas and start of the New Year.

Feel free to contact me by reply e-mail.
Martien Kas
ECNP President
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