CALL FOR INTEREST: BJCA Starter Committee 201-2020

Since its establishment in 2016, the BJCA Starter Committee has delivered a sold-out annual conference (Taster Day in Cardiology), launched three annual trainee prizes and remained committed to supporting pre-cardiology trainees in their training. To help us continue this important work, particularly in view of the introduction of shape of training reforms and their uncertain impact on cardiology recruitment, we are seeking applicants for the 2019-20 committee.

If you are interested in applying, please submit a personal supporting statement (maximum of 200 words), stating your reasons for applying and what you would bring to the role, alongside a two-page CV by 5pm, Friday 29 November 2019 to Azeem Ahmad, BCS Affiliates Coordinator at bjca@bcs.com. Applications for multiple positions should be accompanied by a supporting statement for each role.

Committee make-up
The BJCA starter committee 2020 will consist of nine individuals

Duration of the committee
The committee will run for the 2020 calendar year

Requirements for membership of the committee
To be a member of the BJCA starter committee, each individual must:

  • be a junior doctor training in the UK without an NTN (exceptions may be found)
  • demonstrate a strong interest in cardiology
  • be a member of the BJCA (typically as a starter member)

Descriptions of committee positions

Chair
The Chairman of the BJCA Starter committee will coordinate the overall direction of the committee. In addition they will be tasked with coordinating with the BJCA Council to ensure the two groups work closely together.

Vice-Chair
The Vice-Chair of the BJCA Starter committee is tasked with coordinating the day-to-day running of the committee.  They will liaise with the other committee members to ensure that tasks are completed and problems are tackled early.  A successful candidate will have significant leadership and management experience. Previous work with the BJCA
starter committee is preferred. The role will involve oversight of the entire portfolio of activities that BJCA Starter engages in and in conjunction with the Chair, setting the strategic direction of the committee. Typically, the role will require a consistent commitment of between 2-4 hours a week with commitment increasing at the lead-up to events.

Communications & Social Media Representative
This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is keen on the use of social media in medicine. This position will involve using social media and other communications systems to help advertise the work of the starter committee including events, competitions, and sponsorship commitments.

@BJCAStarter now commands approximately 450 followers on twitter, a platform increasingly used for educational value by trainees. The role will involve curation and production of relevant tweets and retweets which may include the latest cardiovascular research updates, as well as discussing trending topics with the wider cardiology community as well as general medical training in the UK.

The role also involves liaising where necessary with the communications teams from the BJCA. Our main route of information dissemination remains the BJCA Newsletter. In addition, we would expect communication with foundation and core training programme directors around the UK to aid promotion of BJCA Starter events. The role may additionally involve design of printed materials for the annual taster day conference. Familiarity with multiple social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is a pre-requisite. An understanding of online marketing and communication is desirable. The time commitment is typically 1-2 hours per week.

Sponsorship Representative
A major aim of the committee is to ensure that events and competitions are free to starter members. While many of our endeavours are low cost options, sponsorship is a vital element in ensuring that the committee has sufficient income to cover its costs. This role will involve developing sponsorship packages, liaising directly with biomedical companies to elicit sponsorship, and managing relationships with current sponsors. Previous experience with sponsorship or contacts in biomedical industry will be favourably looked upon. From previous experience, the time commitment for this role was approximately 1-2 hours per week, depending on the level of detail of negotiations with different industry sponsors.

Events Representative – 2 positions
The role of the Events Officer involves organising the BJCA Annual Starter Conference which is the main BJCA event in terms of advertising the specialty of cardiology and engaging aspiring junior doctors. Specific jobs will include: developing the conference programme based on feedback from previous years, liaising and securing potential venues, confirming catering and specialist simulation equipment, processing delegate registrations, coordinating speakers, facilitators and volunteers as well as external bodies and finally ensuring smooth running on the day. This role involves working closely with the Events and Competitions Coordinator and the rest of committee in their respective roles in order to source funding, competitions, develop advertising and social media communications and provide training and education information. From previous experience, the time commitment for this role was for 1 hour per week for most of the year which increased to 5 hours per week during the last 4-6 weeks in the run up to the conference. Previous experience in logistics or events coordination is ideal.

Competitions Representative
The BJCA starter committee would like to expand the number of competition opportunities provided to starter members. This position will involve the coordination of an essay competition as well as other competitions as determined by the starter committee. In addition, tasks will include liaising with journals/conferences regarding
potential prizes for these competitions. From previous experience, the time commitment for this role was approximately 1-2 hrs per week, although it was busier around times when a competition was launched. The job has been recommended as a good committee role for new BJCA starter members.

Training and Education Representatives – 2 positions
The way that pre-speciality junior doctors train will be radically altered in the next few years as the implementation of ‘Shape of Training’ occurs. The impact that this will have on cardiology recruitment is unclear. There will be two representatives in any one calendar year. The role will involve the continuation of our annual trainee survey to assess the impact of proposed changes on pre-speciality trainees interested in cardiology. Your time will be invested early in the year to put the survey together and then in September/October to analyse the data and compile the survey report. Broadening the reach of the survey has been a challenge and is something the BJCA Starter Committee is keen to pursue in the future.

There are, of course, opportunities to take on projects in addition to the survey. As an example, the 2018 BJCA starter survey results were published in the European Heart Journal (2019). Further projects are currently planned.  Additionally, this role will involve liaising with training bodies, in conjunction with the BJCA, to ensure that pre-speciality trainee voices are heard. For example, this year the role included engaging with the Royal College of Physicians Training Board to clarify the process of applying to specialty training during the transition years from CMT to IMT. Experience in teaching and training would be preferred. The time commitment for this role is 1-2 hours per
week, though this may be more if specific work around projects at points in the year is needed.