Impact of COVID-19 on EASP Activities
20.03.2020, by Tina Keil in announcement
News about the EASP General Meeting 2020 and other society activities
COVID-19 has substantially affected all areas of our lives at a tremendous speed in most countries around the world. We would like to express our solidarity and sympathy with those affected and hope the news will turn more positive soon.
In the light of spread of COVID-19, we feel the need to change a number of plans regarding EASP activities. We are writing to you today to provide you with an overview of EASP’s actions.
First and most important, we regret to inform you that the EASP 2020 General Meeting in Cracow will be cancelled. There are too many travel restrictions to bring people together and the WHO recommendation to avoid face to face contact also clearly indicates that we should not meet with 1700 other people. We already closed the registration a week ago in response to the spread of the virus. Given the developments during the last week, the meeting cannot take place in July. Therefore, the Executive Committee agreed with the local organizers around Malgorzata Kossowska to cancel the meeting.
When do we meet again? The great reunion of European Social Psychology will take place when we can again welcome each other by exchanging hugs and kisses with our dear colleagues and friends. Our tentative plan is to postpone the General Meeting for one year and meet in summer 2021 in Cracow. In case this should not be possible in 2021, we will organize a virtual conference in one or the other way. We need to look into options in greater detail and will inform you as soon as things become more predictable.
What happens to your contributions to the program? All presentations that were accepted for the Cracow meeting this summer can be given at the next event that we will organize (either next year or possibly in a virtual meeting), but presenters can update their abstract or withdraw. Once the event is announced, we will be in touch with the presenters
What about registration fees? The local organizers will get in touch with registered participants regarding the details of reimbursement in the next few weeks. Please wait until you receive this message before contacting them, because any communication will slow down the processing of reimbursement.
We would like to express our sincere thanks for all the effort Malgorzata Kossowska and her team have put into the organization of the GM so far and to Karen Douglas and all the members of the program committee for putting the program together. We hope we can benefit from all the work both groups have done next year.
EASP Summer School: Unfortunately, the EASP summer school 2020 is also cancelled. Students who have been accepted will definitely get access to the next summer school, if they are still interested. We are currently looking into different options including having a virtual summer school, or holding the summer school in 2021 (potentially in addition to a second summer school that we had already planned in Wroclaw for 2021). Peter Hegarty and his team will inform participants as soon as a decision has been made. We are also very grateful for their work and for the extra effort that is now required due to the virus.
Meeting, Travel, Collaborative, and Seedcorn Grants: All grants we have awarded will remain valid at least for an additional 12 months in case meetings, trips, and research plans have to be postponed. Submitted applications will be processed as usual, but we will provide applicants with a longer deadline for making their plans happen. We are currently revising our guidelines for all grant support measures to adapt them to the current situation. Please keep us posted about your updated plans with an informal email to Sibylle Classen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Business meeting and elections: Normally, about half of the Executive Committee is replaced and a business meeting is held during the General Meeting. Luckily, we implemented the option to vote electronically during the last business meeting. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to vote online for new Executive Committee members in May and June. The business meeting will be held online on Friday, July 3 at 10 am (CET, Brussels time). We are still working on how to implement that.
The cancellations are very painful for EASP, but we can assure you that we are closely monitoring the situation and will make use of any opportunity to make all events happen. Beyond this, we will do our very best to support scientific exchange in Social Psychology, in particular, in these hard times. If there is any initiative you would like to take, and you think EASP could support you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
We stand in solidarity and empathy with those affected in our scientific community and around the world. We hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy – please take care.
Kai Sassenberg on behalf of the Executive Committee of EASP