2017 has clearly brought many changes in our world, both internal and external to CARRA. Time will tell what the impact of political and economic forces will be on our organization, but there is one certainty: CARRA must prepare to be able to withstand the many challenges that we are likely to face in the next few years to continue and build on the progress and momentum that we have all worked to create in the last few years.
CARRA has enjoyed astounding growth and change in the last few years (http://www.the-rheumatologist.org/article/future-pediatric-rheumatology-grounded-evolution-childhood-arthritis-rheumatology-research-alliance/). Now more than ever, we must focus and align our collective energy with CARRA’s mission, core values and operating principles. This means we have to work together to build unity and consensus around our research strategies, more clearly define and standardize processes and procedures, and maintain the transparency and democratic principles upon which CARRA was founded.
We convened a leadership retreat as part of our working towards these goals in December 2016. In doing so, we identified gaps in communications and engagement and are excited to have begun work to close these gaps. We are also excited to be able to offer new research seed funding and career development opportunities, thanks in large part to our partnership with the Arthritis Foundation. These include various intramural grant programs and internship awards. We hope that many of you will take advantage of these and other opportunities (see Utrecht Summer School award, PReS travel grants, Research and Writing Group awards and Aims Page opportunity).
Most of all, we need you to be involved! Please consider writing an article for our newsletter, applying for a funding opportunity, nominating yourself or a colleague for a CARRA elected position, joining our members-only wiki and join a workgroup. There will also be an announcement soon for a new opportunity, to have dinner with Executive Committee members at the upcoming CARRA meeting in May.
Feel free to contact any of us on the Executive or Steering Committees with any suggestions for improvement. We really want to hear from you!
We look forward to seeing everyone in Houston!