I already work in a research group. How can I become an affilliate ECCO member?

Being a member of an existing research department does not exclude becoming a member of ECCO as well.

Belonging to different research groups

The VUB rules do not limit the number of research groups to which an individual can belong, though in practice few people will belong to more than three. These rules also do not distinguish between degrees of membership: you can be an official member of a group even though you have hardly any contact with the other group members. This is understandable, given that research groups are very flexible entities, and that someone's domain of research can touch on many domains, without any one of them being predominant.

However, this can create an "inflation" in group membership, where a group seems much bigger when you look at its official membership list than when you see the people who actively take part in its activities. To avoid that, ECCO distinguishes "full" or "core" members who spend most of their research activities in ECCO, from "affiliate" members whose main academic activity lies elsewhere. This distinction is by necessity fuzzy, and people's activities may shift so that they become either closer involved or farther removed. So, we leave it up to the people themselves to decide whether they want to be listed as "full" or "affiliate".

Becoming an affiliate

Joining ECCO as an affiliate member is easier than becoming a full member. The fact that you already belong to another research group means that most of the requirements are already fulfilled: you will mostl ikely already have some research experience, a focus of interest, a source of funding, a promotor, an official status as student or researcher, ... The main issue then is whether your research focus is sufficiently close to the one of ECCO. That is best discussed by exchanging some papers, or you presenting a seminar to ECCO.

If it turns out that our interests are parallel and that your work may contribute to some on-going ECCO projects, we will gladly welcome you as an affiliate member. If the collaboration intensifies, you may want to change your status and become a full member, while remaining affiliated with your first research group.

Where does my work get listed?

VUB research groups are evaluated on the basis of the scientific output (publications, presentations, conferences, theses, ...) of all their members, full or affiliate, as entered in the R&D database. For affiliate members, it remains ambiguous which part of their output should be listed under ECCO and which under the other groups of which they are members. There is no a priori restriction on listing the same output under different research groups. But we should also avoid an "inflation" scenario where groups apparently produce huge outputs simply because the same works are counted several times. We leave it up to the members to decide which of their work they want to list under ECCO. As a rule of thumb, it seems that work on ECCO themes, or inspired by discussions with other ECCO members, should be listed under ECCO, though it can be simultaneously listed under another research group.