‘Invest in the Youth’ (IITY) is a name that speaks for itself. Not only does it describe the programme’s own purpose extremely clearly, but it also serves as an excellent reminder to all the ESR’s officers, committees, and members of one of the main objectives of the ESR: inspiring and supporting future generations of radiologists.
The programme has given thousands of students and residents the chance to experience Europe’s foremost radiological congress for free, and this year a record number of places will be available thanks to the personal commitment of our ‘ECR VIPs’. Dignitaries, speakers, moderators, awardees and other invited guests attending ECR 2012 have generously donated their own reimbursement payments to the IITY budget, in an extremely encouraging show of support for the ESR’s rising stars.
ESR President András Palkó explains: “Certain invited guests of the ECR receive compensation for their contributions to the success of the meeting, and the amount spent can be significant. But many of the beneficiaries are senior professionals and scientists, for whom this reimbursement may not necessarily be such a significant amount, and several of them expressed their readiness to renounce it. That being the case, the Executive Committee and the ESR Board of Directors decided to offer the option to transfer an amount they feel appropriate toward supporting the ‘Invest in the Youth’ programme. We sent out emails to explain the purpose and the method of contribution, and I am more than happy to report that most of those addressed have responded very positively.”
This positivity is a perfect reflection of the enthusiasm of the IITY applicants, as the programme has been one of the most popular ESR initiatives since it began. The chance to attend the ECR for free with paid accommodation and transport for the duration of the congress is obviously an attractive prospect. Around 500 places are usually available and thousands of applications are received; meaning plenty of worthy applicants must unfortunately be turned down. This year, a new criterion has been added to the selection procedure to ensure that some of the most promising candidates get their opportunity to take part. Applicants are being asked to author and submit an abstract on one of a number of subjects, with the 50 best entries automatically securing a place. This, combined with the extra places available due to the VIP’s donations, should ensure that IITY 2012 is the best investment the ESR has made in its youth at any ECR so far.
With such obvious benefits to the future of radiology and enthusiastic participation from the VIPs, it seems likely that the option of diverting reimbursements to IITY will be offered for future congresses. However the scheme develops, the ESR thanks every one of its generous VIPs for their contributions, and we very much look forward to welcoming our enlarged contingent of IITY participants to ECR 2012 in March!