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The SAIN alumna about NKG: "High search pressure this year"

People mingle in a conference hall
Photo: Jakob Dalbjörn/Unsplash

Right now, many are looking forward to the big gerontology conference NKG in Stockholm, in June. One who decided to go early on is alumna Charlotta Nilsen, coordinator of the SWEAH Alumni Interdisciplinary Network, SAIN.

She is lecturer and program manager for the master's program in gerontology at the Institute of Gerontology at the School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, and part of the organizing committee of the 27th Nordic Congress in Gerontology. Charlotta Nilsen is also a researcher affiliated with the Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet and the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University.

Portrait of woman with long hair
SAIN coordinator Charlotta Nilsen. Photo: Private

A lot of events are arranged for researchers - why do so many want to go to NKG?

It is the Nordic region's largest conference for research on ageing and older people. Nowadays, it is not just a Nordic conference, but a conference with participants from large parts of the world. In addition to discussing ongoing research as researchers, the conference is an arena for networking and being inspired.

How does SAIN participate?

SAIN wants to make junior researchers visible and contribute to networking opportunities. Partly with other members within SAIN, but also with other junior researchers from both Sweden and other countries. We are co-organizing the panel discussion held the day before the conference begins, on June 11, together with Sweden's Gerontological Society, SGS and the British counterpart, the British Society of Gerontology, BSG. Junior researchers from BSG will participate in a SAIN meeting after the panel discussion, for international networking between junior researchers. Moderators for the panel discussion are SAIN member and SGS member Rebecca Baxter and Junjie Huang, who is president of BSG's junior association, ERA.

What else will you do?

We are also co-organizing a collaboration meeting on June 11 together with SGS and the National Network for Social Science Gerontology Research, where this year's winner of the Major gerontology prize will give a prize lecture, which will be followed by a discussion about how our three associations can cooperate in the future. In addition to this, we create several opportunities for our members and our reference group of senior researchers to meet. We will also have a stand in the exhibition hall where we will be available to tell more about the network and offer some surprises. So please come by!

What will be challenging for you?

To choose which presentations to listen to and to catch up with everything I want to do. This year there has been high search pressure to present research during the conference and there is a lot of exciting research that is ongoing. I am part of the organizing committee and this means that I will have an active role throughout the conference. So my challenge will be to combine this mission and what SAIN holds, with time to present research myself, to network and listen to other researchers' presentations.

What are you most looking forward to?

To be inspired by new research and to meet both new and old acquaintances. My first NKG conference was in Tampere, Finland, in 2016. I was a PhD student then and I particularly remember the panel discussion they organized for junior researchers. It is a contributing factor to why I wanted to organize something similar during this year's conference. I think NKG is one of the most rewarding conferences to attend. Big enough to be inspired by and get a good overview of the latest research in the field, but small enough to have time to talk and network.

Any packing tips for those going to NKG for the first time?

As long as you have your ID card, bank card and mobile phone with you, most things will work out.