Integration of the wider epigenetics community
Given the constraints on the number of participants that can be contracted in as full members by the European Commission (EC), associate membership of the NoE is seen as an important way of integrating the wider European epigenetics community into the NoE. Associates benefit from and actively contribute to the network's joint research, integration and disseminating activities and participate in the annual meetings of the NoE. Associates have been invited based on their previous network affiliations and the relevance of their research to the proposed joint programme of activities (JPA). Efforts have also been made to extend the NoE to European countries and centres of excellence that are underrepresented amongst the permanent members. Associate membership is a dynamic strategy to provide the NoE with the necessary flexibility to respond to and incorporate rapidly evolving areas of research and expertise. Currently the NoE has 34 associate members.