Welcome to #ECRmcr2016

What does it mean to be an Early Career Researcher? How do PhD graduates experiences the first phase after finishing their doctoral journey? What are the challenges people are facing in this phase? And: What could be done to help PhD graduates thrive and make the best of their capabilites?

Unlike doctoral students, Early Career Researchers often fall off the institutional  rader. They are thus easily overlooked in higher education politics. Likewise, it is difficult to speak of Early Career Researchers as a community: professional pressure, comptetition and stigma attached to being an underemployed or unemployed early career researcher, can put people off sharing their problems and connecting with one another. The lack of  shared working spaces  and physical dispersion contributes to this dilemma. #ECRmcr2016 aims to be one step towards overcoming the silence about the ECR experience and explore people‘s challenges and desires.

This website showcases the outcomes and trajectories of the AHRC-funded project #ECRmcr2016. The project is concerned with the  current situation of Early Career Researchers in the UK and aims at facilitating improvements to University support structures and training opportunities for PhD students and Early Career researchers. Parts of the project are:

  • Two strategy reports for university stakeholders and policy makers on supporting PhD students and Early Career Researchers. The two reports were produced by AHRC-Public Engagement Fellows Dr Scott Midson and Dr Hannah C. Wadle as results of their empirical research projects.
  • A residential workshop designed to facilitate the discussion between Early Career Researchers from Universities of the Northwest Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership that took place in June 2016. The Workshop was designed by AHRC-Public Engagement Fellows Dr Ruth Colton, Dr Andrew Hardman, Dr Ksenija Kolerovic, Dr Scott Midson, and Dr Hannah Wadle.
  • A pop-up exhibition entitled #ECRmcr2016 that showcases the conversations of the residential and draws attention to the two startegy reports. The exhibition raises awareness about the professional group of Early Career Researchers and the challenges the members of this group are facing.

The challenges of the “Post-PhD”-phase concern not only Early Career Researchers, but they concern the entire academic community. They cannot be addressed in isolation from the values, assumptions, expectations, fears, desires, discourses, and everyday practice of the entire academic community. We invite you to join our discussion through comments to this website, by discussing the questions with your colleagues and by getting involved on the twitter feed #ECRmcr2016.