Posted in Recap

Recap: 1st Anniversary of #ECRchat, 18 July 2013

This chat was hosted by Hazel Ferguson and Katie Wheat, co-founders of #ECRchat. Hazel is a postdoc food researcher in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University, and Katie is a postdoc in the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience at Maastricht University.

This week’s chat varied from the normal format as we took some time out to celebrate one year of #ECRchat and thank everyone for their involvement. We also discussed what people would like to see from the chat in the coming year. Below is a summary of upcoming changes in response to this discussion. Don’t hesitate to contact us if we’ve missed anything.

Getting more people involved

Most of the recommendations during the chat came from people who, in various ways, wanted to see a greater diversity of participants involved in the chat. After much much discussion, this is what we have come up with:

Starting at the beginning of September, the chat times will change: (2nd Thurs of the month will keep the existing time: UK 11am/Aus 8pm while the 4th Thurs of the month will change to: UK 8pm/US, NYC 3pm). Unfortunately this reduces Australian involvement to only one chat per month. We hated making this decision on numbers alone, but hopefully we can resume weekly chats if we get enough people involved. We will use a public Google calendar to keep track of all of this.

More promotion: We have had some fantastic supporters helping with this from the very beginning, and we will build on this once we have more help to run the chats.

More senior hosts: While the focus of #ECRchat is peer mentoring, we will approach some more experienced academics to host certain topics in the coming year.

Hopefully the more people get involved, the more the hashtag will be active outside chat times – also something people tell us they want.


During the chat, many people expressed any interest in the chat paying a role in bringing more attention to ECR issues. We (Katie and Hazel) take every opportunity to speak about ECR issues at conferences, training days etc. but efforts so far have been fairly ad hoc. To address this, we are writing a paper about our experiences starting the chat. We would also be interested in more collaborative work with others, if there is interest. (Would like to explore online collaborative authorship formats?)

Also on the research front

Jacqueline Warrell (@JacqInTheBooks), a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) would like to participate in #ecrchat as part of her doctoral research. Participation is of course voluntary. More information can be found on her website. Jacqueline will introduce herself at the next chat.

The big announcement…

We are hoping to expand the #ECRchat team. We hope that opening up the running of the chat will help maintain its momentum into the future, as well as bring in new ideas and continue the expansion of the #ECRchat community. We’d love to hear from you if you’re interested.

The storify of this discussion (with pictures of celebratory cake!) is available here.

Best wishes,

Hazel and Katie.



Academic, political tragic. Northern Rivers, NSW, Australia.

One thought on “Recap: 1st Anniversary of #ECRchat, 18 July 2013

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