On Thursday 21 May, Beth Hellen (@phdgeek) ran an #ECRchat about acquiring new skills. The topic elicited a lot of discussion around the subject, with lots of good general peer to peer advice about the skills needed as a Phd student, postdoc and further on into an ECR’s caareer.
The storify can be found at https://storify.com/PhdGeek/ecrchat-on-aquiring-new-skills
Our Twitter chat on Digital Tools (23rd April) was hosted by Piirus (http://www.piirus.com
), itself a community tool for researchers who are looking for others to network with online, with a view to future research collaborations.
Conversation ranged from digital tools that can save researchers time, to social media sites or platforms and their strengths. Reference management, CVs, blogging, peer review and meeting co-authors are amongst the research activities discussed, which are affected by digital tools.
The storify can be found here:
A small but enthusiastic chat took place on November 13th on the topic of Leadership and the ECR. After coming up with a very long wish list for what it meant to be a leader in academia, we thought about the qualities that our leadership models displayed, and what this meant about the variety of possible leadership styles. There was less clarity about how ECRs can / should move towards leadership roles in different disciplines, especially given the need to balance individual research with other activities at the crucial early career stage. It was generally agreed that we could benefit from a further #ECRchat with someone already in a leadership position, for example an AHRC Leadership Fellow. Most interesting of all, though, was the observation that – based on the low number of participants – ECRs seemed uncomfortable talking about the desire to lead in such a public forum: if we really are expected to display leadership at every stage of our career, this is surely something that we need to address.
#ECRchat on Leadership and the ECR was lead by Jess Goodman. A storify of the chat can be found here: https://storify.com/GoodmanJess/leadership-and-the-ecr
As host of a recent live Twitter chat via #ECRchat on “How to Develop a Career Exit Strategy”, I challenged early-career researchers to think about the question, “What you would do if your research position would unexpectedly end in a few months?” In order to avoid panicking and taking the first position that comes your way, an exit career strategy can be deployed while refocusing efforts on your ultimate career goals.
A career exit strategy is defined as short-term career plan (one to two years) to maintain one’s professional life during a transition period. Most of the chat participants were interested in developing an exit strategy because their temporary research position was ending soon or their career goals were focused on academia where the number of open positions is limited.
We discussed a wide range of exit strategy options, including adjunct teaching, writing and consulting gigs. We further brainstormed on activities (e.g., taking online courses and volunteering) that could be done during transition periods to build skills and maintain a professional presence. Financial responsibility in keeping some savings tucked away as a buffer was also emphasized.
In the end, the take-home message was to always be prepared for a career transition, stay focused and keep moving forward. A summary of the Twitter chat can found in the Storify “How to Develop a Career Exit Strategy”. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@science_mentor) or contact me if you are interested in further chatting about this topic.
These events are brought to you by RiAus (@RiAus) an Adelaide-based series of ECR-specific events, covering professional development and career topics specifically for early career researchers.
The first set of videos are from the ECR Network’s Grant Writing Workshop and are well worth a watch for all budding granting writing stars!
ECR Network Grant Writing Workshop Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG6RwGAvvbQ
ECR Network Grant Writing Workshop Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6UopHi2Y8k
ECR Network Grant Writing Workshop Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5p22rDRMY0
The final video comes from the ECR Network event on Understanding The Political Framework For Research
You can find out more about these and other ECR Network events on their webpage, including how to attend the events in person (if you are lucky enough to be within travelling distance of Adelaide).
The next ECR Network event will be held on 30th October on research independence. Tickets are still available, or catch the live stream on Twitter at #ECRchat