The University’s Early Career Researcher Network was established to offer mutual support to academics at the beginning of their careers. As well as regular talks and workshops there are opportunities to meet other ECRs from across the University to share the highs and lows of getting started in academia.

If you have any questions about the Network contact Helen Leech.

Current programme

The 2019-20 programme meshes with that for the Grants Factory, and is closely tied to the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. Follow the links below for more detail on each of the sessions. You can register to attend via these. We will be adding links for all the events shortly.

COVID-19 update: Thank you for your patience as we are working to rearrange the below sessions onto virtual platforms where possible;

  • Boost your research and develop your creativity (postponed)
  • Using the media to publicise your research (postponed)
  • Transition to independence: seeking fellowships for PDRAs (postponed)

Past events

Notes from the talks and workshops are written up and made available on the Research Fundermentals blog, and future programmes are also publicised here. Below is a selection of notes from previous events


There is no set definition of an ‘early career researcher’. For the Network, we used ‘five years from PhD’ as a starting point, and include postdoctoral researchers. You may have had a more varied or circuitous route into academia, and might wish to join even if you fall outside this definition. You would be very welcome. To do so, contact Helen Leech.

Other resources

The ECRN is complemented by The Grants Factory, which provides insights into how best to position your research grant applications so that they have the best chance of success.

In addition, the University has achieved the HR Excellence in Research Award for its support in developing researchers. As part of this we have a Researcher Development Working Group, which looks at the broader issues facing researchers, and reports to the Research and Innovation Board. Helen Leech organises this, and she is keen to hear from researchers who would like to get involved with it.

Finally, the Unit for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (UELT) provide a range of training for ECRs, including the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. More information is available on their website.

Photo by Clint Adair on Unsplash