Early Career Researcher Network
The ECR Network and COVID-19
Although it is not “business as usual”, the ECR Network is still “open for business”. We are currently updating and tailoring our 2020 workshops and events, taking into consideration these new working conditions – see our list of events and resources below and please keep an eye out for more coming soon. We are also looking into resources and platforms to better connect the ECR community during this time of social distancing.
We would also like to hear from you as to what support you need at this time. The ECR Network Team are currently working remotely to do our small bit in flattening the curve so you can best reach us via email. You can also reach out to us via your faculty and department ECR Representatives.
ECR Network Advisory Group
ECR Network Advisory Group meetings are held every two months. Their purpose is to share information between faculties and central support and recommend activities for the ECR Network team to develop. If you wish to discuss Faculty-specific ECR support or provide suggestions for University-wide initiatives, contact your Faculty representative:
Faculty of Arts
Dr Katrina Hutchison
Dr Tom Baudinette
Dr Sarah Powell
MQ Business School
Dr Lara Tolentino
Dr Han Li
Dr Rohan Best
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences
Dr Marina Junqueira Santiago
Dr Elizabeth Austin
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Dr Matt Fernandez (covering for Dr Michael Swain)
Dr Amy Cain
Dr Kyle Ratinac
A/Prof Clare Monagle
A/Prof Jordi McKenzie
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research (Integrity and Development) Team
Distinguished Professor Lesley Hughes, Pro-Vice Chancellor Research (Integrity and Development)
Dr Megan Brewer, ECR Network Coordinator
Emily Brennan, PVCR Project Manager
Jeretta Krampah, PVCR Administration Officer
ECR Success Stories
Dr Lindsay Parker for being selected as a semi-finalist for the upcoming 2020 NSW FameLab heat. FameLab is a UK-based science communication competition that challenges early career (post-graduate and post-doctoral) science researchers to explain their research to a general audience within 3 minutes using only props they can carry on stage.
This year, Lindsay competed online against 12 other contestants from NSW (including MQ’s HDR candidates Julien Lubeek and Julianna Kadar) for the chance to present her research at the National Final.
Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah, DECRA Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology, for being invited by the Qatar Foundation to participate in Doha Debates next month. She will have a potential audience of 4 million people!
Dr Murray Taylor and Dr Prashan Karunaratne from the Macquarie Business School have received recognition for their innovative approaches to driving student success in the 2019 Australian Awards for University Teaching for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.
ECRs in the Press
- Dr Vanessa Pirotta for her feature on ABC Radio Sydney Afternoons regarding the humpback whale migration
- Dr Keith Rathbone for his contribution to the article 'The NRL should reconsider its comeback: it’s too soon' to The Conversation
- Dr Monica Ren for her contribution to the article 'Beyond travel, a trans-Tasman bubble is an opportunity for Australia and NZ to reduce dependence on China' in The Conversation and her interview on 6PR Mornings regarding how Australia can re-evaluate its economic dependence on China following COVID-19
- Dr Joyce Siette for her feature in Croakey regarding the role of telemedicine in preventing or limiting adverse health impacts of social isolation in older adults during COVID-19
ECR Calendar 2020
Preparing for Academic Promotions
August 5, 1pm -2.30pm
Have you just submitted your application for a promotion to Level B or Level C? Then now is the time to start thinking about the interview process. This panel session will help ECRs prepare for academic promotions interviews by sharing information about how the interview process works, what panellists are looking for and what you can do to prepare for a successful interview. A panel of experienced promotions panellists from each Faculty will give an overview of the process and share their perspectives on stumbling blocks and opportunities to shine.
If you cannot attend the live event, a recording of the panel session will be posted on the ECR website afterwards.
Other Upcoming Workshops and Events
- Daily Writing Practice, every weekday
- Mindfulness Meditation Practice, every Tuesday
- Webinar - Professional Staff with a PhD: Dr. Gorjana Mitic , June 4
- Webinar - Professional Staff with a PhD: Dr. Brenton Hamdorf , June 11
- Developing your 5-year research plan, June 12
- Crafting an Effective ARC SRI Rejoinder, June 12
- Crafting an Effective ARC Discovery Project Rejoinder , June 22
- Crafting an Effective ARC DECRA Rejoinder, June 26
Date and Time
Helen Sword’s “Stay-at-Home” writing retreat
A YouTube based online, self-paced, 5-day writing retreat consisting of short video prompts to get you writing
|In May, gemaker ran a free webinar for researchers and HDR students on engaging with industry during COVID-19. The recording of the webinar is available online and is freely accessible. This may be a useful resource to learn how to leverage and expand your networks, adapt your value proposition to our altered world, and boost your research impact.||N/A||Free|
Past ECR Events
Conducting Research in the Online Sphere
Ever considered conducting your research online? Or perhaps you want to adapt and conduct your research online during social distancing restrictions? Whether interviewing people using online meeting platforms like Zoom or conducting fieldwork in the wild lands of Facebook or Twitter, there are both project design and ethical practicalities that need to be considered.
To get you started, Dr Tom Baudinette (Faculty of Arts ECR Representative) and Dr Kandy White (Director, Research Ethics and Integrity) ran an online workshop covering the fundamentals of conducting research online. From his own research experiences, Tom discussed considerations for research project design, available methodologies and practices, and the benefits and limitations of researching in the online sphere. And Kandy walked us through ethical considerations that need to be addressed.
The recording of the session is available for those who missed out. If you watch the recording please fill out this survey to help the ECR Network with future event planning.
Take-away questions to ponder
- If adapting a current project: "How can we incorporate digital methodologies into pre-existing projects that have some form of traditional methodologies in which using online methods doesn’t just extend the project but introduces some sort of new element or new analytical possibility?"
- For new projects: "How can digital methods open up spaces for traditional methods in a post COVID world? ((need to think longer term)"
- Anna Cristina Pertierra. Media Anthropology for the Digital Age (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2017).
- Tom Boellstorff, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce, and T. L. Naylor, eds. Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012).
- Daniel Miller and Don Slater. The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach (Oxford & New York: Berg, 2000).
Flexing and Adapting during COVID and beyond: Managing our Priorities in a Changing Environment
Life as we know it has quickly turned upside down amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The implications and effects of social distancing means that for most of us we need to rethink the way we work and behave. But before we can effectively do that, many of us will first need to realign and refocus our goals and priorities for 2020.
Dr Shari Walsh, founder and director of Growth Psychology, ran a 90-min webinar that focused on how we can identify and manage our responsibilities and priorities in this changing environment and what strategies we can engage to flex and adapt to these changes. The slides for her presentation are available for those who missed out on the presentation.
ECR@MQ Online Community
Introducing the ECR Network Community Page! This is a place for ECRs to share the ups and downs of this experience (without involving another Zoom meeting). We hope you will find it a useful way to connect with other ECRs during this period.
Please note that you are not required to have a Padlet account (you may post anonymously). The ECR Network Team will monitor the board and if you have any suggestions, please let us know via email.
Transitioning Online Resources
This is a list of resources, webinars, blog posts, webpages, and other media that may be useful. It is certainly not exhaustive. If you come across any resources or articles that you feel would benefit the ECR community please share it with us.
For those who are teaching
- The MQ Learning and Teaching Team are actively providing support and resources to help you get your courses online.
- Blogger and lecturer Dr Rebecca Barret-Fox (Arkansas State University) argues to Please do a bad job of putting your courses online. While the heading is purposely “click-baity” her message is clear that given the context in which you are being asked to quickly transition from a face-to-face to an online course you need to give yourselves permission to ditch the perfection that many of us are prone to aim for.
- Associate Professor Amy Young (Pacific Lutheran University) posts similar advice with a heavy emphasis on being kind: kind to your peers (particularly the L&T team), kind to your students, and kind to yourselves. As she states “we’re in triage”, therefore this is not the time to try and catch up on best practices.
- Transforming Assessment recently hosted two webinars: Implementing remotely invigilated online exams at scale and The KISS approach to teaching online in the time of COVID-19. Both webinars were recorded and are now available online.
- Dublin City University have pooled together resources for Swiftly Moving to Teaching Online due to the corona virus.
- Future Learn are running How To Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students: a free 3-week online course.
- Some theme song music may help you survive teaching online.
- A Session 2 teaching wiki has been developed for anyone teaching next session.
For those who are researching online
- The MQ COVID-19 information for staff – research page has the latest directives and updates for researchers
- The eResearch Team have put together a list of eResearch support tools to assist MQ Staff and HDR Candidates in progressing their research at home. It includes resources for collaboration, citation management, meetings, surveys and human subjects research, training, data sharing and storage, cloud computing, data analysis and connecting to the University. This list also includes information cost, which tools are currently paid for by MQ and privacy flags you may need to consider
For those who are supervising online
For those who are meeting online
- Teche have published some practical advice and online meeting best practices.
- Instructions on how to change you zoom meeting background (nb. This is not yet available for the android mobile app)
- Please also note that pants are a non-negotiable – you need to wear pants
- For those of you who are already Zoomed out, here are some tips on how to deal with Zoom fatigue
For those who are working from home
- If you are finding it hard to concentrate when #WFH here are five ways to reduce procrastination.
- And don’t forget, when tax time comes around, there are some tax deductions you will be able to claim while you are working from home (please note this is general advice and personal financial situations should be taken into consideration).
For those who are feeling anxious or overwhelmed
- Please consider making use of the Employee Assistance Program. All staff can access six free sessions of professional counselling through this service, for themselves or immediate family members. The EAP website also offers free online resources
- The Centre for Emotional Health Clinic provides services for children and adults across a range of emotional health issues, including anxiety.
- MindSpot's Coronavirus (COVID-19): Staying Resilient Resources
- Yale’s The Science of Wellbeing Online Course is being offered for free through Courserea
- Dr Shari Walsh, Growth Psychology, has shared with us her Coping During COVID-19 Tip Sheet
- In a recent Lighthouse article Prof. Amanda Barnier reminds us "during times of chaos, kind deeds are also our way to regain a little control"
- In Inside Higher Ed, Rebecca Pope-Ruark discusses focusing on the four reflective pillars that can help during times of uncertainty and change: purpose, compassion, connection and balance
- For those with and/or are working with kids, the Centre for Emotional Health and the School of Education have put together an important collection of strategies and tips for helping to manage anxiety in children during COVID-19