Early Career Researcher Network
The Macquarie University Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network helps you develop your career and create pathways for achieving world-leading research at Macquarie. The Network hosts events, workshops and presentations to enable career development and networking.
ECR Network workshops and seminars aim to meet nine key research career building capabilities. Workshops and seminars are open to all Early Career Researcher staff.
ECR Network activities are led by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Integrity and Development) and guided by the ECR Network Advisory Group, consisting of two representatives from each Faculty and one from MGSM.
Subscribe to the ECR communications list to receive monthly newsletters and regular updates by emailing email@example.com
ECR success stories
Dr Tom Baudinette from the Department of International Studies, Languages and Culture for his recent media appearance. Tom was interviewed in a segment titled “The power of K-pop” on Weekend Today (18 August 2019) about the rise of K-pop fandom in Australia. Read more about Tom’s research here.
Dr Randa Abdel Fattah, DECRA Fellow from the Department of Sociology, who appeared at the Melbourne Writer’s Festival in August in a number of events including Why YA?, The Opposite of Love, and Arab, Australian, Other. Read more about Randa’s research here.
Congratulations to Macquarie University’s new DECRA fellows starting in 2019: Dr Zichun Wang (Engineering) for the project ‘Tailoring multifunctional single site catalysts for carbon dioxide conversion’; Dr Christopher Reid (Biological Sciences) for the project ‘Ant-inspired rules for self-assembly in swarm robotics and complex systems’; Dr Jonas Wolff (Biological Sciences) for the project ‘Building your future: builder-building coevolution in animal architectures’; Dr Aline Jaeckel (Marine Research Centre) for the project ‘Mining the deep oceans: ensuring compliance with international obligations’; Dr Le (Lyla) Zhang (Economics) for the project ‘Economic analysis of time constraints on decision-making in health’; Dr Lisi Beyersmann (Cognitive Science) for the project ‘Learning to read and understand complex words’; Dr Devika Kamath (Astronomy and Astrophysics) for the project ‘Cosmic alchemy: revealin the origin of elements in the universe’; Dr Catherine Bishop (Business & Economics) for the project ‘A history of Australian businesswomen since 1880’; Dr Adam Hochman (Philosophy) for the project ‘Social constructionism about race’; and Dr Glenn Kefford (Modern History, Politics and International Relations) for the project ‘Data, digital and field: political parties and 21st century campaigning’.
Our three new Superstars of STEM from the Faculty of Science and Engineering: Dr Lizzy Lowe, an urban ecologist who works with local communities to improve the health of our cities with a particular passion for raising the public profile of under-appreciated animals such as spiders, and encouraging engagement with nature in cities; Dr Devika Kamath, an astrophysicist recognised for her work on observational studies of dying stars and their implications on the origin of elements in the universe and Dr Kate Selway, an Earth scientist currently focussed on understanding why plate tectonics happens, knowing where to explore for ore deposits, and improving measurements of ice loss from ice sheets. Read more about our new Superstars of STEM here.
Drs Jennifer Barr and Dr Kerry-Ann O’Sullivan (Department of Educational Studies) who received a Vice Chancellor’s Citation for their Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.
Dr Simon Gross from the Department of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded a NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award for his work with laser and microchip technology. Young Tall Poppy Awards recognise outstanding early career researchers who are passionate about communicating their science and engaging with the community. Read more about Simon's win and research here.
ECR Calendar 2019
Researchers in the Wild: How to Pursue your Research Career Beyond the University
Wednesday 18 September, 2.00pm – 3.30pm. Register here
Have you considered a research career outside the university?
In this session, a panel of researchers will showcase diverse research pathways, provide information about what government and industry employers want from researchers, and give tips on how to use your university experience to develop relationships with research industries outside the academy. Panellists will include Norman Ricklefs* (Ancient History) and Virginia Mumford (Australian Institute of Health Innovation).
This session will suit ECRs who want to broaden the appeal of their research and want to know more about research careers outside the university.
*Panellist Norman Ricklefs completed a PhD in Ancient History at Macquarie in 2001 and then went on to work in the Australian and US governments mostly in the Middle East, with much of his work in Iraq. In particular he served as advisor to Iraq's Interior Minister and then later as advisor to Libya's Prime Minister following the Arab Spring. He now acts as a consultant to businesses and governments in the Middle East.
Turning ARC and NHMRC Grant Applications into Philanthropic Grants
Tuesday 15 October, 2.00pm – 3.30pm. Register here
This session will help Early Career Researchers to understand philanthropic funding opportunities and write a compelling philanthropic grant application. In particular the session will focus on helping Early Career Researchers transform applications written for government funding agencies into philanthropic applications.
In breakout discipline-based groupings, Early Career Researchers will get the opportunity to refashion their 100 word project summaries for government grants into summaries suitable for the philanthropic grant market and get feedback from Trusts and Foundation specialists.
Thinking Strategically about Fixed-Term and Casual Research
- Wednesday 4 December, 2.00pm – 3.30pm. Register here
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
Faculty of Business and Economics
Dr Murray Taylor
Dr Lara Tolentino
Faculty of Human Sciences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Dr Marina Junqueira Santiago
Dr Elizabeth Austin
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Dr Christopher Lustri
Mr Michael Swain
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 Orientation Brochure 2019
New early career researcher staff ECR Orientation Brochure 2019.
Making the Most of Mentoring Resource
In 2018 and 2019 the ECRs at MQ had the opportunity to learn from Associate Professor Clare Monagle about finding and nurturing the mentoring relationship that will let you flourish as a researcher and person. As well as founding The Maddern-Crawford Network mentoring program for women in medieval and early modern studies in Australasia, Clare is the founder of the Emerging Scholars Scheme in the Faculty of Arts (applications for Fellowships in Semester 2, 2019, open on 1 May) which aims at assisting ECRs to consolidate or establish their track record and become more competitive for research funding. This scheme addresses researchers as whole people with real lives, pressures, and genuine contributions to make.
Clare’s presentation stressed the importance of choosing a mentor who makes you feel valued, energised and safe and above all who represents the type of academic you’d like to be (i.e. don’t approach the research only superstar if you’re committed to teaching and vice versa). Crucially, mentors don’t have to come from your discipline, faculty or institution.
Identifying what you admire about a potential mentor can help you take the hard first step of making contact. Offer to buy your mentor a coffee and tell them what you like about their research, what inspires you about their teaching, or what impressed you about their behaviour in meetings. Focus your meeting on an issue that draws on their off-the-cuff expertise rather than asking them to read something or do some work for you.
Mentoring relationships do not need to be long term. You may simply need a quick chat about a career decision or a publication strategy. Don’t just look to one person to fulfil all your mentoring needs.
To learn more about Clare’s mentoring philosophy, you can access her slides here and a piece by her on mentoring here. Listen to a Vitae podcast on mentoring or review the Spectrum framework for mentoring. If you're a mentor and looking for tips on how to engage with mentees, check out the guide provided on The Research Whisperer.
Faculty Mentoring Schemes for ECRs
Faculty of Arts
The Emerging Scholars Scheme is a competitive mentoring program involving social networking, targeted career-development seminars, and seed funding for Early Career Researchers (defined as at Level A or B; up to 5 years post PhD, and employed on a permanent or fixed-term basis).
Researchers are peer-mentored by their ESS cohort and present their research in a three-minute format to a senior academic from the Faculty of Arts. Seed funding of up to $500 per researcher may be used for expenses associated with external-to-Macquarie conference or seminar attendance, running a workshop or seminar at Macquarie, bringing potential research collaborators to Macquarie, research assistant support, professional services (transcription and translation), purchase of books, materials or equipment directly related to a research project.
Faculty of Human Sciences
The Faculty provides a mentoring program for ECRs using an online 'mentoring list' of people who have agreed to be available for mentoring (soon to be tagged with specific areas of expertise in V2.0). ECRs can get access to this list and contact mentors directly. To access the list or get further information about the scheme contact Dr Celia Harris.
Faculty of Business and Economics
The Faculty is currently renovating its mentoring scheme. Stay tuned. To register interest please get in contact with the Faculty of Business and Economics Research Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Faculty of Medicine and Health Science
The program provides an opportunity for ECRs to engage with staff who are not their current line managers to discuss career-related topics. The initiative is for EnCouRage members only and pairs ECRs with a staff member who is willing to be a mentor and meet at least twice a year for informal, strictly confidential discussions. Further information on the scheme is available through the EnCouRage website.
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Watch this space!
Preparing for Academic Promotions Interviews
Applying for Academic Promotion this year? Listen to a panel of Macquarie researchers sharing their tips on what makes a good interviewee, how to prepare and what to expect. This recording was made in July 2019 and the panel comprises academic promotions interview panellists .
You can also read our key take-aways from these sessions over the last two years here.
Maintaining a competitive research profile whilst teaching can be challenging, especially for early career researchers who are often designing courses for the first time from scratch. In February 2019 we brought together some of Macquarie University's early career researcher teaching stars to provide you with tips for efficient teaching.
Our workshop featured presentations by Dr Titia Benders (Department of Linguistics), Dr Matthew Bulbert (Department of Biological Sciences), Dr Shireen Daft (Macquarie Law School), and Dr Murray Taylor (Department of Management). Participants at the session worked in groups to share best practice and brainstorm solutions to commonly encountered problems. The results of this session have been developed into a resource you can access here.
Getting Funding through the ARC DECRA and DP Schemes
In May 2019 we looked at how to make the transition into a successful Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award or Discovery Project by turning to two of our Early Career Researcher Network stars, Dr Adam Hochman (Philosophy, CAVE) and Dr Christopher Lustri (Mathematics & Statistics, and ECR Rep for the Faculty of Science and Economics). Access their accounts of their journey to grant success here.
Promoting your research on social media
Using social media to raise awareness of your research, find collaborators, and build research networks is becoming more and more important for Early Career Researchers. Navigating the rapidly shifting social media landscape as a researcher can be daunting.
In October 2018 we asked two of Macquarie’s prominent researchers, Associate Professor John Dumay from the Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance and Associate Professor Adam Dunn from the Australian Institute of Health Innovation and the Centre for Health Informations, for their top tips on how to harness social media effectively and strategically. Read their advice here.
Crowdfunding at MQ through Ignite
Macquarie University’s Advancement office announced that $1,000 of matched funding from the Vice Chancellors fund will be available for the first five approved crowdfunding projects once they independently raise $1,000.
The University’s own crowdfunding platform, Ignite, was launched last year and in its pilot phase, raised over $5,000 for four University based, philanthropic projects: Tracking manta ray social behaviour (Rob Perryman), Cool Kids(the Centre for Emotional Health); Social Justice Clinic; and Portraits of Recovery (Joe Lander).
For Early Career Researchers who often need small amounts of seed funding to build up their track record, to initiate collaborations and to fund proof-of-concept pilot studies, crowdfunding can be a viable and productive investment of time. One study into the crowdfunding platform for scientific research, Experiment.com, suggests that “Junior investigators are more likely to succeed than senior scientists” and even that “women have higher success rates than men”. Successful projects have a number of things in common: they tend to involve researchers who i) actively sought out contributions and significant endorsements and ii) offered donors something for their investment, whether it be a souvenir, a chance to visit the lab, or more content on the project.
If you’re interested in learning more about crowdfunding your research, head to The Research Whisperer to get information on everything from planning, budgeting, learning how to ask and engaging with social media.
To find out more about Ignite and crowdfunding at MQ see here.
Macquarie University Fellowship for Indigenous Researchers - now open
The purpose of the Macquarie University Fellowship for Indigenous Researchers (MUFIR) Scheme is:
- To provide support to an Australian Indigenous Researcher at the beginning of his/her research career, or who is seeking to re-establish his/her research career following a career interruption.
- To provide support to Australian Indigenous Researchers within three years of the award of their PhD who have an outstanding track record (relative to opportunity) or who show evidence of excellent research potential.
- To enhance the research capabilities of existing and emerging areas of research strength at Macquarie University.
- To provide an incubation research period for early career Australian Indigenous Researchers allowing them to increase their competitive edge in securing research funding from non-University sources.
Applications are now open. See the scheme information page for details.
Support for external prizes and awards
Did you know editorial review is available from the PVC (Research Integrity and Development) team and some Faculty research offices for ECR prizes and awards? If you are considering nominating for an external prize let your Faculty Research Manager know and talk to them about support available to you.
A number of prestigious ECR Prizes and Awards are now open. See a comprehensive list on the External Prizes and Awards page.