Early Career Researcher Network

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 ecrsupport@mq.edu.au

ECR success stories

Congratulations to all early career researcher finalists for the Macquarie University Academic Awards:

  • Excellence in Research - Five Future-shaping Research Priorities: Dr Celia Harris
  • MQ Early Career Researcher of the Year (HASS): Dr Miriam Forbes, Dr Milena Gandy, Dr Katrina Hutchison
  • MQ Early Career Researcher of the Year (STEMM): Dr Mohsen Asadnia, Dr Devika Kamath, Dr Bingyang Shi
  • Vice-Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Student Nominated Award: Dr Sonya Willis, Dr Joel Fuller, Ms Alexandra Bhatti, Dr Bruno Alves Buzatto, Dr Paul Crosby, Dr Gaurav Gupta, Dr LayPeng Tan
  • Vice-Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Sessional Staff Award: Dr Frances Chang, Dr Saartje Tack,
  • Vice-Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Early Career Award: Ms Alexandra Bhatti, Dr Christopher Lustri, Dr Chong It Tan
  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence: Dr Yves-Heng Lim with Fred Smith and Dr Adam Lockyer, Dr Matthew Bulbert and team, Dr Prashan Shayanka Mendis Karunaratne
  • Vice-Chancellor's Award for Learning Innovation: Dr Mauricio Marrone
  • Vice-Chancellor's Educational Leader Award: Dr Matthew Bulbert, Dr Prashan Shayanka Mendis Karunaratne

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.

Dr Simon Clulow, Dr Noushin Nasiri and Dr Chris Reid have all received the 2019 NSW Young Tall Poppy award. The Tall Poppy Campaign recognises the achievements of Australian scientists through the prestigious annual Young Tall Poppy Science Awards. Tall Poppy winners undertake activities to promote interest in science among school students and teachers, and broaden the understanding and appreciation of science in the wider community.

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: revealing 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 four 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; Dr Kate Selway, an Earth scientist currently focused on understanding why plate tectonics happens, knowing where to explore for ore deposits, and improving measurements of ice loss from ice sheets and Dr Georgia Ward-Fear, a conservation biologist with a broad interest in evolution, ecology, invasive species and reptiles.

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 2018 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

The recording from the recent Preparing for Academic Promotions Interviews panel session is now available here. And a brief summary of the key takeaways is available here.

Thinking Strategically about Fixed-Term and Casual Research

Wednesday 4 December, 2.00pm – 3.30pm. Register here

Are you a sessional or casual researcher at the university? Have you thought about your five year research strategy? Do you know what steps to take next and what to avoid?

This workshop for sessional or other casually employed early career researchers will provide some models of how to think strategically about pursuing your research career whilst employed on short term or part time contracts. A panel of researchers from different areas across the university and in research positions outside academia will offer some tips on how to think strategically about the opportunities you take on and how to curate your career to build a research portfolio. You will also get an opportunity to share with each other some key strategies you have used to shape your research career.

This session will be facilitated by Dr Megan Brewer and will suit ECRs who are employed as a sessional teacher or casual research assistant.

Panellists include:

Dr Karina Luzia, Program Coordinator, Professional Learning with the Learning and Innovation Hub

Dr Karina Luzia is a social geographer, academic developer, researcher and higher education professional. Prior to her current role, over a 14 year period Karina held more than 50 casual or fixed term contracts over five universities and across 9 discrete disciplines. She has held many roles including sessional teaching, casual academic, research assistant, early career researcher, project manager to name only a few, as well as serving on a number of significant university committees. She now plays a leading role in higher education professional learning and recognition: she coordinates the Advance HE Fellowship program at Macquarie University, collaborates on re/developing professional learning and recognition programs for teaching and learning support, and she sometimes writes for Macquarie University's learning and teaching blog Teche.

Dr Elizabeth Austin, Post-doctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science 

Dr Elizabeth Austin worked as a casual tutor on a number of subjects in the Department of Psychology and on a casual contract as a research assistant with the MQ Department of Education during her PhD, which she received from Macquarie University in 2017. She is now on a fixed-term part-time contract that is amended to full-time from time to time for her post-doctoral fellowship. She is also involved in the supervision of Master of Research and Honours students. Her current research is primarily in the application of complexity science to healthcare and using social-psychological theories to understand hospital organisational culture.

Dr Dale Tweedie, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance

Over 15 years as an academic, Dale has taught as a casual, represented casual staff at university, state and national forums, and researched trends and issues in precarious work. Prior to his first ongoing appointment in 2017, Dale taught for 9 years in academic casual positions, followed by 4 years in fixed term research. During this time, he represented casual staff on the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) branch committee at Macquarie, and was part of the University's first combined staff-management working party on casual academic employment. He was also elected to represent NSW casual academics at a national NTEU bargaining conference to improve working conditions for casual staff. Dale has also published on the nature and impacts of precarious work, and on 'just work' more generally, in journals incluing Human Relations; Work, Employment and Society; and The Economic and Labour Relations Review.

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
E: katrina.hutchison@mq.edu.au

Dr Tom Baudinette
E: tom.baudinette@mq.edu.au

Faculty of Arts Department Representatives

MQ Business School

Dr Murray Taylor
E: murray.taylor@mq.edu.au

Dr Lara Tolentino
E: laramie.tolentino@mq.edu.au

MQ Business School Representatives

Faculty of Human Sciences

Dr Celia Harris
Dr Jinhyun Cho

Faculty of Human Sciences Department Representatives

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Dr Marina Junqueira Santiago
E: marina.junqueirasantiago@mq.edu.au

Dr Elizabeth Austin
E: elizabeth.austin@mq.edu.au

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Department Representatives

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Dr Christopher Lustri
E: christopher.lustri@mq.edu.au

Mr Michael Swain
E: michael.swain@mq.edu.au

Faculty of Science and Engineering Department Representatives


Dr Kyle Ratinac
E: kyle.ratinac@mq.edu.au

A/Prof Clare Monagle
E: clare.monagle@mq.edu.au

A/Prof Jordi McKenzie
E: jordi.mckenzie@mq.edu.au

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research (Integrity and Development) Team

Distinguished Professor Lesley Hughes, Pro-Vice Chancellor Research (Integrity and Development)
E: lesley.hughes@mq.edu.au

Dr Megan Brewer, ECR Network Coordinator 
E: megan.brewer@mq.edu.au

Emily Brennan, PVCR Project Manager 
E: emily.brennan@mq.edu.au

Jeretta Krampah, PVCR Administration Officer
E: jeretta.krampah@mq.edu.au

ECR resources

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.

For further information see the Faculty Research Schemes page or contact Associate Professor Clare Monagle.

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 (fberu@mq.edu.au).

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.

Efficient Teaching

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.

Efficient Teaching Panel

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To enhance the research capabilities of existing and emerging areas of research strength at Macquarie University.
  4. 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.

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