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.
ECR Success Stories
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.
ECR Calendar 2020
Academic Promotions Information Session, Monday 23 March
This session will now be delivered via Zoom, commencing at 10am. To register go to https://macquarie.zoom.us/j/778722409
Making the Most of Mentoring Workshop scheduled for Monday 17 February has been postponed.
We will reschedule this event - Please stay tuned.
Managing Your Research Life: Prioritising Time, Projects, and Tasks
Wednesday 29th April, morning - exact time TBA
Managing your life as an early career research can be overwhelming, especially when you have so many competing interests to negotiate. In this workshop, we will discuss tools and strategies for you to use to work out where your priorities lie and keep you focused on what is truly important for your research career. Registration details to come.
Perfecting your Presentation Pitch
May - exact date and time TBA
This workshop will give ECRs the opportunity to practise their presenting their research to a general academic audience within 3 minutes. Registration details to come.
ECR Showcase 2020
September - exact date and time TBA
This year we will be hosting the inaugural ECR Showcase - a chance for ECRs across campus to present their research and network with the broader MQ community. Further details to come.
Call for Expressions of Interest: ECR Showcase Organising Committee
We are looking for two representatives from each faculty to participate on the ECR Showcase organising committee. This is a great opportunity to gain leadership, citizenship, and event planning experiences.
Participation will involve 6 meetings over the course of approximately 5 months starting early April. Some of the tasks include organising the program, inviting guest judges, selecting ECR presenters, organising catering, promoting the event, and overseeing the running of the event on the day.
Please email your expression of interest to Megan Brewer (ECR Network Coordinator) by COB Monday 16thMarch, 2020. Please provide your name, department and faculty, your availability, and a short paragraph about why you are interested in participating and what you would bring to the organising committee.
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
MQ Business School
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
Dr 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.