India’s University Grants Commission recently invited proposals to retrospectively assess the quality of PhD theses awarded by the country’s universities over the past 10 years. In this post Santosh C. Hulagabali, outlines the potential impacts of this review on Indian universities and scholars and highlights the role of this review in signaling the quality of Indian research. In the […]
Category: Early career researchers
Academic review promotion and tenure documents promote a view of open access that is at odds with the wider academic community
A critical issue for advocates of Open Access (OA) has been the persistent lack of institutional incentives for academics to engage with Open Access publishing. Drawing on their research into Review, Promotion and Tenure documents, a team at the Scholarly Communications Lab, including Juan Pablo Alperin, Esteban Morales and Erin McKiernan argue that when these key documents for research assessment […]
Book Review: Gender and Precarious Research Careers: A Comparative Analysis edited by Annalisa Murgia and Barbara Poggio
In Gender and Precarious Research Careers: A Comparative Analysis – available to download here open access – editors Annalisa Murgia and Barbara Poggio bring together contributors to offer an essential interrogation of the neoliberal restructuring of universities and the particular impact this has on women in the early stages of their research careers. This is a powerful account of the ways in which gender and precarity are intertwined in […]
To unlock the impact of ECR research, create stable academic identities
Societal impact has become the hallmark of high quality research, as is reflected in the decision to make impact worth 25% of REF 2021 assessments and the introduction of Research Missions into the Horizon Europe framework. However, the ability to produce societal impacts is often linked to career stage and job stability. Reporting on a survey of Early Career Researchers […]
How does funding and publication affect the time taken to complete a PhD?
A persistent problem for higher education policy has been how to ensure a steady supply of doctoral graduates equipped to deal with today’s global challenges. In this post Hugo Horta, Mattia Cattaneo and Michele Meoli examine the relationship between PhD funding and research productivity during PhD studies with time taken to complete a PhD and suggest that a key factor […]
Publishing and Perishing – Does a new generation of social scientists have to publish more to achieve less?
It is often anecdotally remarked that early career and PhD researchers have to publish their research more frequently and earlier in their careers than previous generations of academics, if they aim to secure a permanent academic job. In this post, Rob Warren lays out empirical evidence from the field of Sociology showing that this is indeed the case and highlights two […]
Reimbursement Culture and Widening Participation in Academia
The cost of academic travel is often covered with upfront payments by researchers that are subsequently reimbursed by their institutions. In this post Sarah Thomson argues, that in order to develop a culture of widening participation in higher education, it is time to rethink this practice and the tacit assumption, especially with regard to PhD researchers, that they have access to the funds […]
A PhD is not just a degree – it is an opportunity to develop the skills needed to deliver impact
Some PhD students and early career academics feel that the demands placed on them are so intense that they can never devote time to ‘secondary’ activities. Research comes first and last, and the doctorate ‘grind’ is something that has to be ‘got out of the way’ before they can focus on anything else. In contrast, Hayley Teasdale argues that PhD […]
Don’t let your academic career determine your every move – Should early career researchers be expected to relocate regularly in order to land a permanent job?
To secure a permanent academic position, it has become an increasingly common requirement for early career researchers to work in a number of institutions, often across a number of countries. In this post, Eva Krockow weighs the benefits of an international career against the costs of constant mobility and suggests that fostering more stable working environments will ultimately prove beneficial […]
The Unstoppable Rise of Sci-Hub: How does a new generation of researchers perceive Sci-Hub?
How do early career researchers (ECRs) use Sci-Hub and why? In this post David Nicholas assesses early career researcher attitudes towards the journal pirating site, finding a strong preference for Sci-Hub amongst French ECRs. He raises the question, will Sci-Hub prove the ultimate disruptor and bring down the existing status quo in scholarly communications? When we started the Harbingers Project […]