Leicester joins British Academy’s first regional Early Career Researcher Network

The University of Leicester has today (Thursday) announced that it has joined the British Academy’s first regional Early Career Researcher Network – a pilot programme aimed at UK-based postdoctoral researchers in the humanities and social sciences.

As part of a consortium with 12 other universities across the region, the University of Leicester will play an integral role within an inclusive and researcher-led Network to support the needs and interests of Early Career Researchers (ECRs). 

Leicester will be offering vital training opportunities for ECRs across the network, including in grant writing, open research, policy impact, and public engagement. In addition, the University will provide access to its facilities to host regional events, supported through the Doctoral College.

Researchers in the Midlands are today invited to apply to join the Network. The aim is to eventually establish a UK-wide Network for researchers in the humanities and social sciences, providing opportunities for skills development and networking across the country. 

Professor Phil Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Leicester said: “I am delighted that the University of Leicester is part of the British Academy Early Career Network – it is a fantastic opportunity to ensure we can achieve better access to training, career development and networks for all ECRs in the region, regardless of their background.

“We look forward to working in collaboration with the British Academy and our partners across the region to create a dynamic hub that will bring together and upskill Early Career researchers from a variety of disciplines.”

Vanessa Cuthill, Director of Research at the British Academy, said: “Today marks the beginning of a crucial phase of the British Academy’s Early Career Researcher Network during which we will be listening closely to feedback from researchers and looking for the best ways to provide the training and professional support that is most in demand. 

“Inclusivity is a key priority. We want to ensure that all those with a contribution to make to research in the humanities and social sciences have the chance to excel at the start of their career, whether or not they are attached to a university or research organisation.” 

Dr Nataly Papadopoulou is a lecturer at the University of Leicester School of Law, and part of the Early Career Researcher Network Midlands Hub.

She said: “This is an exciting new initiative aiming to bring early career colleagues together from across institutions and disciplines. It is a unique opportunity to work together, build networks of collaborations and support, and improve Higher Education for everyone.”

Further hubs will be announced in other regions and nations of the UK as the pilot programme expands in the next two years. 

Humanities and social sciences researchers who identify as early career are eligible to join, regardless of their funding source or background. This includes those working outside of academia, in independent research organisations and other policy or third sector institutions, and those not in employment but with relevant links into the Midlands research community. 

To find out more about the network please see thebritishacademy.ac.uk/early-career-researcher-network.

If you identify as a Midlands-based Early Career Researcher in the humanities and social sciences, you can register to join the network at smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BAECRN.