B10 - Inputs and outputs: building research capability in an emerging research culture

Day 1 at 16:15 - Investment in building research capacity is essential for universities to remain competitive and to access government funding that is linked to research quality and output. There are two main ways to invest: recruiting researchers who can already deliver high quality outputs; and developing individuals who have the potential to deliver high quality outputs. For newer universities one of the challenges is developing the research capability of individuals in an emerging research culture. The ideal trajectory for a research career begins with research training, presenting at conferences, and publishing as part of a program of postgraduate study. This is the beginning of a research track record to attract funding and graduate students, leading to more publications, a stronger track record, and more funding. Therefore, a focussed research career plan in the first five years post doctorate is essential to developing a research career. Universities are focussing their efforts on building research capacity and capability, but early career researchers at younger universities may need more than just technical skills learned through research training, to develop their track records and shape their careers. Researchers benefit from working in environments that allow them to interact with other successful researchers, but this is not always possible in newer universities without a well-developed research culture. This presentation described a strategy for building research capacity and capability in a newer university with an emerging research culture: Central Queensland's Early Career Researcher Program. This initiative is a cohort-based career development program for early career researchers. The program addressed some of the strategic research skills such as understanding the research context, grant writing, and publishing, through face to face workshops, practical exercises, and strategic mentoring. It also included the development of a focussed research career plan to form the basis of performance management discussions. Unlike most degree programs, and many researcher development initiatives, this program is not discipline specific and provides a research environment where attention is focussed on developing a research career through quality outputs. A program of this type is a long term investment, but early evaluation indicates it has already had an impact on research productivity. The cohort of 18 early career researchers in the 2012 program significantly increased their outputs, submitting 103 manuscripts for publication. By the end of the year half had already been accepted, more than double the average number of publications reported per academic staff member at the same university in the previous year. Building research capacity is essential for universities to remain competitive and strategic investment in building the capability of researchers should therefore be at the core of any university's research strategy. The investment in Central Queensland's Early Career Researcher Program clearly demonstrates the value of researcher development on research outputs and research careers and over time will impact on the University's ability to remain competitive and access government funding that is linked to research quality and output. Strand - All Researchers (context).
Day Day 1
Session B
Start time 16:15
Strand All Researchers (context)
Code B10
Presenters Ms Lynette Browning - Manager, Early Career Researcher Development, Central Queensland University