SISA4 - Supporting ECR networks to drive institutional strategy and support for the post-doctoral community a case study from Exeter University

Day Day 1
Code SISA4
Start time 17.40
Room Henley
Audience Work with Research Staff

Dr Chris Wood, Research Staff Development Manager, University of Exeter 

Session outline:

The University of Exeter has helped to establish a series of Early Career Researcher Networks (ECRNs) across all Colleges and campuses of the University. The aim of the ECRNs is to ensure that our post docs have ample opportunities to network with each other, meet key people from within the organisation and become a cohesive community that has representation and develops a voice.
ECRNs are supported by Early Career Liaison Forums which regularly bring together the ECRN leads to discuss issues of support and needs for strategic change to support the community. As such the ECR community are working together in their networks to develop ideas which can be feed into corporate improvement programmes.
To date, this has resulted in the implementation of dedicated careers coaching, bespoke initiatives and training, the development of an online ECR hub and ECRs being part of a trial of our new electronic PDR system. ECRs also now have representation on the Doctoral College Strategic Board, the Gender Equality Group, the Positive Working Environment Group and the Exeter Academic Steering group.
We believe this is helping our ECR community to make a real contribution to the strategic management of the University.
This collaborative workshop aims to highlight the excellent contribution that ECRNs can bring to the professional and career development of postdocs. We will also emphasise the collaborative and supportive nature of these initiatives and will end with a discussion on how this type of practice can be improved and utilised to develop ECR culture and engagement within the sector.

Themes covered:
  • Innovations in doctoral training programmes; new modes of delivery; delivering at scale, doctoral training centres/ partnerships, Innovative Training Networks (ITNs) and other cohort-based models
  • Research staff and supply of talent; strategies and practice, developing a pipeline of research talent through strategies to attract and retain researchers
  • Employability of researchers; enabling career transitions, championing the breadth of researcher careers and encouraging intersectoral mobility
  • Research environment and culture; shaping an inclusive research environment; wellbeing and mental health, gender equality and diversity research integrity and open research