By Julie Cook Lucas and Hayley Tyrer
What is the early career researcher forum?
The Early Career Researcher Forum in the College of Health and Wellbeing, was set up at the beginning of 2016 as a College initiative to support early career researchers (ECRs). The ECR Forum is designed to allow research assistants, research associates and post-doctoral level members of staff a space to share information between ECRs and acknowledge the contributions of ECRs to UCLan while feeding ideas in to the College Executive.
What has been achieved to date?
To date, the ECR Forum has met 5 times (1 meeting every 2 months) and the meetings have covered a number of different topics:
Session 1: Brainstorming by ECRs on the issues they thought the forum should address
Session 2: Q&A with Professor Caroline Watkins (College Director of Research & Innovation): clarification on some issues raised during session 1, followed by a forum discussion to identify which themes/tasks to pursue through the colloquium in an informed and structured way.
Session 3: Group discussion to articulate the way forward for the forum in terms of skills/interests to offer and share, areas members wanted to be covered, and contract status.
Session 4: Presentations by Gill Bruce and Emma Hesketh-Sandon (UCLan Human Resources and Research Office respectively) and Mike Eslea (UCU branch representative) regarding contracts and career progression and recent developments regarding roles and grading issues.
Session 5: Group discussions around mentoring, probation and appraisal, and training/skills development
Interested in getting involved?
We are actively encouraging all early career researchers within the College of Health and Wellbeing to participate in the ECR Forum; your experience and opinions really matter when finding ways to improve the ECR experience at UCLan! (Please remember that this is a College initiative to support ECRs and you are entitled to time to attend).
If you want to attend the ECR Forum then please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.