Early career researchers’ collective advocacy work within an Australian university context

Ellen Larsen, Yvonne Salton, Melissa Fanshawe, Lorraine Gaunt, Lisa Ryan, Yvonne Findlay, Peter Albion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Global pressure on universities to compete for research rankings has escalated research expectations and intensified a performativity culture for early career researchers (ECRs). However, there are limited examples in the literature of ECRs advocating for their career and research trajectories. In response to this issue, ECRs in one Australian regional university initiated the Teacher Education ECR Action and Advocacy Group (TEECRAA). This research, reported in this paper, aimed to understand how TEECRAA contributed to the career and research trajectories of these ECRs and their advocacy regarding ECR-specific policy in their higher education context. Framed by tenets of policy network theory and policy communities, this study draws on documents developed by the TEECRAA group using content and thematic analysis to investigate their activities and experiences. Findings highlighted that ECRs were able to set research and career goals, prioritise opportunities for professional learning, create resources to support their research profiles, and develop a network of support. ECRs also increased their contributions to policy and practice by engaging in strategic action that promotes ECR visibility and advocates for their needs. This contribution, however, requires the development of a network-like interaction between ECRs and university leaders with a commitment from the university to work in partnership with ECRs for mutual benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-296
Number of pages22
JournalAustralian Educational Researcher
Issue number1
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


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