When two universities meet: Fostering research capacity among Early Career Researchers

Kathy Mann, Kathryn Moyle, Andrea Reupert, Jane Wilkinson, Gary Woolley

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Abstract

Between one third to one half of all presently employed academics will reach retirement within the next decade. One strategic approach to deal with this pending issue is to foster the research capabilities of Early Career Researchers (ECRs). This paper describes and analyses the features of one promising program collaboratively developed to support ECRs from Australian education faculties within the University of Canberra and Charles Sturt University. The program was initiated by senior researchers from both universities who identified a large number of ECRs on their respective staffs who worked in isolation and who would benefit from an expansion of their research and professional dimensions. While the program began as a 'top down' initiative, sufficient autonomy was allowed for the ECRs to identify their own professional requirements and to develop an ongoing program. ECRs have met regularly over the past two years to identify shared issues; organise and attend joint professional development activities (such as visiting scholars and mentoring with senior researchers); and work on collaborative research projects and publications. Funding, ongoing senior management support, a variety of both senior and junior role models as well as working on common initiatives has provided momentum for the program.The overarching aim of the program is to build a research community amongst the ECRs of both universities. An example of this collaboration has been a major writing project involving the production of a suite of articles by the ECRs concerning common ECR issues and support strategies. Outcomes also have included professional development and fostering cross university networks. The characteristics underpinning the program are highlighted in this paper, with links made between theory and practice, resulting in valuable outcomes for the participants concerned. It foreshadows emerging changes to the culture of the two education faculties as a result of expliciaddressing ECR research issues. Suggestions for developing sustainable programs to support ongoing research capacity-building of ECRs in Australian universities conclude this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAARE2007
Subtitle of host publicationEducation, Innovation and Research: Strategies for capacity-building
EditorsPeter L Jeffery
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAARE
Pages1-12p (man0713x)
Publication statusPublished - 2007
EventAustralian Association for Research in Education International Education Research Conference: AARE 2007 - Adelaide, Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 27 Nov 200730 Nov 2007

Conference

ConferenceAustralian Association for Research in Education International Education Research Conference
CountryAustralia
CityAdelaide
Period27/11/0730/11/07

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