The meeting took place on Monday 24th August 2020, 10-11am CET. The session, as with all other #ReconnectingEERA activities, was offered free of charge. It provided an opportunity for EERA’s emerging researchers, their supervisors and research leaders to engage in interactive discussions which supported:
- broadening professional development opportunities and research dissemination experiences internationally;
- exchanging experiences and ideas about research and researcher development;
- actively participating in an European research community for Emerging Researchers.
Registration via Eventbrite was mandatory to enable planning for breakout group activities via a secure Zoom connection. An ERG Zoom Guide for Participants was also provided.
The ERG meeting covered the annual activities of the ERG and projects for the future. As is now practice during the ERG meeting, following the introduction about the goals and activities of the ERG, all the participants broke up into small breakout groups in Zoom. Each subgroup was facilitated by a member of the ERG team, either a co-convenor or senior mentor who facilitated discussion about participants’ suggestions for specific areas of development and further initiatives that can meet participants’ needs.
A collaborative Padlet activity was undertaken during the breakout activity. A thematic synthesis of the discussions, developed by Lisa Bugno, an ERG co-convenor was compiled (n=98 respondents) and covered two key areas:
- What topics for emerging researchers participants wanted to see on the EERA Blog; and
- What development activities participants would you like to see in the ERG programme
In addition the activity synthesis, the EERA blog manager also developed an overview of the topics proposed by the participants for what content they would like to see in the EERA blog. This has been shared with members of EERA Council and the wider EERA Networks to galvanise blog contributions from them.
The event was an overall success with 202 registrations, out of which there were at least 98 participants who attended on the day.
Evaluating the session:
Building on last year’s practice in which the ERG piloted a post-Conference survey based on an adapted version of the ‘One Minute Paper‘ which is used as a pedagogical tool to evaluate and enhance participants’ experiences. The following questions were asked in 2020, reflecting the design of #ReconnectingEERA in view of the pandemic:
- What is your role?
- What country or countries are you representing?
- For the questions below: one star = 'not at all' and five stars = 'definitely' Was the session useful to your future needs/career plans?
- a. What aspects of this Emerging Researchers Group session were the most useful for you?
- b. What question(s) about the Emerging Researchers Group or EERA still remain uppermost in your mind?
- c. Have you participated in previous EERA Emerging Researcher Group activities?
- d. What ERG activities have been the most useful for you (multiple answers are allowed):
- How did participating in ERG activities change your research practice or ideas?
- Would you be happy to write a short blog post provide for the EERA Blog?
- a. First Name
- b. Surname
- c. Email
- d. Proposed topic of blogpost
Participants’ feedback Post-session feedback from participants (n=8 respondents) was as follows:
In response to the question ‘What aspects of this Emerging Researchers Group session were the most useful for you?’ – which reinforces that the design of the session is beneficial for all participants and should remain the same moving forward:
- Breakout rooms and using padlet to share ideas
- Every session is useful for me. Thank you for the opportunity.
- Learning about the mentoring opportunities, meeting fellow PhD students with similar problems.
- Connecting with people
- Hearing about the different upcoming initiatives of ERG.
- Being able to connect with other early researchers and also senior researchers who can provide guidance and mentorship.
- Information about the whole range of activities of the group
The question ‘What question(s) about the Emerging Researchers Group or EERA still remain uppermost in your mind?’ was asked. Four responses received (interestingly all from those who had not participated in any ERG activities previously) related to how participants could apply for the review mentoring programme, and how they could stay connected, if they wanted to find out more about similar activities that EERA ERG is organising.
All questions were answered in the post-session follow-up email that was sent through. In response to the question ‘What ERG activities have been the most useful for you (multiple answers were allowed)’, participants responses in order of most useful included:
- ERC review mentoring
- Best Paper Award
- Chairing sessions in ECER, knowing about the needs of ERs
- EERA Bursary Awards
- EERA Summer School
And finally, for the most interesting and impactful evaluation question, in response to ‘How did participating in ERG activities change your research practice or ideas?’, individuals responses included:
- I am more open-minded. And I feel I am cared for in this community.
- Gaining confidence and expertise
- It improved my teaching and my practice as PhD supervisor