Overview of ERC 2022 submissions
There were 156 submissions for ERC 2022 (123 paper, 21 poster and 12 Ignite Talks respectively), which were reviewed by a total of 103 reviewers. All proposals were double- or triple-peer reviewed and 137 contributions were accepted. Of the 25 bursary submissions that the ERG received for the ERC2022, 17 bursary awards were made based on merit and a double-blind peer review process which include an EERA Council Member, the ERG Senior Mentor, an ERG Senior Fellow, ERG co-convenors and the ERG Link Convenor.
Expansion of ERG Mentoring opportunities
The ERG mentoring opportunities continue to be a huge success with 50+ individuals mentored this year across the three types of mentoring opportunities offered. Recognising the impact of the pandemic on emerging researchers’ opportunities to engage with development activities, the ERG continued to expand the number of mentoring opportunities available to members, specifically for reviewing ERC abstracts. The three main different mentoring opportunities are now highlighted on the EERA website.
In 2022, 50+ emerging researchers were given the opportunity to be mentored, and all mentoring opportunities involved the virtual ‘shadowing’ of and receiving feedback on reviews by an experienced academic. For mentoring in relation to reviewing ERC Conference proposals, the Conftool ‘meta review’ function was used to offer these opportunities, with the current ERG Senior Mentor and the previous ERG Senior Mentor supporting with mentoring inexperienced emerging researchers in learning how to review and provide high-quality feedback on submitted proposals. As new co-convenors are brought on board, the co-convenor induction checklist was also utilised for this purpose. This mentoring process is now more than ever a robust pipeline of academic and organisational skills and knowledge development for emerging researchers. As such, moving forward, it is now an annual practice that all emerging researchers who attend the ERG meeting are offered the opportunity to mentored as a subsequent ERC abstract reviewer. In this mentorship programme, experienced researchers will continue to mentor emerging researchers who may not have prior experience through the review process. Demand is matched by the resources available, and there is no guarantee that everyone who requests this will be given the opportunity. For ERC2022, though, thanks to the continued generous volunteering of senior academics, we have been able to meet the requests of all emerging researchers who sought to be mentored for the ERC reviews. All those emerging researchers who were mentored gave overwhelmingly positive feedback about the impact of the experience.
ERC 2022, Yerevan and ECER Plus, online
The ERC in 2022 consisted of two parts: an in-person event in Yerevan which took place on Monday 22nd August and Tuesday 23rd August 2022; and the ERC online event which took place on Thursday 1st September and Friday 2nd September 2022. Overall, participants were all very open and happy to make connections, to network and discuss work, and their experience can be summarised in this testimony from one participant:
'I am happy that ERC gives a welcoming space to researchers to share their work beyond their national contexts and make connections of how their work can reach more people/ a European audience. People came to me saying this was their first time in an international event/presenting in English and I was very happy they chose ERC to practice that. From personal experience, ERC was also my first international event talking about my PhD, so I can totally feel how intimidating it can seem and hearing that they felt ERC as a welcoming space was really great.'
Acknowledgement and Thanks
The ERG co-convenor would like to offer much gratitude to the following colleagues, without whom none of the ERG’s achievements and activities over the past year would have been possible.
- ERG co-convenors, including shadow co-convenors, ERG Senior Mentor, ERG Senior Fellows
- EERA Office
- EERA Exec
- EERA Bursary reviewers
- ERC proposal reviewers
- ERC Best Paper Competition reviewers
- EERA Summer School hosts
- ERC mentors/ chairs
- LOC and the ERC2022 hosting institution and partner organisation
- EERA Council Members and National Association representatives
- EERA Network Convenors, co-convenors and members
- ERC2022 and EERA Summer School presenters, invited speakers and workshop facilitators
- ERC2022 and EERA Summer School participants
- Additional volunteers not included in any of the above-mentioned groups
Each individual contributed in an integral way to ensure the success and impact of activities, and as such, we remain indebted to them, and look forward to working with them for the ongoing success and commitments to delivering the best opportunities possible for our emerging researcher community.