The ERC 2023 welcomed the continued highly-demanded lunch break events of “Getting to Know EERA and Making the Most of the Emerging Researchers' Conference and ECER"” and the “Lunch Break with Local Academics”. Both sessions were very well attended by emerging researchers (although the latter had some challenges with regards to the participation of local academics which was fortunately resolved barely weeks before the ERC). The sessions are now a firm feature of the ERC Programme and they continue to build on participants’ feedback which indicates the need for a dedicated session to understand the complex EERA structure and the place of the ERG and ERC in relation to ECER. Numbers at both sessions were extremely positive – over 50 during both sessions.
Getting to Know EERA and Making the Most of the Emerging Researchers' Conference and ECER
This informal lunchtime session took place on Monday, 21st August, 12:30 - 13:30. It was facilitated by experienced academics and the ERG co-conveners to help emerging researchers chart their way through the conference program and understand the structure of EERA and how they can participate in additional activities. It also formed a useful opportunity to connect with fellow ‘emerging’ researchers.
The following themes were addressed within the session. The themes were shortly be introduced at the beginning of the session. After this introduction, participants were welcome to participate in informal discussions and ask questions pertaining these themes to the experienced academics and co-convenors.
- Doing Educational Research: Two Editors of ‘Doing Educational Research: Overcoming Challenges in Practice’ were present. This SAGE/EERA book was developed as a result of feedback from PhD students and addresses challenges researchers have encountered in their projects. In this there are accounts of how experienced researchers handled entry into the research field, how they discussed and managed research result that posed problems when accounted back to the field, and how doing research in a second language, i.e. English, creates a complex set of challenges from interpretation to communication of your research.
- Networks, Networking and Development Opportunities: Enabling participants to connect with experts in their field by identifying their network and attending their programs. We discussed opportunities and strategies for building their networks during the conference and beyond.
- Converting your conference paper into a publication: Participants were able to explore the unique opportunities afforded to participants at the Emerging Researchers’ Conference to maximize their publication success. We discussed several possibilities the conference offers to receive feedback on their work, for example during and after their conference-presentation.
- Meeting the ERG co-convenors: Participants were able to meet and chat with the Emerging Researchers’ Group co-conveners who shared their recent experiences as Early Career Researchers and provide helpful tips for making the most of the conference experience.
- Meet various members of the EERA teams, and those present included:
- Joe O’Hara, EERA President and EERA Blog editor
- Marit Honerod Hoveid, EERA President elect, ERG Senior Fellow and EERA Network 13: Philosophy of Education, Editor of ‘Doing Educational Research: Overcoming Challenges in Practice’
- Maria Pacheco Figueiredo, EERA Secretary General, Network 10: Teacher Education Research and EERA Blog Editor
- Lucian Ciolan, EERA Secretary General elect and Romanian Educational Research Association (ARCE) representative, Editor of ‘Doing Educational Research: Overcoming Challenges in Practice’
- Andreas Hadjar, EERA Treasurer and EERA Network 05: Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
- Petra Grell, Networks' Representative on Council and EERA Network 06: Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
- Fabio Dovigo, Network’s Representative on Council elect and EERA Network 04: Inclusive Education
- Satu Perälä-Littunen, ERG Senior Mentor
- Mhairi Beaton, ERG Senior Mentor elect and British Educational Research Association (BERA) representative
- Saneeya Qureshi, ERG Link Convenor, EERA Blog Editor and EERA Network 01: Professional Learning and Development
- Lisa Bugno, Incoming ERG Link Convenor and EERA Network 07: Social Justice and Intercultural Education
- Burcu Toptas, ERC co-Convenor and EERA Network 26: Educational Leadership
- Hosay Adina-Safi, ERG co-Convenor and EERA Network 31. LEd – Network on Language and Education
- Dragana Radanovic, ERG co-Convenor and EERA Network 29. Research on Arts Education
- Ottavia Trevisan, ERG co-Convenor and EERA Network 10. Teacher Education Research
- Sofia Eleftheriadou, ERG co-Convenor and EERA Network 09. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
- Edwin Keiner, ERG Senior Fellow and EERA Network 13: Philosophy of Education
- Laurence Lasselle, Network 14. Communities, Families, and Schooling in Educational Research and EERA Blog Editor
- Elsa Lee, Network, Network 30. Environmental and Sustainability Education Research, ESER
- Arnaud Dubois, Network 21. Education and Psychoanalysis
In total, 48 emerging researchers attended the lunch session and 37 of them completed the feedback form.
What was useful:
- Nice to talk to people and connect with other emerging researchers, opportunity for networking (7 participants)
- Nice to be able to chat to experienced EERA/ERG people and ask questions (6 participants)
- Learnt more about the networks, got good tips and insights about networks and the conference (5 participants)
- The informal setting was nice (5 participants)
- Liked the overall organisation of the conference
- Liked the suggested questions on the prompt sheet (2 participants)
- Expected some information about EERA Networks, more structured (3 participants)
- More time and EERA/ERG members on the tables
- Different venue, it was too noisy and hard to hear people
- Bigger tables to have more people around
Ideas for other activities:
- Arrange a speed dating so that participants get to know more people
- Get people interested in the same network to sit together for lunch and connect with each other
Reflections from Co-convenors who led this event (Sofia and Hosay):
- Some participants had mixed expectations from the event, some felt that it was too informal and expected a structured introduction like the one we had at the Network meeting in the afternoon (shorter version), others seemed to like the relaxed atmosphere. The description of the event could be further developed to reflect our expected outcomes for this event.
- A quick introduction of the EERA/ERG members that were present in the lunch area would be helpful so that participants know who is there to talk to about the network.
- Some participants felt it was too early to be giving feedback about their experience, however this was not commented on the feedback forms.
The Lunch with Local Academics lunchtime session
This took place on Tuesday, 22nd August, 12:30 - 13:30. The “Lunch Break with Local Academics” was an engaging opportunity for participants. About 50 emerging researchers pre-registered for the unique chance to discuss and exchange ideas around a focused topic with local academics. This was the perfect way for participants to share a meal and to get to know, meet, connect and network both with and their peers and local academics, sharing the latest ground-breaking insights on topics of their interest.
“Lunch Break with Local Academics” continues to be an attractive informal opportunity for emerging researchers to socialise and to take part in the scientific community. The event is intended to give an informal opportunity in a designated location for networking, creating global connections and knowledge exchange during lunch time.
Specific feedback comments included:
- Maybe the academics could have a sign to show their field of expertise/interest so we can choose better where to sit.
- Maybe make a clearer that lunch is also provided outside these lunch sessions. good thing introduction of academic and spreading them across table.
- Perhaps it would be helpful to plan more time and include a walk around part after lunch. Thank you very much!
- It would have been great if there had been signs with the local academics field of interest on the tables because I only found out when I sat down and all the seats were taken on tables that could have been have interesting for me.
- Bigger tables could permit meeting more people. Temporal overlap with the main conference opening and the start of the following session was a bit unfortunate.
- perfect! more like these events :)
- perhaps put people in similar research areas
- it's interesting to get an insight behind the screen at getting your research published. the environment was open and friendly. I'd have liked if it was without registration but more accessible for more people!
- excellent session. would be great if it lasted longer. so much to talk about and listen to. thank you
- it was absolutely amazing. also, inspiring for students and good for networking!!
- longer duration but excellent idea to know local academics. definitely enjoyed and will use information gathered here. thank you
- I think would be helpful to know the researchers- fields before we sit
- Very useful. A lot of great insightful information about publishing articles
- very useful discussions and guidance/advice for ERCs. It would be helpful to announce an opportunity to switch the academic you're talking to as to not feel awkward leaving a table
ERC in-person capacity-building workshops
There were two in-person capacity-building workshops. The ERC workshops address issues typically relevant to Emerging Researchers and will take place Tuesday afternoon, 15:30 - 17:30.
The end is where you start from: how to defend your thesis and convince examiners of its merit right from the start of your doctoral journey.
Presented by Shosh Leshem (Kibbutzim College of Education, Israel and Research Associate, Stellenbosch University, South Africa). The overview of the workshop was as follows:
Assume that the thesis defense focuses on the critical criteria used by examiners to judge the merit of your thesis as they read it and create the agenda for the assessment report, or for questions to ask in the defense event. This will also determine the level of award that they will recommend to your university. So, knowing what the criteria are and what questions will possibly be asked, provides a framework from which to approach and undertake your research. Making the destination explicit should be the starting point and guide to the subsequent planning and execution for your doctoral research. The workshop will introduce inescapable pre-requisites for a thesis to become doctoral- worthy. It will provide insights on what examiners consider to be the determinants of ‘Doctorateness’ in a thesis so that you can incorporate them right from the start of your writing. It will offer strategic practical tools to apply in your thesis and help candidates and readers appreciate:
- The ‘whole’ and the’ parts’ that form ‘synergy’ between the account of the research that has been undertaken and the written text.
- The high quality of conceptualisation expected from a doctoral thesis and recognized by presentation of argument and structure, which make the thesis a coherent piece of research.
The workshop will include both theory and practice where participants will be able to interact with each other and discuss issues regarding their own research.
Overall feedback indicates that the workshop was extremely well-received and that participants overwhelmingly found value in it.
Question 1: Was the content relevant to your needs?All 23 respondents marked is as 5/5
Question 2: Did the session meet your expectations? All 23 respondents marked is as 5/5
Suggestions for future development included suggestion for the workshop potentially to be made into a two-part session and more time for interaction.
More detailed qualitative feedback about the workshop is indicated below:
- A two-part session might be nice. Theory in the first part, time to digest, then more concrete application in the second part. Great content – thank you!
- It was well-structured, visual are great, very clear.
- It would be interesting to make this into a proper workshop with activities we can engage in. And have other workshops for PhD students eg: writing a literature review; what makes a good poster, etc. Thank you.
- It was very interesting and the topic on point – would be interesting with more interactive time, as well, but other than that, it was amazing.
- This presentation was extremely useful and insightful in helping to prepare. It was clear about the end being the beginning. I loved it all.
- An incredible input. I am at the start of my doctoral journey so this was an incredible opportunity to get. Thank you so much :)
- I’m at the very beginning of my PhD, and I think this will really help me start on the right footing. I would have liked a few more concrete examples and activities since I found them really interesting.
- It offered questions we should ask ourselves + answer in the thesis + data on vivas. All very useful.
- Brilliant workshop delivered by Prof Shosh Leshem. I enjoyed the 120 minutes course and gained so much new knowledge and understanding. Thanks, Professor.
The feedback above has been shared with Shosh as well as the incoming ERG LC.
Writing for your Research Community, Writing for the EERJ
Presented by Paolo Landri - EERJ Editor (CNR-IRPPS (Fisciano) , Italy) and Dr Sotiria Grek - EERJ Editor (University of Edinburgh, UK), this session discussed the purposes of research publications and its audiences, the process of journal selection, manuscript preparation and the issue of (blind) review procedures. The session also included information about good practice in Open Access policy publishing and advice about the new problem of fake journals and how to avoid them.
Part of the session was about the European Educational Research Journal (EERJ) as a medium for publishing about the changing landscapes of educational research across Europe and how to 'write' for a European audience.
Overall feedback indicates that the workshop was well received and some suggestions provided for future development and/or the workshop title and/or abstract tweaked for the future.
More detailed qualitative feedback about the workshop:
- Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought this was a workshop, hence I expected a more hands-on session. However, I think what was presented was highly relevant and useful. I also loved the discussion. I will try and submit something with EERJ! :)
- This was very useful and informative. It would have been great to get the slides afterwards (Perhaps small group discussion opportunities could also be beneficial)
- Maybe some topics can be detailed in other sessions. I would like to have more examples to understand better how to improve my work. Some examples of rejections would have been good.
- I expected that the presentation showed the EERJ’s guidelines, but a broader introduction was even better for me, because I didn’t know many of their points made. It would have been great to have even more time for this workshop to hear more input and ask more questions. But in all, it was very helpful, thank you.
- It would have been useful to have had opportunities built into the workshop to discuss experiences/ tips/ challenges with each other on tables. It was also quite difficult to hear clearly during the Q&A.
- The session was useful, but it would benefit from more practical examples of “bad” articles, reviews, etc. Also, this session was supposed to be a workshop, but it turned out to be a presentation. This does not mean that this is a negative thing, but just in terms of the activity organisation. However, overall this was a nice and highly useful session.
- A bit more details on the specifics of EERJ would have helped me personally. Also, some examples (case studies, sort of) would help us to learn from the previous experiences with publishing in EERJ (and with anonymous/ or even cartoon style). Maybe explaining the dynamics of the impact factor (IF) – both the perspective of the author and the one of the editor. Thanks for the informative session!
- Tips on writing, editing, type of writing, having idea for a paper. Good, friendly presenters and useful Q&A session. Possibly to bring an abstract that you have written and in small groups work on improving it.
- As a workshop, I was expecting a more practical activity. I feel that it was a bit too theoretical and too few the information to build on (eg: academic writing courses/ summer school/ books to explore the field). Thank you because the content expressed was very clear.
- I expected something entirely different by the title. I expected a workshop with practicing concrete writing techniques to share our results with our “research community”, under which I understood the people I am going (participative/ co-creative) research with: people with (intellectual) disabilities in my case.
- I would appreciate more active-collaborative activities about academic writing (revision of a paper, writing a part of a paper).
- More practical examples would be useful + more detail on ‘fake journals’ as this was not shown on the screen for long.
- This session was advertised as a workshop and whilst the presentation and event the question section was interesting, I would have liked an activity, maybe selecting key words or something short, but useful as a practical experience.
- I would like more information about fake journals and how to detect it.
- This session was very useful in the sense that it explained how journals work with basic information. Because early career researchers do not know this and supervisor/ academics just assume that we know these aspects or we are supposed to know. And sometimes early career researchers feel shy to ask how publication process works. The workshop could have been supported with some example papers perhaps. Because I do not know what exactly I can publish during my PhD. I already plan to publish it in the end as a book. But can I also publish some parts of my chapters.
- I found it very helpful. The speakers touched upon very important issues related to publishing in general and through this journal in particular.
- It’s interesting to have such practical advice on publishing.
- It would be interesting to include a bit of a discussion of a possibility of publishing in other languages than English, especially taking into account the theme of the conference.
- Was very interesting. I think that the topic of open access is worthy of more attention, but I understand it’s a broad topic.
- The presentation was explanatory. Probably what could be added were details on upcoming issues of EERJ that may help authors in advance.
- Both presenters were excellent – this was a very helpful workshop! Thank you.
The feedback above has been shared with both workshop presenters as well as the incoming ERG LC.
ERC Network Workshops
Finally bringing back the ERC Network workshops pattern to its pre-covid offer, there were two NW workshops offered during ERC 2023. These form an opportunity for EERA networks to introduce questions within their research fields. This year, Network 10. Teacher Education Research and NW 12. Open Research in Education offered workshops which took place Monday, 21 August, 15:30 - 17:00. NW workshops are purposefully chosen to reflect where ERC applicants selected other networks as their second choice in large numbers.
Network 10 Teacher Education: Making and Connecting: LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® and Teacher Education
This workshop began with a short presentation from each of the NW:10 convenors outlining their current research practices before moving on to make connections using LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, a facilitated methodology that uses brick-building and metaphoric storytelling as a form of communication and problem-solving. The aim of the workshop was to offer an opportunity for those interested in teacher education to engage with the themes of the network and create networking opportunities for doctoral students, emerging and early career researchers and those interested in learning more. In this workshop, participants learnt about the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method and how it can be used in a wide range of learning, teaching and research contexts as well as explore possibilities for connection and collaboration in teacher education.
Network 12 Open Research in Education: Connecting Research, Practice and Infrastructure
This workshop aimed to involve and enable emerging researchers into the discussion about open research, its practices and infrastructures in education. Network 12 changed this year its name to Open Research in Education to provide a platform for engaging in these discourses on openness in scholarship. They, therefore, wanted to use this workshop as an opportunity to shed light on the potential, concerns, and possible ways forward in aligning Open Science to educational research and its practices. The new network name Open Research in Educational address this perspective and the heterogeneity of educational research. The workshop started with a short introduction to Open Research in Education focussing on open research practices and enabling infrastructures. The format was interactive and open to stimulate a high engagement and encourage ongoing collaborations at the sessions and beyond. Participants were able to pose their own questions which served as a starting point for discussion, and additionally, were invited to continue discussions at: https://yopad.eu/p/ERC-Workshop_Open_Reseaerch_on_Education-365days
ERC 2023 Keynote
The ERC 2023 keynote was given by Rosemary Deem who is Emerita Professor of HE Management and Doctoral School Senior Research Fellow, Royal Holloway (University of London). Rosemary’s keynote was titled ‘Diversity and doctoral education – dream or reality?’ and explored aspects of doctoral education diversity in European higher education, considered how we identify when the level of diversity is sufficient to significantly reduce inequality and also discussed the extent to which diversity is linked to inclusivity, without which it is unlikely that much transformation will take place. It was very well received and resonated strongly with both emerging researchers and research supervisors alike.
EERA Summer School
This took place in June 2023 and was a great success. This active participation and collaboration between ERG and the Annual EERA Summer School organisers is planned to continue in the coming years with the ERG Link Convenor making time to contribute to the EERA 2024 Summer School that will be held again in Porto.
The Emerging Researchers’ Group continues a productive and fruitful cooperation with two journals to provide the opportunity for emerging researchers to submit their work for onward peer review and potential publication:
- the European Educational Research Journal (EERJ)
- Studia Paedagogica
ERG Best Paper Award Competition
These opportunities follow the ERC Best Paper Award process, wherein papers presented at the ERC are developed into journal articles and submitted for a two-stage double-blind formative peer review process within the Emerging Researchers’ Group. Following this process, selected papers are submitted to the EERJ and Studia Paedagogica, depending on how they fit in with the scope of each journal. Onward peer review follows. Studia Paedagogica implements a critical-friendly round of pre-reviews before which papers are recommended for the official review process. An example of the impact this process has on emerging researchers in indicated in the following testimony “The reviewer’s comments were exceptionally helpful and encouraging in working through the original paper. We worked hard to address all the reviewer’s concerns and to incorporate the suggestions and hope that you will find our paper to be a substantial improvement on our previous one.”
Authors whose papers are not successful in the pre-review round are sent brief feedback and recommended areas for further development. These papers, are also shared, with permission, with the relevant network’s convenor for further specialised feedback from a colleague within that network. As a result of this comprehensive review process, a number of successes continue to be reported. Last year, the ERG has also begun capturing publication successes on individual winners’ profiles (here) and testimonials about the impact of the Best Paper process on emerging researchers via this website: https://eera-ecer.de/about-eera/promoting-emerging-researchers/erc-best-paper-award/winners-testimonials
In 2022-2023, a past winner was invited to contribute to the EERA Blog, and her post can be read here: https://blog.eera-ecer.de/best-paper-award/
Finally, continuing to augment the collaboration between the ERG and EERA’s flagship journal, EERJ, is the ongoing representation and valuable contribution of the EERJ editors to the review committee for the ERG Best Paper Award.
2. Public Engagement – EERA Blog submissions
This year, the ERG focused on promoting to blog regularly to the emerging researcher community, and this has resulted in a number of well-received blog posts by emerging researchers, example of which can be read at: https://blog.eera-ecer.de/category/networks/erg/
The outgoing ERG LC has already discussed some of the feedback and suggestions presented in this report with the incoming ERG, and plans are already in place to address some of them for future ERC and wider ERG activities. The content of this report shall be shared with the ERG LC, ERG Senior Mentor, ERG Senior Fellows, EERA Office and wider EERA Link Convenors for their overview as well, and potential aspects to consider in relation to collaborative activities with the ERG.
The outgoing ERG Link Convenor (Saneeya Qureshi) 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.
- Incoming ERG Link Convenor
- ERG co-convenors
- Outgoing ERG Senior Mentor
- Incoming 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
- ERC2023 and EERA Summer School participants
- ERC2023 and EERA Summer School presenters, invited speakers and workshop facilitators
- 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.
Join the ERG platform "EERA Emerging Researchers' Group" on LinkedIn This space for the ERG has the purpose of being a more interactive platform where members can contact each other directly and where they may exchange information and resources. It will also provide information about the ERG activities.