ERG review mentorship programme:
The three main different mentoring opportunities are now highlighted on the EERA website
25 emerging researchers were given the opportunity to be mentored to review ERC2020 proposals, and 2 emerging researchers who were the new co-convenors were mentored to review the ERC 2019 Best Paper submissions. All mentoring opportunities involved the virtual ‘shadowing’ of and receiving feedback on reviews by an experienced academic.
A special co-convenor induction checklist (Appendix 5) was developed by one of the ERG co-convenors, Natasha Ziebell, who acted, together with Lisa Bugno, as a peer-mentor to the new co-convenors. This mentoring process is now more than ever a robust pipeline of academic and organisational skills and knowledge development for emerging researchers.
Moving forward, as is now an annual practice, all emerging researchers who attended the ERG meeting have been offered the opportunity to be 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 ERC2020, though, thanks to the 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.
ERG Bursary Review process: A member of EERA Council continues to be involved with the bursary review process which is now more transparent than ever before. In addition to the reviews undertaken by two Senior Mentors, two ERG co-convenors also contributed to the bursary reviews, which is now standard reviewing practice.
EERA Summer School: This was postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.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 already confirmed to contribute to the EERA 2021 Summer School on ‘Beyond the Basics in Educational Research Methodology: Research ethics in educational research’.
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
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.
This year, the ERG has also begun capturing publication successes on individual winners’ profiles and testimonials about the impact of the Best Paper process on emerging researchers.
Further augmenting the collaboration between the ERG and EERA’s flagship journal, EERJ, is the representation of the EERJ editors on the review committee for the ERG Best Paper Award. Following the installation of the new editors of the EERJ in 2020, we are happy to report the continuing strong association between the ERG and EERJ that has been developed over the past few years.
ERC2019 Best Paper Award Process: Two new co-convenors were comprehensively mentored by an experienced academic throughout the review process. The review process was further streamlined for 2019-2020, and included much wider involvement by members of EERA Council. 15 reviewers reviewed 16 Best Paper Award submissions. The emerging researcher Best Paper Award 2019 winner was Sofia Eleftheriadou.
The following plans are carried over from the previous year, as the pandemic prevented them from coming to fruition in 2020:
- The ERC’s poster sessions continue to be well-received, however, as per feedback from ERC2019, some changes need to be made:
- The ‘Popular Vote Poster Award’ will be renamed to ‘Peer Review Poster Award’ for ERC 2021
- All posters will be displayed in a central location, particularly in view of feedback that the poster exhibition needed to be longer, and not amalgamated with the coffee break.
- Poster presentations will be only 5 mins per poster presentation + 5 minutes Q&A. EERA Office will be requested to amend the information on the website and in all comms that go out about the Award.
- The possibility of voting for the ‘Peer Review Poster Award’ via the Conference app is being explored, barring which an online survey will be utilised again, this time incorporating a tiny URL and QR code for the survey link.
- A team of ERG co-convenors shall be assigned to work on developing the Peer Review Poster Award and tasked with coming up for a simpler survey for the app (i.e three questions + one free-text for peer review/ formative feedback)
- The ERG Link Convenor shall liaise with the Networks representative on Council to explore the following initiatives to be implemented during the ERC2020:
- Having a critical friend, i.e a representative from each network to attend ERC sessions and give specialised feedback to participants where possible. This has the potential to augment further high-quality research discussions based on presentations and also open up the opportunities for informal specialised peer feedback. This process would also have the added benefit of connecting emerging researchers with a more experienced academic in their area of expertise, who could, for example share with the emerging researcher some information about current research dilemmas faced in the network, etc. It would also form another channel of introduction for emerging researchers to the EERA network structure and communities that are active at ECER.
- Establishing more direct links with networks through a two-pronged approach:
- Where possible, networks can include Emerging Researchers as co-convenors and also mirror the ERG mentorship programme for those proposals submitted to the ERC, using the meta-review function in conftool
- NW convenors could send invitations through the ERG convenor to all emerging researchers participating in the ERC, to attend the NW meetings during ECER.
- Where emerging researchers become known to NW convenors, they could allow time on the agenda in their NW meeting for an emerging researcher to report about the ERC and ERG activities that can tie in with the wider network activities
- The following initiatives shall be also explored for ERC2021, all being well:
- Arrangements for those with hearing/visual impairments to sit at the front for opening and closing ceremonies, the keynote and interactive session.
- The possibility of stream capturing the keynote
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.