Minutes of the Annual ERG meeting
The Annual ERG meeting took place in person on Monday 21st August 2021at the University of Glasgow, as a platform for interaction among EERA's up-and-coming researchers, supervisors, and research leaders. The occasion kicked off with an overview of the ERG's goals and initiatives provided by outgoing and incoming link convenors.
Participants were split into smaller groups, each led by a co-convenor, for more interactive discussions and to provide an opportunity for more people to share their voices within the groups. These co-convenors facilitated discussions about the experiences of ERC participants. They delved into aspects of the ERC that have proven beneficial thus far and brainstormed ideas for enhancements and potential projects that could align with participants' requirements.
At the end of the session, people wrote feedback on small post-notes and stuck them onto large white sheets. The ERG co-convenors, Sofia Eleftheriadou and Dragana Radanović, collected and grouped this feedback into themes.
Participants were asked to leave their comments and thoughts about the three areas:
- Useful elements of the ERC
- Suggestions for the future
- Anything else.
Their comments were collected and grouped into themes presented in the following section.
Useful elements of the ERC
Theme 1: Activities of the ERG
- The interactive session was a perfect start and a nice ice-breaker (2)
- The opening ceremony offers a good overview
- Bursaries were mentioned as an important element
- Workshops for Ph.D. students (2)
- Opportunity to present research projects
- Face-to-face networking opportunities
- Lunch break meeting about EERA/ERG (3)
- Great opportunities to network
- Insights into other researchers’ special fields
Theme 2: Communication
- Good email communication beforehand
- Whova - Good app information, very useful app, practical and eco-friendly, supports networking (4)
- Regular updates and info on participation opportunities
Theme 3: Community
- Nice supportive environment
- Constructive feedback
- Friendly environment/relaxed atmosphere in the sessions (2)
Theme 4: Organisation
- Sessions grouped by research field and area
- The fact that each session had a chair
- Well-prepared chairpersons for every session
- Variety of content in sessions
- Schedule and breaks
Suggestions for the Future
Theme 1: Parallel sessions
- Reduce session overlap, limit the number of parallel sessions (4)
- Workshops not to overlap with sessions (2)
- Workshops not to overlap with networking
- Recording of sessions so can view the parallel ones that someone missed
- Weak attendance in sessions
- Option to download posters/presentations
- Specific feedback via a survey after each session/Have specific feedback on our presentations
- The more comfortable environment during the presentation
- Some chairpersons are too critical
Theme 2: Future workshops/activities
- Workshop on reviewing
- Workshop on data analysis (quantitative)
- Academic writing workshop – mentoring in writing a paper
- More social networking activities
- More network meetings with professors in different research areas
- Opportunities to meet other ERCs with similar research interests, maybe in groups in the opening
- More informal networking opportunities
- Artistic expressions, music, dance, paint
Theme 3: Communication
- Better organised emails, shorter and less redundant
- Too many emails information uploaded in one place on the website
Theme 4: Poster session
- Max 6 people in the poster sessions
- More time in poster sessions to have discussions (2)
Theme 5: Other organisational aspects
- Longer coffee breaks
- Registration – The building was hard to find
- Better directions and signposting for the buildings
- Whova app might not work for those who don’t have a smartphone
- Sub-networks in ERC-Opportunities to connect with people in your field
- Call the lunch a networking lunch
- Lunch session for networking
- Invite other career options outside academia
- Workshops shouldn’t overlap with sessions
- Lovely community
- Most assistive technology for children with disabilities
- Reflection on own research
- Music, more music education
It is really pleasing to see the wholly positive feedback and the rich ideas for future developments across both the ERC and wider ERG activities. They are all shared, via this report with both the incoming ERG co-convenor, as well as the Link Convenors of EERA’s wider networks.
Evaluating the ERC
Responses to the question ‘What aspects of this Emerging Researchers’ Conference session were the most useful for you?’ were all positive and the selection below is reflective of some key themes that emerged:
- The networking and discussions during sessions/lunchtime
- Good discussions in breaks and informal events as well as during reception
- Hearing about other research and meeting with local academics at lunchtime sessions.
- Being able to present and get comments on my research project, the chair of my session was great!
- The poster sessions and meeting different people
- Networking with researchers in similar fields; first opportunity to co-present some current research in a very supportive environment.
- The variety of sessions that were available to attend
- I really enjoyed the range of studies at the conference. It was great to hear about what is happening in educational research in such a wide range of contexts. I had the chance to connect with educators from all around the world.
- Learning about how other students were examining their topics Meeting people and sharing insights
- The possibility to talk about the intermediate findings of the PhD research and also that there is a space created in which all PhD students can connect with each other.
- A friendly environment to share research
- Everything! Combination of interesting sessions and social activities
- Discussing with experienced researchers, as well as other doctoral students; joining sessions and exchanging ideas and perspectives on various research projects
- Figuring out what terms are used in the international literature (ESD, CCE, EfS, ...) and what epistemological trends are taken in other countries. Meeting other researchers.
- Opportunity to present early conceptual, theoretical and methodological frameworks.. Interacting with researchers with diverse educational interests
- Meeting other ERs and having a gentle and friendly warm up to the main conference
- All of it was extremely useful - the opening ceremony/session, the presentation sessions, both of the lunch time events and the keynote/closing ceremony
Responses to the question “What question(s) about the Emerging Researchers' Group, Emerging Researchers' Conference or EERA still remain uppermost in your mind?”
- How to further networking possibilities and continue learning from each other even during the year
- How to become an active member
- That you are not alone
- How can we keep the conversation going until the next ECER conference.
- How can researchers without PhDs be supported to contribute academically?
- I need more information about ER’ group in general, and what activities they offer
- How can I become a member of the ERG. Do I need to become member of the EERA chapter in Spain?
- I would like to know what are the criteria to give the bursaries for emerging researcher, and why I didn’t get it. I think it would be useful to have some feedback about the evaluation process
- How can I be part of EERA?
- I thought I could only attend the ERC and regret not signing up for the ECRC
- The difference between the two - when should you apply for the full conference rather than the emerging researchers conference.
- There should be a downloadable database of all sessions and the respective abstracts for each.
- How can I participate and contribute more to the group and the association.
- How can I become a reviewer? Which are the steps, the procedure?
- I love being part of the EERA community and will remain involved wherever/whenever I can
It was heartening to see commitments to future actions via the responses to the question “What actions will you take as a result of your participation in the ERC and/or ERC Plus and/or wider Emerging Researchers' Group (ERG) activities?”
- Improve my writing, keep networking
- Hopefully becoming co-convenor one day
- I will have the confidence to submit my work for publication, having received such a positive response to my work.
- Work on my next submission
- Relationship and network building
- Stay connected with peer researchers I have met
And useful suggestion for future ideas of the ERC and wider ERG activities via responses to the questions below:
“Are there any initiatives you would like the Emerging Researchers' Group to promote throughout the year?”
- maybe online meeting once in the term and preparation online meeting before ERC for first-time visitors/presenters?
- I would like to see an ER forum for the presenters at ERC to help make connections throughout the year.
- writing retreats, mentoring workshops
- Greater visibility of gender spectrum
“What kind of initiatives would you be interested in seeing be proposed at the upcoming Emerging Researchers' Conference?”
- More time to interact with more experienced academics
- The schedule is fine :)
- I would like to see peer mentoring with a researcher of a similar interest in another country to broaden thinking across different contexts and within your own context.
- Interactive activities
- more mentoring & feedback
- bidding for grants / bursaries
- Downloadable list of sessions and abstracts + WHOVA app needs additional functionality to make it more user friendly: When you identify a paper sub-session that you'd like to attend, there's no way to view the overall session (and other papers) that paper belongs to. But if you find the overall sub-session first, there's an option to click on the '3 sub-sessions'. You should be able to do this in a bottom-up way as well as a top-down.
- Informal networking meeting initiatives
As before, all the above-mentioned feedback and suggestions are shared with the incoming ERG LC to consider with regard to the future trajectory of the ERG’s activities.
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.