Workshops at the Emerging Researchers' Conference

You are invited to register for these workshops on the first day of the ERC 2019, Monday 2 September 2019 starting at 8:00. You can register near the EERA Desk where there will be some sign-up lists to which you can add your name. Please note that these workshops are offered on a limited capacity, first-come, first-serve basis.


On Monday afternoon, EERA networks organise workshops introducing questions within their research fields. This year, network 28, Sociologies of Education, and network 33, Gender and Education will offer the following workshops. (ERG SES E 15:30 - 17:00)

Network 28, Sociologies of Education: Positioning contemporary educational research

Political, ethical and epistemological issues

Organised and presented by:

  • Paolo Landri (IRPPS - National Research Council – Italy)
  • Emiliano Grimaldi (University Federico II – Italy)

    The aim of the workshop is to open the space for a critical discussion on the role of educational research in the contemporary field of knowledge production on education, education policy and educational practice. Recalling directly the ECER 2019 general theme, the workshop intends to generate a collective and open reflection on what future for educational research should we struggle for among the possible futures that lie ahead of us, with a specific reference to the configuration of the field we inhabit, the publics we talk to, the politics of knowledge we practice and the effects of our agency as an educational research community.

    To reach the above-mentioned objectives, the workshop will be organized in three sections.

    First, recalling the experience and the debates developed in the last 7 years in the NW28 Sociologies of Education, the speakers will briefly set the scene for the discussion, suggesting that we could sketch our present as educational researchers as increasingly colonized by a epistemic framework that assembles an evidence-based epistemology, a ‘what works’ political rationality and a technocratic model of educational research. At the same time, we must be aware that the hegemonic ambitions of such a framework confront with a lively and multifaceted research field, with its multiple hierarchies of antagonistic knowledges, its division into disciplinary sub-fields, diverse configurations and individual and collective positioning. This epistemological struggle ‘in the plurality’ makes possible different positioning for educational researchers in the field of knowledge production. Using sociology as an exemplary sub-field, the presenters will employ Burawoy’s work on public sociology as a general frame to outline a matrix of four different possible positioning for educational researchers (professional, policy, critical and public research) and will discuss each in relation to social, political, ethical and epistemological issues.

    Second, participants will be asked to reflect in group work on the practice as researchers and their current research projects, positioning themselves in the present and for the future across the matrix and in relation to social, political, ethical and epistemological issues.

    Third, groups will be asked to present their reflections in a final debate session.

    The aim of the workshop is to offer a map of the field that could act as exchange platform for a discussion on the above mentioned topics among participants that extends also beyond the workshop itself. It stands also as an invitation to participate to the NW28 activities, that since its foundation in 2012 has the ambition to represent a space of reflection on the productive nexus between sociological theory, social epistemology, research politics and practice in the field of education.

    Network 33, Gender and Education: Researching gender and education in Europe

    A workshop for emerging researchers and doctoral students

    Organised and presented by

    • Professor Carol Taylor, University of Bath, UK  
    • Dr Andrea Abbas, University of Bath, UK  

    This workshop is primarily aimed at doctoral students and emerging researchers interested in gender and education, although it is open to any delegate who would find it useful to attend. It is led by two convenors of Network 33, Gender and Education. 

    The newly-established Gender and Education Network is an important and diverse network in EERA which brings together and aims to create an intellectual home for those whose work focuses in some way on gender. It has strong alliances with other networks, and arranges joint symposia at the main ECER conference. The Network offers an open interdisciplinary space so that members across ECER can engage in opportunities for constructive dialogue, collaborative research, and pedagogic praxis. In this it aims to strengthen links in the search for the common ground that unites us.   

    The workshop will explore ways of using theory to provide robust explanations of empirical studies. In focusing on the work of Network 33, which considers gender and education in relation to research, theory, practice and pedagogy across all sectors of education and in informal education, gendered and feminist lenses will be prioritised. NW33 treats gender as a broad and inclusive category covering a range of issues, approaches and perspectives. It includes issues such as gender dynamics in the classroom, gender and power, intersecting gendered inequalities and gender and academic disciplines, LBGTI experiences of education and sexuality issues in education. Overall, theorising in this field explores how education is affected by wider gendered structures, inequalities, identities and experiences. Most contemporary theory is underpinned by the notion that at every level gender intersects with and is shaped by sexuality, LGBTI, ethnicity, social class and disability and so forth. However, theorising such complex phenomena is a difficult task.  A wide range of methodological approaches and theoretical perspectives are used to explore intersecting gender inequalities and education. These include feminist theory, queer theory, intersectionality, race and ethnicity studies, disability, and post-coloniality.

    The first part of the workshop is focused around short, informal presentations (15 minutes each) from each of the facilitators. Carol Taylor will talk about her interdisciplinary research on gender, bodies and space in classroom practices and consider how theory informs our interpretation of power in relation to student-teacher interactions and curriculum practices. Andrea Abbas will discuss her attempts to theorise intersecting gender inequalities in her empirical studies.    

    The main part of the workshop (1 hour) will follow a collaborative discussion-based format in which key questions about how we research and build theory about gender and education will be explored. Participants will be invited to actively contribute, to bring their own experiences and concerns to the debate, and there will be ample time for questions.

    The final part of the workshop (30 minutes) will be dedicated to ‘collaborative conversations’ focusing on specific topics concerning gender and education. This will enable participants – with the support of the convenors – to begin to develop collaborations (for example to think about developing symposia or round table discussions) for future ECER conferences, network with peers with similar interests, and develop ideas for individual or joint research plans. The workshop will end with some ‘top tips’ for early career researchers and doctoral students.


      The ERC workshops on Tuesday afternoon address issues typically relevant to Emerging Researchers: How to prepare a doctoral defence, how to publish, etc. (ERG SES K 15:30 - 17:30)

      Making your Thesis Shine by Signposting Your Journey

      Organised and presented by

      • Prof Shosh Leshem, Ph.D.
        Kibbutzim College of Education, Israel and Research Associate, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
      • Prof Emeritus Vernon Trafford, Ph.D.
        Anglia Ruskin University, UK and Research Associate, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

      Doctoral research is required to ‘make a contribution to knowledge.’  To achieve that goal candidates have to combine certain critical signposts that demonstrate doctorateness.  In this process, candidates will display scholarship, originality and specific aspects of presentation that collectively make their thesis shine. This will be appreciated by examiners.

      Examiners look for many features in doctoral theses.  They consider certain factors to be critical because they are essential components of a doctoral thesis and represent pre-requisites that demonstrate high quality research. These include the candidate’s choices of paradigms, philosophical assumptions and handling academic discourse to explain how the research was undertaken. Making their thinking visible on these issues involves justifying each research decision that is made. Thus, a doctoral thesis is expected to present writing that includes textual signposts that make the research process explicit.

      So, how can candidates be assisted to signpost these features in their writing?

      The workshop will emphasize the inescapable pre-requisites for a thesis to be accepted as doctorally-worthy. These insights will help candidates appreciate the 'whole' and 'the parts' that form synergy between the account of the research that has been undertaken and the written text.

      The presentation will include both theory and practice. Examples will illustrate how simple items of text and presentation will elevate the quality of that text for readers. Participants will be encouraged to interact with each other and discuss these issues in relation to their own research.

        Realising Your Potential as a Researcher

        Organised and presented by

        • Dr Kate Jones, Professional Development Manager

        Professional Development Planning is ‘A structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development.’  As a researcher you are already committed to enquiry through your research. Professional development extends this process to your own skills, understanding, aptitudes and ambitions. Development as a professional involves more than building your research profile and research skills. Broader professional development is becoming increasingly significant as employers look for researchers who can ‘add value’ to their organisations. Competition for posts and use of short-term contracts mean that researchers, along with other professionals, have to be flexible and adaptable about what they can do.

        Focusing on professional development can help researchers to:

        • Get the most from their current role or studies
        • Create a stronger profile for applications, whether for funding, promotion, or a new post
        • Achieve a more effective life-work balance.

        This 2-hour workshop will offer a space for reflection on these topics as well as practical and engaging activities for career and professional development strategies including an introduction to the Researcher Development Framework.


        • Encourage and equip researchers to critically reflect on their experiences and allocate time to their future career goals.
        • Examine concepts around Personal / Professional Development Planning, specifically taking ownership over and influencing positively their career development and looking at specific ways of addressing potential career barriers.
        • Understand the skills and attributes of successful researchers, including introduction to Researcher Development Framework (RDF).
        • Engage with an approach to achieving a more effective life-work balance, to improve wellbeing.
        • Reflect on issues related to early stage career and professional development.

        In Europe, Horizon 2020 places firmer emphasis on strengthening emerging researchers’ careers across member states. These themes are echoed across the world. The growing requirement to establish the career development of emerging researchers, is evidenced, for example by the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (2005) . This workshop about enabling emerging researchers to reflect on their experiences and understand the attributes of successful researchers directly relates to one of EERA’s core missions and the ERG objective of providing a European research community for Emerging Researchers. The workshop creates a valuable space for discussion and collaboration for emerging researchers’ and their peers across Europe. Moreover, by addressing the issue of career strategies for emerging researchers, this workshop fosters the development of a strong, independent 'Emerging Researchers' forum which will add to EERA's internal democratic accountability.

        Writing for your Research Community, Writing for the EERJ

        Organised and presented by

        • Professor Eric Mangez, EERJ Editor
          University of Leuven, Belgium
        • Professor Maarten Simons, EERJ Editor
          University of Leuven, Belgium

        This session will discuss the purposes of research publications and its audiences, the process of journal selection, manuscript preparation and the issue of (blind) review procedures. The session will also include 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 will be 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.

          Tools to Overcome Internal and External Barriers to Academic Writing

          Organised and presented by

          • Dr. Anna Beck
            University of Strathclyde, Scotland
          • Dr. Itxaso Tellado
            University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia

          The aim of this workshop is to discuss and share a range of techniques, resources, strategies and tools that can be employed to overcome internal and external barriers to academic writing. To do so, we will unpack stories of writing success and failure, focusing on different aspects of the writing process.

          When preparing to write, we are simultaneously faced with the fear of failure and the pressure of success. A number of concerns and questions can emerge in the researcher’s imagination and stifle activity when we think about, prepare and approach a writing task. When should I write? Why am I writing? Who am I writing this paper for? How do I present my findings in an interesting way? These concerns and questions, sometimes exacerbated by feelings of ‘impostering’ and ‘not belonging’ can inhibit our productivity. It is only when we acknowledge these concerns, and consider the ‘imposter syndrome’ as ‘public feeling’, (Breeze, 2018), that we can begin to explore ways to move forward.

          Before we can begin to think about how to put these into practice, we need to acknowledge the collective challenges that we face as researchers in the neoliberal academy. For this reason, we intend for this workshop to be participative in nature, providing opportunities for early career researchers to share their experiences and learn from each other, as well as the workshop facilitators.

          Submission Formats

          The Emerging Researchers' Conference welcomes the submission of 3 types of presentations: Papers, Posters and Ignite-Talks. Workshops and Panels are reserved for invited sessions only and are centrally organised .

          Submission to ERC
          Presentation formats @ ERC