When two universities meet: Fostering research capacity among Early Career Researchers

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Title When two universities meet: Fostering research capacity among Early Career Researchers
Author Mann, Kathy; Moyle, Kathryn; Reupert, Andrea; Wilkinson, Jane; Woolley, Gary Ernest
Publication Title Education, innovation & research: strategies for capacity-building
Editor Ruth Feffery
Year Published 2008
Place of publication Canberra, ACT, Australia
Publisher AARE
Abstract Between one-third and one-half of all presently employed academics will reach retirement age in the next decade. A challenge facing universities in this current environment is to continue to sustain their research capacities. Policy-makers and universities have developed various strategies to support ongoing development of different cohorts within the broader research community. One strategic approach has been to foster the research capabilities of Early Career Researchers (ECRs). This paper describes and analyses the features of one promising program collaboratively developed to support ECRs from Australian education faculties within the University of Canberra and Charles Sturt University. The program was initiated by senior researchers from both universities who identified a large number of ECRs on their respective staffs who worked in isolation and who would benefit from an expansion of their research and professional dimensions. While the program began as a 'top down' initiative, sufficient autonomy was allowed for the ECRs to identify their own professional requirements and to develop an ongoing program. ECRs have met regularly over the past two years to identify shared issues; organise and attend joint professional development activities (such as visiting scholars and mentoring with senior researchers); and work on collaborative research projects and publications. Funding, ongoing senior management support, a variety of both senior and junior role models as well as working on common initiatives has provided momentum for the program. The overarching aim of the program is to build a research community amongst the ECRs of both universities. An example of this collaboration has been a major writing project involving the production of a suite of articles by the ECRs concerning common ECR issues and support strategies. Outcomes also have included professional development and fostering cross university networks. The characteristics underpinning the program are highlighted in this paper, with links made between theory and practice, resulting in valuable outcomes for the participants concerned. It foreshadows emerging changes to the culture of the two education faculties as a result of explicitly addressing ECR research issues. Suggestions for developing sustainable programs to support ongoing research capacity-building of ECRs in Australian universities conclude this paper.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.aare.edu.au/07xpap/abs07x.htm
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the authors 2008. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this conference please refer to the conference's website or contact the authors.
Conference name AARE 2007 Focus Conference
Location Canberra, ACT, Australia
Date From 2007-06-13
Date To 2007-06-14
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/32451
Date Accessioned 2008-02-22
Language en_AU
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject PRE2009-Other Education
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Refereed)
Publication Type Code e1x

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