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Early Career Researcher Training Grants

Early Career Researcher (ECR) Training Grants fund staff at ACU member universities to organise and deliver training for their early career researchers, including Doctoral candidates. The training will equip researchers with essential skills to enable them to succeed in their careers, whether they remain in academia or utilise their skills in other professional fields. 

What does the grant cover?

Grants of up to GBP 1000 are available for Research offices staff at ACU member universities, or any other staff member who leads on providing training for early career researchers. Skills which are in scope of the training are:

  • Presentation skills
  • Networking
  • Time management
  • Public engagement and communicating with non-academic audiences
  • Media training
  • Social media
  • Relationship/stakeholder management
  • Grant writing
  • Career training, including doctoral careers outside higher education

How to apply 

As part of the application form, applicant institutions must describe the focus and goals of the training to be delivered, and state the target audience and the number of people who will benefit, including whether any training will be accessible by other ACU members.

Applications have now closed.

More information

This activity is part of the ACU Supporting Research Community’s main strategic aims to help the development of early career researchers across the Commonwealth. The Supporting Research Community is a forum for all staff at ACU member universities who are involved in supporting the research process, including research management and administration, research impact and uptake, and library services. Researchers at all levels are also welcome to join.

Meet the Grantees

University of Leeds, UK

The University of Leeds will use its ECR training grant to support an online development programme. This will bring researchers from all disciplines together to work on projects framed around global challenges.  It will look at the competencies required to initiate and develop interdisciplinary working, knowledge exchange, innovative activity and creative thinking, including a mix of facilitated sessions, inspiring speakers and time to collaborate. The University of Leeds intends to run this programme with researchers from the University of Pretoria.

University of Nairobi, Kenya

The University of Nairobi will deliver a workshop to help ECR's improve proposal writing skills, highlight where to find funding opportunities, and look at strategies on how to develop winning proposals. After the workshop, participants will be more confident in the knowledge of how to submit well-thought-out and competitive proposals that receive funding. The training will be delivered online under the umbrella of the Africa Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Centre of Excellence in Non-Communicable Diseases, with the University of Nairobi as the host. The training will target 10 Early Career Researchers from five other ACU member universities: the University of Ghana, University of Ibadan, University of Witwatersrand, Makerere University and the University of Nairobi.

Durham University, UK

Durham University will provide training with a focus on how to engage with the public, media and network with relevant stakeholders and policy leaders. The training will explore a range of different areas including the role of researchers in public engagement, how to ensure work is inclusive and appropriate to the interests and needs of those involved in developing nations, and how to influence policy makers on the impact that their research can make. Participants will be able to identify relevant stakeholders to engage with and be able to inspire and talk convincingly about how their research will help generate an impact.

The University of Sydney, Australia

The University of Sydney will use its ECR training grant to support and equip researchers in the early stages of their careers, as well as PhD students, with essential skills to enable them to succeed professionally. The ECR training programme will be delivered through a series of monthly tailored seminars, and provide world-class training focused on strategic career planning and skill development for the future leaders in academic research.

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST), Kenya

Delivered over six months, JOOUST’s training will help develop the research and career skills of 35 early career researchers and 15 doctoral candidates. Participants will be from JOOUST and other ACU member institutions within East Africa. Outcomes of the training will be categorised into research skills, career skills and skills beyond academia such as improved networking and exchange of information between ACU partner institutions.

Rhodes University, South Africa

Rhodes University will establish an online space for sharing ECR support materials and resources and for conversations, as well as deliver four highly interactive online workshops. These workshops will include tasks, break-out room discussions and input from experts. Participants will develop their confidence and ability to articulate their research plans, as well as find supportive resources (financial, structural, and collaborative).

Athabasca University, Canada

Athabasca will develop and deliver an online course on content and media strategy for academic researchers. This will address the gap in current training within professional development for early career faculty and research-intensive graduate programmes. The training will cover a host of skills such as embedding creative thinking around communicating outputs within research cultures that are rooted in traditional, critical inquiry.

The University of Exeter, UK

The goals of this online training will be based around five key areas of public engagement for ECRs, with fully explored and detailed outcomes. These include public engagement, co-production in research, creative engagement methods and more. All training will be made available online and aligned with an ECR audience while factoring in an increasingly online public audience and information flow.

Daffodil International University, Bangladesh

Daffodil University's training will take an in-depth look and hands-on approach to crafting winning grant proposals for research and non-profit programmes. This training will cover building fundraising cases, learning about different types of research organisations, and other funding sources, to the seven essential elements of a fundable proposal. This training will also cover crafting strong outcomes statements, the use of writing to make an impact, and what funders are looking for.

Kenyatta University, Kenya

Kenyatta University’s training will support early career researchers in three main areas: developing proposals for funding, promoting networking and the sharing of information, and developing a database of funding organisations. Desired outcomes include an improved ability to write proposals that attract funding, and an enhanced ability to work with a team in developing a proposal through the networks highlighted in the training.