Now in its second year, the latest round of Early Career Researcher Training Grants supported projects in six different countries across the Commonwealth. Meet this year's grantees and discover more about their projects below.
University of Leeds, UK
The University of Leeds used the ECR training grant to support an online development programme. This brought researchers from all disciplines together to work on projects looking 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 delivered 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 was 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 pulled in 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 provided training with a focus on how to engage with the public, media and network with relevant stakeholders and policy leaders. The training explored 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 were provided with the tools 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.