Early Career Researchers

Our commitment to supporting early career researchers

We recognise that the changing climate of Higher Education in the UK (and elsewhere) is presenting particular challenges for ECRs; the requirements for attaining a permanent academic post have now changed to a point where it is very rare for a PhD student to walk into a post immediately. This, added to the fact that the funding for postdoctoral research has been eroded over time, has resulted in an increasingly precarious and lengthy postdoctoral period.

While there has been considerable energy from research councils and institutions focussed on supporting doctoral researchers, practical support for ECRs is patchy at best. Learned societies may offer forums for ECRs but there is little sustained commitment. It is also clear that although research development schemes exist within most Higher Education institutions, the quality of these varies significantly.

The Sociological Review has a historic commitment to Early Career Researchers through its fellowship scheme, currently based at Keele University. You can hear some of our past fellows talking about what the fellowship did for them here.

Over the past few years, we have extended our support to ECRs with the support of The Sociological Review Foundation to include our annual competition for funds to support conference attendance; professional development and specialist workshops; Strictly come writing, our annual writing retreat. We have also welcomed ECRs onto the editorial board.