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Postdoctoral researchers offered tailored career support as DMU joins nationwide network


Postdoctoral researchers working across social sciences and humanities at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are being invited to join a new UK-wide network specifically set up to support them with their career ambitions.

DMU is one of 12 universities in the Midlands to join the new Early Career Researcher Network consortium, established by the British Academy in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation.

The British Academy

As a member, DMU’s humanities and social sciences researchers who identify as ‘early career’ – regardless of their funding source or background – are eligible to apply to receive tailored support through skills development, networking opportunities, workshops, and events.

Professor Deborah Cartmell, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), said: “DMU has shown a longstanding commitment to developing early career researchers, so we are delighted to be a part of this network which will enable them to engage more widely with other researchers within the Midlands.”

The objectives of the network are:

  • To support the individual researchers to realise their potential by providing opportunities that they do not currently have access to.
  • To contribute to equality of opportunity for researchers through encouraging diversity and inclusivity.
  • To develop networks to nurture and facilitate greater engagement between and across researchers and the wider research community, regionally and nationally.
  • To draw on the British Academy’s unique ability to convene and nurture intersectoral collaboration to create unique opportunities for researchers.

Vanessa Cuthill, Director of Research at the British Academy, said: “Inclusivity is a key priority. We want to ensure that all those with a contribution to make to research in the humanities and social sciences have the chance to excel at the start of their career, whether or not they are attached to a university or research organisation.”

Between Autumn 2021 and Spring 2023 the network will be rolled out in three regions across the UK.

The University of Birmingham has been chosen as the first regional hub for the Midlands network, of which DMU is a part alongside Aston University, Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Keele University, Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University, University of Derby, University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick and Wolverhampton University.

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Professor Heather Widdows, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer) at the University of Birmingham, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to advance equal access to training, career development and networks for all early career researchers in the region, regardless of their background or departmental affiliation.

“We look forward to working in collaboration with the British Academy and our partner HEIs across the region to shape a network that will bring early career researchers working in HE and beyond together for career enhancement and to foster exciting new possibilities."

The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It is an independent fellowship of world-leading scholars and researchers, a funding body that supports new research, nationally and internationally, and a forum for debate and engagement.

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent, grant-making charity that aims to improve the civic health of society mainly through education and research.

Posted on Monday 4th October 2021

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