travel diary – early-career or emerging researcher?


One of the best things about conferences is that you can learn a little something just when you aren’t expecting it. That happened to me at the conference I’ve been at. The conference is all finished now, whew, but the little surprise learning has stuck with me.

I was a speaker at the pre-conference postgraduate and early-career day. At one point our discussion switched to the prospects for early-career researchers. One of the conference participants, Dr Emily Nelson, told us that the term early-career researcher wasn’t used in New Zealand. Early-career was considered a deficit term.

Now of course it might sometimes be helpful to be called early-career. The term is often used in funding schemes, designating who is eligible for money and who isn’t. But the flip side of early-career, we were told, is an implicit assumption that the researcher has little to bring to the task of research…

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