Early career social science researchers: experiences and support needs.
Centre for Global Higher Education: London, UK.
The aim of this research study was to gain an insight into the diversity of roles, opportunities and support available for early career researchers (ECRs) in the social sciences whether they currently work in the higher education sector or not. The report was commissioned by the UK Economic and Social Research Council in 2015 and was intended to inform the development of the Council’s support for early career researchers during the following five years. The main objectives of the research were to: • assess the range of experiences and circumstances of ECRs in the social sciences after completing their PhD; • identify and assess the type and quality of support provided for ECRs, from a variety of sources, and identify good practice; • identify the common career trajectories for ECRs in the social sciences and develop an understanding of any disparities between their career aims, expectations and reality; and • review funding opportunities available to ECRs in the social sciences. The study consisted of: • an online survey of over 1,000 early career researchers • 35 follow-up Skype and telephone interviews with survey respondents • 9 in-person and Skype interviews with experts This mixed approach also drew on evidence from previous studies to inform the study design and triangulate the results.
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