Topic 3.3 SIG ECI: Pursuing Recruitment: Challenges and Opportunities for Early Career Investigators in SSH

By 7 January 2019
Researcher`s institution:
Host institution: Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
Period of stsm: Between ten days and two weeks from 1st of February and the 20th of February 2019.
Funds approved:

Description of the topic:At the outset of their academic careers, many young researchers face challenges in pursuing a further career in academia. Understanding the “rules of the game” of evaluation systems is frequently not easy, and even more so as the evaluation systems are changing at a national and international level; therefore, early career scholars rely on various external and internal sources of information, including but not limited to their PhD supervisor, as well as usual and unusual, institutionalized and less formal types of support in their career paths. Identifying good practices and principal challenges related to information exchanges and resources for young scholars is crucial in order to provide informed guidelines aimed at improving career support measures for early career investigators. Based on the data derived from 55 semi-stuctured interviews conducted with early career investigators from 16 European countries, this STSM will focus on the types of information and support that young scholars receive, and the extent to which they consider them useful, appropriate or stimulating for their academic careers. It will additionally investigate the perceived lack of information, support and resources that early career researchers may experience. The first step of this STSM will be to identify the most suitable methodology for classifying types of information channels and support related to evaluation and careers. The second step will be to analyse the dataset and discuss preliminary results. The third step of the STSM will be to prepare recommendations or guidelines concerning support for young scholars.


Objectives: This STSM will contribute to achieving the GAPG2 (to understand the impact of evaluation practices on ECI careers) and GAPG9 (to keep and intensify participation of researchers from ITC to research activities and conferences) foreseen in GP3. It will also act as a preparatory stage for the ultimate outcome desired from SIG ECI at the end of GP4, which is a set of general guidelines or recommendations for early career investigator support.

Special criteria for this STSM: the applicant should have knowledge of the different evaluation systems and situations as well as have experience of qualitative research methodology.

Results: The proposed STSM will provide guidelines for support for early career researchers, and will lead to the production of co-authored publications.

Practical details:

Working group: Special Interest Group for Early Career Investigators

Duration and timing: Duration and timing: between ten days and two weeks from 1stof February and the 20th of February 2019.

Location: Université Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 50, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium.

Contact: Marc Vanholsbeeck (