Migration and Education Early Career Researchers Writing Workshop & Network (Mi-ED ECR)

The Mi-ED ECR Network held its inaugural online publication and grant writing workshop during 14-18 December 2020.

With the publish-or-perish imperative, academia is becoming increasingly competitive. As newly-minted academics, Early Career Researchers (ECRs) face many challenges. These include: keeping up the motivation and determination to conduct and publish research, obtaining information and resources tailored to their specific needs and career stage, and finding support networks to overcome isolation.

To help ECRs tackle these challenges, Dr Koh Sin Yee and Dr Melissa Wong (both from the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Monash University Malaysia), along with Dr Cora Xu (Durham University, UK), decided to set up the Migration and Education (Mi-ED) ECR Network.

The Mi-ED ECR Network held its inaugural online publication and grant writing workshop during 14-18 December 2020. The workshop attracted 42 Expressions of Interest from ECRs based in 18 countries and regions (Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, UK, and USA), from which 20 participants were selected.

The 5-day programme included talks by three invited speakers, facilitated group discussions, and one-to-one writing surgery sessions. The first three days focused on publications, while the last 2 days focused on grants.

  • On Day 1, Dr Paul Kratoska (former Director of NUS Press) shared his insights on the state of academic publishing and what editors want.
  • On Day 2, participants discussed the challenges they faced in writing and publishing, while the facilitators shared their tips and advice.
  • On Day 4, Dr Susanne Rentzow-Vasu (Regional Representative of EURAXESS ASEAN) introduced participants to grant opportunities and resources for European funding. This was followed by a talk by Dr Au Wee Chan (School of Business at Monash University Malaysia), sharing her experience on securing international, national and industry grants.
  • Day 3 and 5 of the workshop were dedicated to writing surgeries, where each participant were given individual feedback on their submitted manuscript or grant proposal drafts.

In a post-workshop survey, the participants indicated that the workshop met all of their expectations with regards to learning new tips and tricks in academic publishing and writing, as well as picking up new skills in crafting grant proposals. The participants also indicated that they appreciated the opportunity to get to know other ECRs working on education and/or migration related research. They shared that it was helpful to gain a shared sense of camaraderie, and to realise that the challenges they faced are not particular to individuals.

The Mi-ED ECR Network hopes to work on similar endeavours in the future in order to nurture a network of likeminded scholars on similar junctures of their academic journey. This includes an online writing community with regular writing sessions.