Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN)

Kent’s Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN) offers support to academic and research staff at the beginning of their careers. It provides opportunities to meet other ECRs from across the University to share the highs and lows of getting started in academia.

Whatever your role as a researcher, ECRN will be for you if you have recently completed your PhD or are relatively new to academia.

The ECRN events programme spans professional and career development, including positive mental health and wellbeing: ECRs are prioritised in terms of places, although all staff are welcome. Sessions complement the Grants Factory's tailored focus on funding and innovation policies and practices. All events are mapped to the Academic Career Map and Researcher Development Framework.

Workshops, presentations and webinars

delivered by staff in Professional Service Departments and the Divisions:

Balancing the conflicting demands of academia in COVID and beyond (‘ECRN event) 

26 May 2021, 2-3pm 

Dr Heejung Chung, Dr Declan Kavanagh and Prof. Rachel McCrea 

Starting off in academia can be difficult. Not only are you trying to establish your research career, but you are having to cope with the new demands of teaching and supervision, as well as understanding what is required of you as a 'good citizen' within your department. Outside of work you may also have conflicting demands from family and home, or other activities requiring significant commitment. And now there are the continued uncertainties and additional challenges and pressures of COVID. This session will be led by Dr Heejung Chung (SSPSSR), Dr Declan Kavanagh (School of English) and Professor Rachel McCrea (SMSAS), each of whom have had to juggle conflicting demands within their own lives. It will be an opportunity to hear from them, but also to hear from other ECRs across the University, to share your experience, and to offer help and advice to each other. 

Click here to book your place


Coping with rejection (‘ECRN event) 

15 June 2021, 11am-12pm

Prof. Zoe Davies, Prof. Dan Mulvihill and Prof. Aylish Wood  

Rejection is an integral part of academic and research life. Whether you are applying for jobs or funding, submitting journal articles or book proposals, or putting yourself forward for promotion, you need to develop a thick skin in order to survive and thrive. But rejection need not be crushing: there are strategies for overcoming it and support available for coping with it. Professors Zoe Davies (Anthropology and Conservation), Dan Mulvihill (Biosciences) and Aylish Wood (Arts) will talk about their experiences of rejection in their careers, and how they moved on from them. The session will allow participants to hear from each other and to learn about what works for others.

Click here to book your place.

Essential elements of a successful grant application (‘ECRN event) 

The session will provide tips and information about how to write a successful grant application. It will cover common topics to bear in mind when preparing your grant application(s) and will also highlight current issues in the world of research funding. The webinar will consist of a presentation, followed by a discussion for you to follow up with any specific questions.   

12 July 2021, 10-11am

Beth Flowers with Simon Barnes   

Click here to book your place.

09 November 2021, 10-11am

Chris Nash with Simon Barnes   

Click here to book your place.

Webinars are usually recorded and available to watch on demand with a Kent staff login.

Some previous sessions are also available to view, as well as past notes via the Research Fundamentals blog

Guidance and support

Divisional networks

Kent networks

Researcher Development Advisory Group (RDAG)

Updates and help

Contact the GRC

Contact RDAG

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