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Early Career Researcher Network

The BERA Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network aims to offer support to those who are in the process of completing their masters or doctorate in education, as well as those who have completed their studies within the past 5 years. It seeks to meet the needs of not only those who are pursuing studies and/or careers as researchers within Higher Education, but also those who are practitioners seeking to undertake research to support their development.

In line with BERA’s strategic priority to increase capacity within the field, the principal objectives of the ECR Network are to provide opportunities for early career researchers (ECRs) to engage with their peers to develop their knowledge and skills; to network and collaborate; and to be connected with BERA and the broader academic community within education. The ECR Network accomplishes this in a number of ways, from targeted correspondence with ECRs – including its termly newsletters, routine features within Research Intelligence, and a dedicated Twitter account (@BERA_ECRNetwork) – to events designed specifically to meet the needs of this community, such as the Network’s annual symposia series and writing for publication workshops. The ECR Network also provides bursaries to enable ECRs to access developmental opportunities – such as the Event Funding Scheme – as well as offering awards to recognise the exemplary work that is undertaken within the field, including the Masters Dissertation Award and Doctoral Thesis Award.

Network Convenors

Oliver Hooper, Dr

Research Associate at Loughborough University

Dr. Oliver Hooper is a Research Associate within the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, having graduated with a PhD from the same institution in 2018. Oliver’s research explores young people’s...

Yuwei Xu, Dr

Research Fellow in Early Years and Teacher Education at UCL Institute of Education

Dr Yuwei Xu is a Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Education and a Convenor of the BERA Early Career Researcher Network. He gained his PhD in gender and early childhood studies in 2018 from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Yuwei is a...

Regional Reps

Louise Kay, Dr

Lecturer at University of Sheffield

I am a qualified teacher and have worked across all three primary key stages, with the majority of my career spent teaching in the Early Years. I am now employed as a Lecturer at the University of Sheffield.  My current research is in...

Amanda Tayler

Lecturer at Staffordshire University

Amanda Tayler is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for the Midlands.

Gihan Ismail

University of Bath

Gihan Ismail is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for Wales

Leanne Henderson, Dr

Research Fellow at Queen's University Belfast

Leanne Henderson is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for Northern Ireland.

Tracey Hughes

University of Stirling

Tracey Hughes is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for Scotland.

Helen Foster-Collins

University of Exeter

Helen Foster-Collins is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for the South of the United Kingdom

Content associated with this SIG

Event bursaries 2020

The BERA Early Career Researcher Network offers a limited amount of bursaries to the value of £75 towards travel for BERA Student Members only to most of our events. This has now been extended to...


BERA-CERA Writing for Publications Workshop 2020

This event has now been postponed. To be kept updated on when this will be reschedule for, please email This workshop is targeted at PGRs and ECRs who are relatively new to the...

Past event16 Mar 2020