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The ECR Journey: From inspiration to impact

This year’s ECR Conference celebrates the journey of “becoming” an educational researcher. You may have just started your doctoral study or be writing up your thesis. You may be a freshly minted “Dr” navigating the next stages of your career in and outside of academia. You may have recently secured your first academic or research positions, and now you might be exploring ways to establish your identity as an independent researcher. Regardless of the career stage you are in- this conference is for you. It is an opportunity to celebrate and disseminate your small and big successes in your journey from research students to independent thinkers.

The theme of this ECR Conference is anchored on “inspiration” and “impact”. We welcome presentations on how you get inspired as an educational researcher, for example, by colleagues, peers, or approaches to navigate your doctoral journey. By sharing your sources of inspiration, you can help inspire your peers who are facing similar challenges. We welcome submissions on a wide range of topics pertaining to doctoral education from an insider’s perspective such as student wellbeing, academic publishing, professional development, networking, alternative forms of research, and navigating the job market. Particularly, we are interested in your own experiences of exploring options and finding out solutions.

Another focus of this year’s conference is on “impact”. We define impact in its broadest sense to include not only publications in prestigious academic journals but also how your research has influenced beliefs, practices, and policies. We acknowledge both breadth and depth of the impact that your research has, that is, how your research is making a difference in the educational experiences of individuals locally, nationally, and internationally. We welcome submissions of abstracts on educational research projects at various stages. It may be that you have conducted a literature review on a topic that you would like to disseminate, or a pilot study that you would like to obtain feedback from. Similarly, you may be in the final stages of a research study and wish to explore its potential impact.

Abstract guidelines

We invite abstracts of 500 words, to be presented at the conference.

Submissions focusing on “inspiration” (reflections on issues and solutions in doctoral education and academia) should clearly state the issue in focus and how it is relevant to other doctoral researchers or ECRs. You should briefly describe your experience and include some of the solutions or suggestions based on your reflection. If presenting as a team, you need to make clear the contribution/focus of each presenter.

Submissions focusing on “impact” (presentation of educational research projects at various stages) should clearly describe the focus of your research and the educational problem(s) that it intends to solve/investigate. You need to include a description of the methodology and method(s) used in your study (if applicable), or the process of inquiry. Equally important is the significance and implications of your research for practice, policy, and/or research.

Presentation formats

  • Individual short presentations – 5 minutes 
  • Individual long presentations – 15 minutes 
  • Team presentations – 30 minutes 

Reviewing criteria

Criteria for evaluating submissions focusing on “inspiration” (reflections on issues and solutions in doctoral education and academia):

  • Clarity of the issue in focus
  • Relevance of the issue to other doctoral researchers or ECRs
  • Depth of personal or collaborative reflections
  • Clarity and innovativeness of solutions/suggestions

Criteria for evaluating submissions focusing on “impact” (presentation of educational research projects at various stages):

  • Clarity of the focus of the research
  • Originality of the research
  • Rigour of the research
  • Significance of the research for education practice, policy or theory

Abstract submission deadline: 23rd February 2023.
Decisions confirmed: March 2023

Submit an abstract

Presentations on the day will also be reviewed and the winner will be invited to the BERA Conference 2023 to present their work during a dedicated ECR session.

Draft programme:

09:30 Registration, tea and coffee
10:00 Welcome and Introduction
Sin Wang Chong and Jess Brown
10:15 Keynote lecture – Impact
Professor Vini Lander, Leeds Beckett University
11:00 Parallel sessions
11:30 Tea and coffee break
11:50 Parallel sessions
12:20 Panel discussion
Led by Sin Wang Chong, Alysean Banks and Brittany Wright
12:40 Lunch and networking
13:40 Keynote Panel Discussion – Inspiration
Dr Helen Hanna, University of Manchester
Joined by: Leanne Henderson, Rebekah Ackroyd and Yan Zhu

14:25 Parallel sessions
14:55 Tea and coffee break
14:15 Parallel sessions
15:45 Panel discussion
Led by Sin Wang Chong, Lisa Reed and Nicola Marlow
16:15 Conclusion and thanks
16:30 Event close

Keynote speakers

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Vini Lander, Professor

Director of the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality at Leeds Beckett University

Vini Lander is Professor of Race and Education and Director of the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality in the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University. Her research deploys the theoretical framework of critical race...

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Helen Hanna, Dr

Lecturer at University of Manchester

Dr Helen Hanna is a Lecturer in International Education at the University of Manchester. She is passionate about citizenship education, education rights, and educational inclusion, particularly of migrant learners and those from racial, ethnic...


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Jess Brown, Mrs

Research Associate at University of Bristol

Jess Brown is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for the South West. Jess Brown is a Research Associate in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at Bristol University where her work focuses on Equality,...

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Rebekah Ackroyd, Ms

Doctoral Researcher at University of Cumbria

Rebekah Ackroyd is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for the North of England. Rebekah is a doctoral student at the University of Cumbria. Her research looks at how tolerance and mutual respect are understood and promoted by...

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Sin-Wang Chong, Dr

Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at University of Edinburgh

Sin Wang Chong (PhD; SFHEA) is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Language Education at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include language and educational assessment, computer-assisted language learning, and qualitative...

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Alysean Banks, Mr

EDI Project Coordinator at Cardiff Metropolitan University

Alysean Banks is the ECR Network Regional Representative for Wales. Alsean is an Equality & Diversity Project Coordinator, Co-Chair of the BAME Staff Network, and a Doctoral Researcher working towards the Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD)...

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Brittany Wright, Mrs

ESRC-funded doctoral student at University of Nottingham

Brittany Wright is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for the Midlands. Brittany Wright is an ESRC-funded doctoral student in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. Her research explores women’s experiences of...

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Leanne Henderson, Dr

Lecturer at Queen's University Belfast

Leanne Henderson is a lecturer in education studies in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research centres on young people’s educational trajectories and transitions. She was...

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Yan Zhu, Dr

Lecturer in Education Studies at University College London

Yan is the ECR Regional Rep for the South East. Yan is a Lecturer in Education Studies at University College London. Yan was a Teaching Fellow in Childhood Studies and Programme Leader for MA Childhood Studies at the University of Leeds after she...

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Lisa Reed, Dr

Lecturer in Teacher Education at University of Dundee

Lisa is the ECR Network Regional Representative for Scotland Lisa is a lecturer and ECR in Teacher Education at the University of Dundee. She was awarded her doctorate from the University of Cumbria in 2021, which is focused on the importance of...

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Nicola Marlow, Mrs

Lecturer in Education at Ulster University

Nicola is the regional rep for Northern Ireland. Nicola is a lecturer in Education and course director of the PGCE English with Drama and Media Studies programme at Ulster University. Her research interests include writing pedagogy and how...