Early Career Researcher Workshop


About the Programme

Landscape image of wind turbines

The U21 Early Career Researcher workshop aims to enhance international networking and encourages the development of interdisciplinary collaborative research for those in the early stages of their career. 

Each workshop also tackles career developmental topics such as grantsmanship, journal editing and innovation and knowledge exchange. Pecha Kucha-style presentations are also encouraged to highlight to the researchers the different skills required when presenting to a non-expert audience. 

The workshops are interdisciplinary, with each year focusing on an aspect of a UN Sustainable Development Goal.

ECR Workshop 2024

Dates: 8-12 July 2024 

Host: The University of Queensland, Australia  

Theme: Inclusive Energy Transitions 

Inclusive energy transitions align with the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) by ensuring equitable access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all.  

The world is at a critical juncture in its generation and use of energy. Many economies have set aggressive decarbonisation targets, but the scale and complexity of achieving these targets requires collective partnerships across government, industry, academia and the wider community. This will involve regional transitions impacting local communities through to initiatives to support complex decision-making and implementation at national and international levels.   

Discussions relating to the climate emergency, the transition to net-zero and decarbonisation are often focussed on the role of government and corporate actors. However, people as individuals, in communities and nation states are central to the future success of new energy policies and innovation.  

Who can take part?

This exclusive opportunity is only available to early career researchers at U21 member universities and is open to researchers of all disciplines.  

Ideal participants for the ECR workshop are early career researchers/junior faculty who are establishing international research networks and who are at the beginning of their career. They should have been awarded their PhD within the last 8 years; this definition is flexible with each university having the discretion to nominate ECRs who fall outside this definition, due to an atypical career path, including those who have: 

  • started the research-intensive component of their career later 
  • had career breaks 
  • spent time in industry 

Each U21 member university can nominate up to 4 participants, with 2 reserves, should a member not utilise all 4 places.  

Key Dates

Participants must be nominated by their university Research Leader or representative. Successful participants will be confirmed by U21 and invited to complete a registration form. 

Nomination deadline: 2 February 2024 

Participant registration deadline: 11 March 2024 

Accommodation booking deadline: TBC 

Workshop dates: 8-12 July 2024 

Why take part?

The 2024 theme ‘Inclusive Energy Transitions’ aims to deepen participants’ understanding of ways in which inter-disciplinary research across the social and behavioural sciences, business, economics and public policy can intersect and support an equitable and inclusive energy transition.  

In order to achieve this, the four-day programme is designed to support cross-disciplinary knowledge exchange, skills-sharing and networking via small group workshops, poster sessions by ECRs, talks by established researchers, and panel sessions that include international and interdisciplinary perspectives. The workshop will be a unique opportunity for ECRs from across all disciplines to share knowledge, experiences and current projects from around the world.  

Topics may include (but are not limited to): 

  • The scale and complexity of energy transition pathways 
  • Evidence-informed policy and engaging with the policy process 
  • Gender, equality, social inclusion and socio-economic dependencies 
  • Bridging perspectives on development challenges and industry-engaged social science 
  • Market design, regulatory environments, investment and interactions 
  • Exploring climate security discourses including the resilience of ecosystems  
  • Psychology and insights from behavioural science to address transition roadblocks  
  • Public representations, framing of challenges and people as active participants 

In addition to developing specialised knowledge related to the theme, the workshop will also have a strong focus on networking and gaining an international perspective on: 

  • funding opportunities including international projects;  
  • communicating your research; 
  • connecting to R&D industry and translating research ideas; and  
  • career paths for researchers. 

By the end of the workshop, ECRs will have a greater understanding of the challenges and interdisciplinary solutions to the theme, as well as inspiration for opportunities for collaboration within the U21 network. 

More information 

Please direct any queries to u21@universitas21.com