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About the ECR Forum

About the Early Career Researcher Forum: eligibility, history and what we do.

Royal Society Te Apārangi's Early Career Researcher (ECR) Forum seeks to represent the national voice of New Zealand’s ECR community and celebrate their achievements and contributions in the fields of physical, biological, and social sciences, as well as the humanities.

The Forum is dedicated to engaging New Zealand ECRs on the issues important to them and fostering a collaborative, communicative, and respected community under the auspices of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.

What is an early career researcher?

To be eligible for this group, early career researchers are defined as being within 10 years of completing their highest research qualification, normally (but not necessarily) a PhD, who can demonstrate research independence as per the criteria for professional membership of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Parental and other forms of leave can be deducted from the 10-year post-qualification time limit. More detailed criteria will be available shortly; in the meantime, if you are interested in joining the ECR Forum and are unsure about eligibility, please email/connect.

What does the ECR Forum do?

The  Early Career Researcher Forum is devoted to:

  1. Fostering a national early career researcher community in New Zealand by:
    1. Providing New Zealand ECRs opportunities for personal and professional development;
    2. Providing access to national and international, cross-disciplinary interaction and networking opportunities;
    3. Promoting diversity and equality in early career research in New Zealand and abroad;
    4. Provide a forum for the discussion of issues and opportunities of relevance to ECRs within New Zealand;
    5. Promote, engage, and celebrate the research contributions of New Zealand’s early career researchers.
  2. Enhancing engagement between the Royal Society Te Apārangi and New Zealand’s early career researchers by:

Acting as a national entity to represent and provide the knowledge, expertise, and perspectives of New Zealand’s ECRs to the Society and its stakeholders;

  1. Providing an identifiable avenue for ECRs to participate in the Society’s legislated function to provide expert advice that could inform public policy;
  2. Promoting the activities of the Society to the ECRs within New Zealand.

Who is the ECR Forum?

In 2011 the Royal Society Te Apārangi took its first important steps towards engaging with, and addressing issues associated with New Zealand Early Career Researchers (ECR) by co-opting an ECR onto the Society’s Council. The aim of this was to provide insight and ideas on how the Society could better assist and provide services for the ECR community.

This co-option eventually resulted in a national conference in 2014 that brought together over one hundred ECRs from all around New Zealand, and from all research disciplines. The overarching aim of the conference was to provide a forum for discussion, advice, and support for ECRs on the issues that impact their careers. As a direct result of this conference, the Society initiated its own ECR Forum by forming a working group composed of ECRs from various institutes, disciplines, and locations.

In 2015 this working group presented a successful proposal for the establishment of a national ECR Forum within the Society and began working on developing its purpose and structure.

In March 2016, the official Royal Society Te Apārangi’s Early Career Researcher Forum was launched.