Logo for PostdocTraining's research managers news update

​​​​One | 20​20

A selection of current news items for managers of Early Career Researchers.


Dear Colleague, 

Plans and certainties have been brushed aside by coronavirus in recent weeks, and with so much still changing in the way we live and work, career development may hardly seem the most pressing priority.

That said, we are going to continue to offer material and ideas that are relevant to your role and goals in more normal times; and by that, we hope we can help in a small way to preserve purpose and direction, and offer a perspective that extends beyond the brutal current global situation.

With best wishes for good health and resilience for you and loved ones through this very tough spell.

Kerstin Fritsches
MD, PostdocTraining

​Research matters

​​​Recognition for data-sharing. The ‘Sorbonne declaration on research data rights’, signed recently by major research universities worldwide, raises questions about how best to reward researchers for systematically making their data openly accessible.

​​​Bedrock research rewarded. A German health institute’s bonus scheme for publishing null results and replication studies gives a practical edge to talk about changing research incentives.

​Credit for communication. A tenure-track ECR describes his push to get acknowledgement for the output of research efforts beyond peer-reviewed journals

​Career-altering collaboration. A correlation between long-term academic success and co-authoring early with a prominent researcher may not be a surprising finding, but it is unexpectedly robust.

​Spot the predator. A new joint initiative to tackle the persistent problem of predatory publishing has come up with a definition and a plan to increase transparency around journal quality.

​Top-tier journal influence. Using article-level citations in evaluating researchers instead of journal impact metrics might seem a fairer approach, but journal profile would still play a key role.

​Authorship rights. While authorship disputes are all too common, the CREDIT system for declaring author contributions is prompting concerns about cross-discipline applicability and unintended distortions.

​Funding browse. Johns Hopkins has opened up its databases identifying several hundred grants for PhD candidates, postdocs and junior faculty globally.

​Management matters

​​Integrity at issue. The League of European Research Universities has weighed in on public trust in research, with recommendations for extensive improvements in universities’ research integrity regimes.

​​Sustaining integrity. What more can be done to nurture probity in research practices?

​Better policy for carers. What universities can do to help academic staff with carer responsibilities to achieve their full potential.

​PhD pressure points. Nature's latest biennial survey of graduate students sheds light on the nature, expectations, challenges and satisfactions of the contemporary PhD journey.

​Team doctorates. Can PhD programs be made more team-oriented and collaborative while still allowing candidates their own research focus and their own PhD thesis? (podcast with transcript)

​Researcher, entrepreneur. A good summary to convince ECRs that their skills make them natural candidates for entrepreneurial ventures.

Expertise for hire. Exposure to freelance research platform Kolabtree can help ECRs identify new niches for collaborating with industry - the founder explains the agency's aims and approach.

​The value of free labour. A postdoc reflects on the potential of volunteering as a career investment.

​Teaching resources

​​Taking instruction online. As shutdowns and isolation periods proliferate, free ‘how to’ resources from online course creator Epigeum; a tool-kit to help with shifting teaching online; and an online veteran’s shortlist for keeping continuity.

​Online teacher training option. A 12-week MOOC on concepts and strategies aimed at those approaching or in the early years of university teaching, now runs twice a year and can be imported into universities’ own learning management systems.

​Teaching-tech tips. A useful reference guide for those involved in teaching, to selecting and using technologies that will work best for their courses.

​Personal press

​Ducking the dodgy. A timely alert about the need to check apparently appealing invitations that may come ​your way.

Mastering projects. An extensive list of virtual project management tools, for reference.

​Leadership pillars. Trial and error is a frustratingly common way for people to develop leadership skills in academia, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

The costs of perfection. A psychologist reflects on how perfectionism can undermine prioritisation, healthy productivity and peace of mind.

​Open to improvement. An academic leader examines the benefits of creating a positive pattern of two-way feedback.

Serious research

​​Viral humour. Did you think I’d lay down and die? Oh no, not I…” As long as you know how to Zoom, you know you’ll stay alive!

​​​​PostdocTraining Update

​Looking for an online career development offering for your PhD candidates? Our next career planning course, Career Control for Researchers, starts 20 April.

​​Contact us ​now to find out more, including the option of running a small pilot group to test this training offering for your PhD cohort.


We hope you find this brief news digest helpful.
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