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The SHPS ECR Network is a new community at the School of Health & Psychological Sciences (SHPS) aiming to support, develop, motivate and celebrate all SHPS Early Career Researchers (ECRs).

By Mr Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer), Published

The School of Health & Psychological Sciences Early Career Researchers (SHPS ECR) Network delivered its launch event on Thursday 1 December 2022.

Hosted by five ECRs within the School (Research Fellows Dr Rose Coates, Dr Rebecca Webb and Dr Cassandra Yuill , Speech and Language Technologist, Dr Abi Roper, and PhD student, Emily Skelton), the hybrid event was an opportunity to set the stage of how the new network would move forward together, and was well attended in person and online.

The event included ECRs sharing their individual, and diverse career journeys so far and discussing in groups what their views of the priorities of the network should be, with the top priorities, in order, agreed to be: delivering sessions on writing grant applications, career progressions, funding available and being a Principal Investigator (PI).


The first session of the network, ‘Writing a Strong CV’, will be held as a hybrid event at the School and online on Wednesday 18 January and delivered by Antonia Clark, Careers Consultant at City, University of London.

Co-organisers, Dr Cassandra Yuill and Dr Rose Coates introducing attendees to the activities of the launch event.


Co-organisers, Dr Cassandra Yuill and Dr Rose Coates introducing attendees to the activities of the launch event.

Early career researcher sharing their journey with the rest of the group at the SHPS ECR launch event.

Early career researcher sharing their journey with the rest of the group at the SHPS ECR launch event.


Early career researchers sharing their research journeys with the rest of the group.
Five early career researchers working on a group activity at the SHPS ECR launch event

Two early career researchers working on a group activity at the SHPS ECR launch event

Five early career researchers working on a group activity at the SHPS ECR launch event

Early career researchers involved in priority setting exercise.

Co-organisers of the SHPS ECR launch event,Dr Rebecca Webb and Dr Rose Coates, joining the priority setting exercise.

Co-organisers, Dr Rebecca Webb and Dr Rose Coates, joining the priority setting exercise.

What is the SHPS ECR Network?

The SHPS ECR Network is a new community at the School of Health & Psychological Sciences (SHPS) aiming to support, develop, motivate and celebrate all SHPS Early Career Researchers (ECRs). The network will provide ECR learning and development activities including (but not limited to):

  • Training in grant application systems at City such as Worktribe and Research Manager

  • Learning from key colleagues at City who support research, ethics and costing processes

  • Information about available funding and key professional development resources

  • Writing retreats

  • Publication/application draft discussions and reviews

  • Regular opportunities to celebrate successes and recognise challenges

  • Members will learn from, connect, guide and encourage one another as part of a recognised and supportive ECR community within the School of Health &  Psychological Sciences at City, University of London.

What is an ECR?

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a non-departmental public body sponsored by UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

UKRI defines an Early Career Researcher as someone who is:


  • within eight years of their PhD award (this is from the time of the PhD ‘viva’ oral test), or equivalent professional training

  • within six years of their first academic appointment (the first full or part time paid employment contract that lists research or teaching as the primary function).

However, the SHPS ECR Network launch event organisers appreciated that this definition does not necessarily capture the diverse research community at City, University of London. Many researchers, from PhD students to Senior Lecturers may be at an early stage of their research career. As such event attendees were encouraged to use a self-defining definition of an ECR, which was indeed reflected in the attendees sharing a highly diverse range of research journeys.


Dr Cassandra Yuill, co-organiser of the event and Research Fellow at the Centre for Maternal and Child Health Research, said:

The SHPS ECR Network Launch was a great opportunity for staff and doctoral researchers to come together and collaborate on what can be done to best support each other professionally. We’re looking forward to hosting monthly Network events this year and establishing a thriving ECR community in our School.

The launch event was aligned with the School’s commitment to the Athena Swan Charter, a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research, as well as City, University of London’s Research Strategy.

Find out more

Read more about the School of Health & Psychological Sciences commitment to the Athena Swan charter.

Read the City, University of London Research Strategy.

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