Jump to Content

Early Career Researcher (ECR) Development Program

Past programs & background


2017 Program

In 2017 34 early career researchers were selected to participate in the Program.

Participants attended a series of sessions on a range of topics with a focussed content aligned to the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and received individual mentoring from senior UniSA researchers.


2016 Program

2015 Program

2014 Program

2013 Program

2012 Program

2011 Program

2010 Program

2009 Program

2008 Program

2007 Program


In 2003 the University of South Australia held a forum for all Early Career Researchers (ECRs). Chaired by the former Pro Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor Ian Davey, the purpose of the forum was to seek advice and input from UniSA ECRs to inform the design of a framework for a 12 month long development program aimed at assisting academic staff in the early stages of their career (usually awarded a doctorate within the previous five years) in establishing a successful academic career.

The Early Career Researcher Development Advisory Group was established in early 2004, chaired by Professor Ian Davey. The objective of the group was to design and deliver UniSA�s first Early Career Researcher development Program (ECRDP). The program�s aim was to provide ECRs with opportunities for strategic career planning and skill development in the area of academic research; and to contribute to the improvement of the University�s research performance. The program offered a trial �smorgasboard� approach in 2004, with nine workshops attended by 149 participants. Topics covered as part of workshop series included; grants, publishing, managing resources, performance management, commercialisation, and intellectual property.

In 2005 the program implemented a cohort model, with Heads of Schools invited to nominate eligible staff. The criterion for entry was:

21 participants were selected into the program�s first cohort. Participants attended nine workshops on various topics and received mentoring by a senior researcher for the duration of the program. ECRs that were not members of the cohort were also invited to attend presentations given as part of the morning portion of each program day, with the cohort only meeting in the afternoon part of the day. An end of year celebration was held at the conclusion of the program to thank key contributors and provide further networking opportunities.

Since 2006 UniSA has continued to offer a cohort model ECRDP with participants selected annually based on a nomination process. In the context of High Quality Research participants attend a series of sessions on a range of topics topics with a focussed content aligned to the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). Topics covered as part of program days include:

The program utilises the expertise of experienced researchers who share their insight and learning to support early career researchers and their research activities. Additional or �in-demand� topics are included for special interest sub-groups, depending on the level of interest. Participant also received individual mentoring from senior UniSA researchers.

For further information about the program, in the first instance, contact Siobhan Langan, Consultant: Organisational Development.