What have we been up to?

EMCR Forum Executive members met with Assistant Minister for Science Senator Zed Seselja

Sandra Gardam
Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Policy Analyst
Australian Academy of Science

EMCR Forum Executive members Hamish Clarke and Adrian Murdoch met with Assistant Minister for Science Senator Zed Seselja in May. They discussed the importance of diversity in the scientific workforce and the work that the EMCR Forum is planning to encourage and promote this. Mechanisms to involve EMCRs in engaging with business was also discussed, including the EMCR Forum’s Kickstarting Collaboration project. Check it out for great advice and resources for EMCRs navigating this space.

As many of you know, the Representative Network was recently established. This network aims to provide a crucial link between you and the EMCR Forum Executive. It has the grand aim of including representatives from every organisation in Australia which employs EMCRs. So far, all universities have been contacted and more than half have taken up the opportunity to nominate Representatives of their university. The Reps act as a two-way flow of information: they help the EMCR Forum better spread information to EMCRs at all organisations, and they can feed back issues, concerns and interests from EMCRs across the country. Check out whether your university has Reps yet and, if not, consider volunteering. Not at a university? We are aiming to expand the network to research institutions, publicly funded research organisations and government departments this year. Drop us a line if you are interested in being involved or if you want to make sure your organisation is on our list.

Some of our Reps are already hard at work. Western Sydney University Representatives invited Executive member Michael Bowen to speak about the EMCR Forum at an event in May. We hear that ‘Headwork in your Academic Mine’ was an enlightening event for the early- and mid-career academics who attended. Hopefully they have all now signed up as members of the EMCR Forum too!

The Fostering kindness in science workshop at Science Pathways proved very popular, with many of you asking how you could run a similar session in your own workplace. We have put together a how to guide and powerpoint slides to help you do just that. We would love to hear how it goes in your workplace, so please tag us on twitter or email us about your experience.

The Academy’s major conference Science at the Shine Dome was held in May with a record attendance from EMCRs. We had a fantastic program of activities for EMCRs, including workshops from the GrantEd Group, AusSMC and MD Writing and Editing. The EMCR Forum Executive also ran a workshop providing EMCRs with an insight into how science policy is developed, and getting their input into how we can improve diversity in competitive selection processes. The Executive is planning to publish some recommendations in this area soon, so keep an eye out.

© 2020 Australian Academy of Science