Early Career Researcher Network

The LSE Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network is open to all staff who identify as early-career with regards to their research and are typically within 10 years of their PhD award date. The Network encourages LSE Fellows, and Policy and Research Staff as well as Faculty to join. 

The ECR Network aims to:

  • Build a community for peer-to-peer learning, support and interaction
  • Empower ECRs to co-develop training and events at LSE
  • Contribute to the Researcher Development Concordat and amplify ECR voices and representation

Why should you join?

The Network is a new initiative set up for ECRs and will be run by ECRs. Membership provides the opportunity to engage with peers across LSE to share and develop research knowledge and skills, network and collaborate, and stay connected to research support available at the School and the broader academic environment.  


How to get involved?

To join the ECR Network membership on Teams, please click here. If you would like to discuss your membership, please get in touch with Dr Magdalena Walbaum, M.Walbaum@lse.ac.uk and Dr Jasmine Virhia (J.Virhia@lse.ac.uk). 

The Network is a sub-group of the Research Policy Staff Committee.


Steering Commitee

The inaugural Steering Committee will have a one-year term to jump-start the Network's direction and activities and create a governance structure to ensure the sustainability of the Network. Please see the members of the Steering Committee below.



Steering Committee Members
 Name Status / RoleEmail 
Dr Magdalena Walbaum Co-Chair; Research Officer m.walbaum@lse.ac.uk
Dr Jasmine Virhia Co-Chair; Postdoctoral Researcher  j.virhia@lse.ac.uk
Dr Paroma Bhattacharya Head of Social Innovation P.Bhattacharya@lse.ac.uk
Dr Chris Chaplin Assistant Professorial Research Fellow c.chaplin@lse.ac.uk
Dr Eliza Ngutuku Research Officer e.m.ngutuku@lse.ac.uk
Dr Aled Williams LSE Fellow a.e.williams1@lse.ac.uk


Network Activities

Changemakers Programme

In February 2023, the ECR Network opened a Call for Applications for peer-led projects to contribute to the priority areas of the ECR Network, including:

  • Enhancing ECR career development including supporting grant funding
  • Mapping what it means to be an ECR
  • Building Community among ECRs
  • Developing best practice and cases studies to guide ECRs in research and teaching

Four projects were selected with the goal to make distinct contributions to the future direction and development of the Network:

A qualitative investigation into ECR experiences

Led by Dr Jasmine Virhia, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science

This investigation is the first formal attempt to understand what it means to be an early career researcher (ECR). The term is used with increased frequency across the UK (and beyond), yet the precise contours of what it means to be an ECR at UK institutions remain elusive. Through interviews and focus groups with researchers now defined as ECRs at LSE, this research seeks to map the multiple experiences of being an ECR. It is invested in how diverse and intersectional researcher identities constitute the ECR category. 

The full report can be found HERE. 

The clock is ticking: a quantitative analysis of working and living conditions of fixed-term ECRs and GTAs at LSE

Co-led Dr Marion Lieutaud, Department of Methodology and Dr Lukas Slothuus, LSE100

This project will increase the understanding of what life is like as an ECR at LSE and build community among ECRs. Specifically, we will work with original, School-wide quantitative survey data so as to document working conditions, working life, and links to life outside of work. This analysis will cover categories of workers which have thus far been analysed in separation: 1. Fellows, Teaching Fellows, Research Fellows, Guest Lecturers, etc. and 2. GTAs and Class Teachers. This will provide essential and updated quantitative information to better document and monitor the experience of early-career and casualised workers at LSE. The only information and reports available at present have been constructed through volunteer work and limited in scope and ambition by the lack of financial support. This project will address this issue.

Opening Lines: Book Writing Collective

Led by Dr Ewa Majczak, Department of Media and Communication

Writing a single author's book is a key informal requirement for permanent positions in many departments. However, writing the first book and dealing with key steps in the publishing process relies on informal networks and can be an opaque process. Moreover, writing a book can be a solitary activity, which can be difficult to commit to given the competing demands of professional academic life.

Opening Lines is an inclusive writing, research and professional development programme supporting up to 12 early career scholars who are starting to write their first book. It guides them through the process with an external coach who acts as the programme director, Dr Jenny Chamarette, with a view to fostering long-term supportive peer relationships for the first monograph and beyond. The goal is to have a first manuscript draft accomplished at the end of the 18 month programme. The group will gather weekly during three phased blocks for practical workshops, group feedback and writing sessions, one to one writing mentoring, and discussions around writing book manuscripts.

If you have any questions contact ewa.majczak@lse.ac.uk.

Research Cafés: Developing Community among LSE ECRs

Co-led by Jayeeta Rajagopalan and Dr Magdalena Walbaum, Care Policy and Evaluation Centre

Research Cafés, running throughout Spring and Summer term will provide an opportunity for ECRs across the school to engage in discussions regarding cutting edge academic research on topic areas of interest. A total of 4 research cafés will be organized, allowing ECR network members to present their research, which will then be followed by open discussion and conversation.


Upcoming Events


Past Events


ECR Network Launch Event - 12 October 2022

The ECR Network celebrated its official launch with a Launch Event on Wednesday 12th October on the LSE campus, co-hosted by the Pro-Director for Research, Prof Susana Mourato and the Inaugural Chair of the Network, Dr Elizabeth Storer.

Changemakers Programme Update & Networking Event - 31 January 2024

The ECR Network hosted its first event of 2024 with an opportunity for the LSE research community to meet the Network's Steering Committee and peers across LSE, to learn about the ECR Network's Changemakers Programme projects.

WHEN: 31 January 2024, 16:30 - 19:00

WHERE: Shaw Library, 6th Floor, Old Building, LSE campus



  • 16:30 Event Start – Networking
  • 17:00 Introductions from ECR Network Steering Committee 
  • 17:15 Introduction from Grace McConnell, Deputy Director of LSE Research & Innovation
  • 17:20 Introduction from Joshua Mead, Research Culture Manager, KCL and British Academy ECRN London Cluster representative
  • 17:25 Changemakers Programme report
  • 18:00 Introduction to Research Support Services at LSE
  • 18:10 Networking
  • 19:00 Event Close



Other ECR activities


LSE Fellows Network

The LSE Fellows Network is a space for LSE Fellows, Teaching Fellows, Policy Fellows/Officers, Research Fellows/Officers, and postdocs at LSE to socialise, represent our collective interests, and engage in career development. The Fellows Network was set up in 2021 and encourages grassroots participation and a flat organisational structure. Members of the Network run an annual survey of the working conditions of Fellows and organise regular social events together.

Anyone who fits into any of the above categories can join the Network’s WhatsApp group and participate, as well as put on their own events and initiatives. We hope to meet you!

For the WhatsApp group link or to learn more about the Network, please contact:

- Marion Lieutaud (m.lieutaud@lse.ac.uk)

- Omar Hammoud-Gallego (o.hammoud-gallego@lse.ac.uk).