The PSA Early Career Network in Cardiff 

2016 saw the launch of the PSA Early Career Network (ECN), which replaced the former Postgraduate Network with a more cohesive aim of supporting all postgraduate, postdoctoral and early career academics within the PSA. Since its launch, the ECN has gone from strength to strength. Its elected committee (James Weinberg, Jessica Smith, Antony Mullen, Neema Begum and Joe Greenwood) have worked hard to protect and promote the interests of those academics who share in the precarious character of a life entering academia, through a lively programme of events and opportunities. The Network is committed to investing in the postgraduate and early career pipeline, encouraging equality and diversity, and strengthening academic networks across career stages.


The ECN has lined up a series of events in Cardiff which attendees from all professional backgrounds and career stages are encouraged to attend:


Monday 26th March, 08:30 - 09:15, Assembly Room, Cardiff City Hall

The ECN are delighted to welcome more than 180 early career academics to this conference. We are aware that for many of you, this may be your first international conference. To help you get some quick-fix answers about how to navigate the conference, we have teamed up with the PSA's Membership Committee to host this welcome breakfast. Light refreshments will be accompanied by the sage wisdom of PSA trustees and seasoned conference goers. We look forward to seeing you there!


Dr Tom Chatfield on ‘Critical Thinking’

Monday 26th March, 17:45 - 19:00, Cardiff City Hall                                                             

In keeping with tradition, the ECN would like to welcome its members - and academics at all stages of their career - to a reception on the opening evening of the conference. Canapes and drinks will be provided, while you get the opportunity to meet colleagues in the discipline from across the country and beyond. The centrepiece of the evening will be a keynote from author, broadcaster and tech philosopher Dr Tom Chatfield. In an era of fake news, information overload and alternative facts, Tom engages with the art and science of critical thinking in two central contemporary applications: how it can most effectively be applied within the teaching and research environment for early career academics; and what it means to develop and defend the new literacies demanded by an age of total medial.

       Sponsored by SAGE Publishing



Tuesday 27th March, 12:30 - 13:30, Cardiff City Hall

After the success of last year's event, the ECN speed mentoring session returns. At this event you will have the opportunity to network with, and ask for feedback/advice from, more than 25 senior scholars in the discipline. Participants will sit for 5 minutes at a time with each mentor before circulating. Come prepared with questions about CVs, publishing, the job market, collaboration, impact, REF and TEF, and general life in academia!


Tuesday 27th March, 15:30 - 17:00pm, Cardiff City Hall

The ECN is acutely aware that the mystic world of publishing and the 'pressure to publish' are the source of great anxiety for early career academics. As per feedback from our membership survey last spring, the ECN has teamed up with the Public Policy and Administration and Executive Politics and Governance specialist groups to bring you this publishing roundtable. Colleagues - both junior and senior - are invited to hear editors from 6 separate journals answer questions directly related to publishing as an early career academic. Each editor will make a short 2-minute statement before taking questions and discussion points from the chair and the audience. If you're not sure how to 'target' a journal, tick the right boxes for editors, deal with rejections, respond to reviewers' comments, make comments as a reviewer, or stay ahead of the curve, then this is the event for you.


Tuesday 27th March, 17:15 - 18:00pm, Meet by the Conference Registration Desk, Cardiff City Hall

This year the ECN is reaching out to early career academics from every institution around the country to join the ECN Council of Representatives. The purpose of this council will be to place a representative in each Politics department of the UK, who can act as a conduit between the PSA and early career academics in your home institutions. In doing so the ECN hopes to become more supportive and representative of, and responsive to, the needs of all early career academics in Politics. For those of you who have already volunteered, and for anyone else who might be interested, this informal event will bring us together to a) set out expectations for this group and share ideas of how best our collective efforts might be utilised, and b) start to scope specific objectives for the next 12-18 months.


Tuesday 27th March, 18:30 onwards, Tiny Rebel Cardiff (Upstairs Function Room) - 5 minutes' walk from Cardiff City Hall

The ECN look forward to welcoming you to our second annual alternative social. For those of you who are unable to attend the main (ticketed) conference dinner, the ECN is hosting an alternative social event for academics at all stages of their career. The ECN has reserved a private space at Tiny Rebel: a venue in the heart of the city and only a short walk from the conference venue. Join us for food (buffet paid for courtesy of the ECN), drinks and live entertainment (TBC).


For further details on the above events please contact the ECN via