The Political Studies Association (PSA) is committed to supporting the next generation of political scientists through its Early Career Network (ECN). The PSA ECN exists to represent the interests of postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and early career academics within the PSA. It opens a space that specifically addresses the interests and needs of postgraduates and early career researchers in an independent, peer-based environment, while still getting support and guidance from the Executive Committee of the PSA when required.

You can be a member of the PSA's ECN from when you started a doctoral degree until three years after the completion of a doctoral viva. 


How can I join the Early Career Network? 

Only £20 a year Membership - It's full PSA membership, at a reduced price.

All postgraduates and early career academics can join the Political Studies Association at a reduced rate, which includes Early Career Network Membership. Click here to join.


Who runs the Early Career Network?

The ECN's membership has doubled over the past two years. Our over 600 ECN members are at the heart of the ECN activities. The ECN is run by a committee consisting of early career scholars, headed by a Chair who serves as a member of the PSA Executive Committee. The committee is always looking for ideas from you, the current and future members, about how the ECN can help you make the most of your early career experience. You can read more about the committee here.


What kind of Early Career Network activities can I get involved in?

The ECN receives a grant from the Political Studies Association each year. This grant, together with the voluntary work undertaken by committee members, enables the ECN to undertake various activities to fulfil its goals. Some of the benefits of ECN membership include:

Attending tailored events for early career researchers

  • PSA ECN Annual Conference: every year we organise a conference for early career researchers, an opportunity to showcase your research, to develop skills and to network beyond your area of expertise.
  • We also organise a Welcome event for new and old members in October every year, a 'Bridging the Gap' event discussing careers for politics PhDs and a number of events during the PSA's Annual Conference.
  • Check out our upcoming events page or social media to stay up to date with events. Until then, here is the outline of last year's successful ECN conference.


Accessing funding

  • Travel Grants
    ECN members are eligible to apply to the PSA's travel grant scheme which enables young scholars and graduate students to present papers at overseas national PSA conferences.

  • Access Fund ECN members are able to apply to the access fund to help attend the PSA's Annual Conference.

  • Member Led Event Grants 
    Please complete and return to The deadlines for these applications are 31 March 2019 and 31 October 2019. 



  • Join the conversation with over 3,000 early career researchers on our Facebook group.
  • Get in touch via our Twitter account. Social networking provides a way for members to stay in contact with one another and to seek advice from members of the community as well as to advertise events/calls for papers that may be of interest to other members.
  • Email newsletter - ECN Members receive a quarterly email newsletter edited by our Comms Officer outlining news, updates, events, and information specifically tailored to the PSA’s postgraduate and early career membership. 
  • To publicise relevant opportunities and events, via newsletter or social media, please contact Alexandra Bulat, the ECN's Communications Officer. 


Welcome Pack

The ECN wrote a guide for PhD researchers. It offers tips on topics such as publishing, conferences, networking and teaching, which are all central to the PhD experience. 

Click here to access the ECN Welcome Pack. 


Contact Us

Sumedh Rao (Chair, ECN Committee) via