The ECN's membership has doubled over the past two years. Our over 500 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. 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.
The Early Career Network Committee
Heather Alberro, Chair
I am currently a final-year PhD candidate at Nottingham Trent University's Department of Politics and International Relations, part of the 'Ethics, Ecology, Identity' research group. My thesis centres around an ecocritical examination of radical environmental activists (REA's) as contemporary ecotopian manifestations amid the socio-ecological perturbations of the Anthropocene. Key areas of research/interest include critical social theory, utopian/green utopian studies, environmental sociology, literary ecocriticism, political ecology, and critical animal studies. I also specialise in qualitative research methodologies with difficult-to-reach groups, which is the subject matter of my latest publication: 'Methodological considerations for the special-risk researcher: A research note'. I volunteered for the position of PSA ECN Chair because of the incredible opportunity the position offers for being centrally involved in helping to organize such a fantastic network of early career scholars. I hope to serve in my position with the utmost care and unbridled enthusiasm. Moreover, as an early career researcher and a Cuban-American woman living and studying in the UK, I’m especially familiar with the unique experiences as well as challenges faced by other early career researchers from a range of socioeconomic, cultural, and academic backgrounds. One of my particular aims while serving as Chair of the PSA ECN is to promote inclusivity and diversity therein, ensuring that researchers of all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gendered backgrounds are sufficiently represented and included. In the months ahead, I very much look forward to collaborating with my convening team on organizing events such as PSA ECN Conference, as well as meeting and liaising with fellow early career researchers. During difficult times plagued by social and environmental breakdown, creative collaboration is of the essence, and thus something that I further hope to promote during my time as PSA ECN Chair.
Nick Kirsop-Taylor, Secretary
My name is Nick Kirsop-Taylor and I am Lecturer (Teaching Fellow) in the Politics Department at the University of Exeter in Cornwall. I completed my doctorate in 2018 at University of Exeter and am actively pursuing a career in academia. As a Lecturer I deliver teaching in environmental politics, political ecology, and public administration. My research emerges at the intersection of environmental politics, public administration, and civil society, with a particular interest in how public organisations, and voluntary organisations and bureaucrats act as radical environmental actors. I have previously worked in the environmental public and voluntary sectors and bring experiences of convening and running committees of this nature.
Im very excited to be part of the PSA’s early career network in 2019-2020 and think I will bring a lot to the PSAs ECR community. I have volunteered to represent our community within the PSA during this period as I have personally found the post-doctoral transition challenging, and im keen to try and identify opportunities for other ECRs to manage this career stage as efficiently and effectively as possible. In the coming year I am looking forward to supporting the full gamut of existing PSA ECN events, whilst also identifying targeted opportunities to support post-doctoral ECR’s considering careers in academia. I have some good ideas for how we might achieve this and so please watch this space for further news….
Nick Dickinson, Events Officer
I am a PhD student in politics at the University of Exeter, where my research focuses on the regulation of parliamentary salaries and expenses. My role is to work with the committee to organise events that the Early Career Network puts on every year; ranging from stand-alone ECN events like our annual conference, to collaborations with the PSA's specialist groups, and events the ECN runs at the main PSA Annual Conference. I also lead on the ECN's grant scheme for member-run events. If you are interested in organising something, get in touch. I tweet at @NickSDickinson.
Lawrence Mckay, Treasurer
Hi – my name is Lawrence and I’m joining the ECN Committee as Treasurer. I’m a final-year PhD student in Politics at the University of Manchester. I research why people don’t feel their local communities are well represented in British politics, crossing specialist groups like EPOP and PSA Parliaments. I also work with the Hansard Society democracy charity, helping to design and interpret the annual Audit Of Political Engagement surveys.
I started my studies in 2016 – the year the ECN was set up – and since day 1 I have found being a member useful, informative and enjoyable. I have always appreciated the fact that the ECN has balanced giving practical advice – on researching, publishing, the job market – and being a space for critical thought and reflection on being an early career academic. Demystifying events have been an important way to think deeply about issues that too often we only pay lip-service to, such as gender and race, and how they affect the ECR experience. Most of all, though, I have found a community which replaces the transient connections of annual conferences with something genuinely nurturing.
I wanted to be a committee member to help this still-young institution find its feet and become even better. I am excited to repeat the success of our Bridging the Gap event, which has been particularly valuable for the 40% of PhDs who end up outside of academia – and, of course, for the now legendary conference pub quiz! I only hope I can help fill the big boots left behind by the outgoing committee members, and I look forward to meeting many of you over the coming year.
Liam Mcloughlin, Communications Officer
Hi, my name is Liam and I’m a PhD student at the University of Salford. My main research focuses on the intersection of social media and political life, particularly in relation to elite-citizen communication and representation. Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to deliver research on the abuse of British MPs on Twitter at the at the Radcliffe Institute, and my last delivered conference paper looked at data-activists’ transparency campaigns against political advertising on Facebook.
My role at the ECN will be to manage all communication. In sum, it means getting out the important messages to you and promoting the network, but also hearing what you have to say about us on social media! I tweet over at @leelum