21 April 2022

After two years of digital conferencing, this year’s hybrid PSA Annual International Conference at the University of York was a huge success! The Early Career Network (ECN) Committee was extremely pleased to be part of this fantastic event, attending both online and in-person.

For many of us who are at the earlier stages of our academic careers, #PSA22 was the first opportunity to attend a conference and present in person; and what an excellent opportunity it was!

Not only did we have lots of fun at #PSA22; the conference enabled many of us to forge vital intellectual and professional connections with both senior and junior scholars working across our fields. The varied panels attested to the richness of our discipline. We were excited to see so many early career and PhD researchers presenting their work at the conference.

It was also heartening to see the recognition of our peers’ research. We'd like to congratulate the early career researchers (ECRs) winning prizes for their outstanding scholarship and teaching.

Over the three days of #PSA22, we collaborated with friends, colleagues, and mentors on several scheduled events including:

  • ECN sponsored welcome breakfast
  • Meet the Editors roundtable with Elizabeth Evans (Politics), Justin Fisher & Eliza Kania (Political Studies Review), Richard Hayton (BJPIR), Andy Hindmoor (Political Studies) and James Skelding Tattle, Senior Publishing Editor (SAGE Publishing)
  • ECN speed networking
  • ECN drinks reception
  • ECN alternative social and pub quiz

The conference brought us together to talk about our research in a welcoming and supportive environment; but also to keep creating peer networks. This empowers us to continue exchanging knowledge, critically engaging with each other’s work, and celebrating each other’s achievements. Cultivating a sense of community amongst early career scholars allows each of us, as well as our discipline more broadly, to flourish.

The ECN Committee is motivated to carry the momentum from #PSA22 forwards with our future events. We look forward to welcoming you to our symposium (titled The State of Things) and ECN conference (titled The Time is Now) at the University of Sheffield this July. The call for papers for both events are out now - we invite you to submit an abstract!

A word from our Chair…

I’m really pleased with the events on offer for early career researchers in York, and the process taught us a lot as a committee. We’re planning to take what we’ve learned here to our own hybrid conference in July: for example, how to provide an extended virtual component for those who can’t attend social activities in-person. We also learned more about our members’ priorities, both personally and professionally. When academia can be hostile and competitive, I’m even more convinced of the need for spaces of support and camaraderie. I hope we can think about ways to make these connections into sustainable long-term relationships of mentorship and collaboration. It was wonderful to meet so many of you at #PSA22; see you soon in Sheffield (and online)!

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Dr Indrajit Roy, Dr Sara de Jong, Dr Nicole Lindstrom, Dr Alfred Moore, Dr Dan Keith, Dr Matthew Whiting, and the rest of the amazing team at University of York who made this conference happen; all of the fantastic staff and trustees at the Political Studies Association; all of the senior academics who kindly offered their time and expertise during the speed networking and Meet the Editors sessions; Dr Steven Daniels for hosting our magnificent pub quiz; the brilliant team at Manahatta for providing a great venue for the ECN social (and the bar team for getting stuck in with our pub quiz!); and, of course, all of the wonderful ECRs and PhDs who came to the conference both online and in person!