About ECDN

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The Early Career Development Network (ECDN) has been established to facilitate the career development and training of Postdoctoral and Early Career Researchers and Academics across the Colleges of Life and Environmental Sciences and Engineering and Physical Sciences.

We aim to foster this by providing access and information to a range of training courses, career advice, funding opportunities, workshops, seminars and other development events.

ECDN works in partnership and collaborates with other departments and external organisations to maximise the opportunities available; we hope that this site provides a useful resource and a stepping stone to your personal career development. 

New to the University?  The University's New Staff Member Induction webpage provides further resources and useful information to help you settle into your new role.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

Concordat logoECDN helps to ensure that the Colleges recognise and work towards meeting the principles set out in the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, and employ best practice in support of the Vitae Researcher Development Framework.

The new Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers was launched by Vitae on 12th September 2019.  The Concordat is an agreement between stakeholders, including universities and funding bodies, to improve the employment and support for researchers and researcher careers in higher education in the UK. 

Vitae is a non-profit programme, part of The Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Ltd which seeks to enhance the skills and careers of researchers and to strengthen institutional provision for the professional development of their researchers.   

Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources for Postdoctoral and Early Career Researchers

We have created a webpage which brings together information on mental health and wellbeing resources at the University of Birmingham for postdoctoral and early career researchers during the Covid-19 pandemic.  View the mental health and wellbeing resources webpage.

A message from Professor Jon Binner, Deputy Head of College for EPS

"The ECDN programme is jointly funded by the Wellcome Trust and the two Colleges of Engineering & Physical Sciences and Life & Environment Sciences and is designed to provide useful support to you, our Early Career Researchers, particularly those of you on postdoctoral contracts. This is a vital time in your careers, when you have the freedom to spend much of your time on research and to develop new skills, but when you also need to learn more about the world of academia and, ultimately, to decide which career path you want to follow. It is a time that should be exciting and fun, but it is also a time when you will be very busy, when you may have uncertainty arising from short term contracts, and when you may feel torn between spending time on your research & development and developing your own personal skills. We want to help you to achieve this balance with a minimum of effort on your part. Thus the ECDN programme provides the information and training that we believe that you need; it is designed to be efficiently delivered and easy to digest (though we always want to hear from you if you feel it can be improved). I would urge you to take maximum advantage of this opportunity and to make time in your busy lives to get to know your fellow Early Career Researchers and to attend as many meetings and events as you can. I really hope that you will enjoy your time at the University of Birmingham and, whilst I can’t solve every problem, I am always happy to hear from you if you feel that there is anything that the College of Engineering & Physical Sciences can do to improve things for you."

                   Professor Jon Binner
                   Deputy Head of College for EPS

A message from Professor Richard Butler, Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer for LES

"We are pleased to be able to support our early career and postdoctoral researchers through the ECDN programme, which is supported by the College of Life & Environmental Sciences and the College of Engineering & Physical Sciences.

The early career stage should be an exciting time, and the University recognises that early career researchers are vital to our world-leading activity. It is a stage where you have the opportunity to spend more of your time doing research, and to develop new skills. However, it can also be a period of relatively short-term contracts and, thus, of uncertainly.

In this context, the ECDN programme aims to provide information and training to support you during your postdoctoral and early career research here at Birmingham, and to help you develop your career and make successful choices about what comes next. We hope you will make the most of the opportunities as well as the information in these pages to enhance your experiences, skills and personal development.

                   Richard J. Butler
                   Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer, College of Life & Environmental Sciences