Recommendations for empowering early career researchers to improve research culture and practice.
Kent BA., Holman C., Amoako E., Antonietti A., Azam JM., Ballhausen H., Bediako Y., Belasen AM., Carneiro CFD., Chen Y-C., Compeer EB., Connor CAC., Crüwell S., Debat H., Dorris E., Ebrahimi H., Erlich JC., Fernández-Chiappe F., Fischer F., Gazda MA., Glatz T., Grabitz P., Heise V., Kent DG., Lo H., McDowell G., Mehta D., Neumann W-J., Neves K., Patterson M., Penfold NC., Piper SK., Puebla I., Quashie PK., Quezada CP., Riley JL., Rohmann JL., Saladi S., Schwessinger B., Siegerink B., Stehlik P., Tzilivaki A., Umbers KDL., Varma A., Walavalkar K., de Winde CM., Zaza C., Weissgerber TL.
Early career researchers (ECRs) are important stakeholders leading efforts to catalyze systemic change in research culture and practice. Here, we summarize the outputs from a virtual unconventional conference (unconference), which brought together 54 invited experts from 20 countries with extensive experience in ECR initiatives designed to improve the culture and practice of science. Together, we drafted 2 sets of recommendations for (1) ECRs directly involved in initiatives or activities to change research culture and practice; and (2) stakeholders who wish to support ECRs in these efforts. Importantly, these points apply to ECRs working to promote change on a systemic level, not only those improving aspects of their own work. In both sets of recommendations, we underline the importance of incentivizing and providing time and resources for systems-level science improvement activities, including ECRs in organizational decision-making processes, and working to dismantle structural barriers to participation for marginalized groups. We further highlight obstacles that ECRs face when working to promote reform, as well as proposed solutions and examples of current best practices. The abstract and recommendations for stakeholders are available in Dutch, German, Greek (abstract only), Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Serbian.