Supporting ecologists at the start of their career is an important facet in developing a strong base for ecology in the future. ESA has always focused on nurturing its postgraduate students through:
- Facilitating postgraduate workshops prior to each annual conference
- Providing a series of grants to help students in their research and in coming to the annual conference to present their work
As part of ESAs commitment to early career members, we have recently focused on those researchers who have completed their degrees and seeking further research positions or other employment. There have been a number of workshops for early career researchers on grant writing and publishing.
Furthermore, ESA has now joined the International Network of Next Generation Ecologists (INNGE, [in-jee]). INNGE is a newly established network of ecologists that seeks to bring early career ecologists together from around the world. It is the hope that this will help to strengthen international ties and inspire new activities in a growing global community of ecologists.
This page will update the members on future initiatives.
If you have some ideas on how to support early career researchers, please contact the Early Career Research Working Group.
The Wiley Next Generation Ecologist Award is a funding initiative aimed directly at supporting early-career researchers (ECRs) through a research and professional development grant and Plenary opportunity.
The award recognises excellence in research in Australian ecology and is awarded to an “up-and-coming” early-career researcher. The award comprises:
- A $3,000 grant which can be applied to a research project or a professional development opportunity.
- A Plenary address at the Society’s annual conference, including the candidate’s travel, registration and accommodation costs to attend the meeting.
The Plenary should be on the future of ecological research in Australia with an emphasis on the awardee’s area of interest. As well as the prestige associated with a Plenary lecture, this will allow an opportunity for an early-career researcher to give a longer, more comprehensive presentation on their work and perspectives than currently exists in the standard conference format.
The Austral Ecology editorial board has implemented an initiative to provide experience in manuscript reviewing for early career ecologists.
We know that there are a number of senior PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, or ecologists in the early stages of their employment in other positions, who have the skills and knowledge to qualify them to comment on submitted manuscripts, but who feel that they lack the experience or confidence to embark on a manuscript review.
We see this as a mutualistic arrangement. The journal gains from having an additional pool of reviewers, the Early Career Reviewers gain from building their experience in the journal publishing process, from a different perspective than as submitting authors.
Although this scheme is directed mainly to provide mentoring during early career development for members of the Ecological Society of Australia, it is not restricted to ESA members.
The Austral Award will be given to an early-career research scientist (criteria below) who sends an exceptional Review manuscript to Austral Ecology. The topic of the review manuscript should focus on topics that enrich the understanding of the ecology, with relevance to (but not exclusivity to) the Southern Hemisphere. If the award is given for a paper with multiple authors (no more than five, and the lead and corresponding authors must be early-career) all authors will receive a certificate, and those meeting the early-career research criteria at the time of publication will share the monetary prize.
The recipient of The Austral Award will receive a $1,500 cash award along with the opportunity to publish a prominently featured and freely available review article in Austral Ecology. In addition, the runner-up will receive $750 and the opportunity to publish a freely available article in Austral Ecology.