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Developing future research leaders: Designing early career researcher programs to enhance track record

Lynette Browning (Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Adelaide, Australia)
Kirrilly Thompson (Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Adelaide, Australia)
Drew Dawson (Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, Adelaide, Australia)

International Journal for Researcher Development

ISSN: 2048-8696

Article publication date: 4 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a novel strategy for building research capability in a young university with an emerging research culture. Investment in building research capacity is essential for universities to remain competitive, but one of the challenges for younger universities is developing the research capability of individuals in an emerging research culture.

Design/methodology/approach

To gain a better understanding of how leading researchers become research leaders and how universities can design strategies to attract, retain, develop and promote researchers, we carried out a study of 30 research leaders in Australia. We then designed and implemented a cohort-based career development programme for early career researchers.

Findings

From our research, and the programme we developed, we have found that developing early career researchers does not mean teaching them how to do research – it means teaching them how to build a track record, which can lead to a research career. A development programme for early career researchers is a short-term investment for longer-term returns, but these programmes do have immediate impact on research productivity for the individual researchers and for the organisation.

Practical implications

We consider the success of the Early Career Researchers Programme is due to the regular face to face workshops, the development of the research career plan and the supportive research environment provided by the me.

Originality/value

The investment in this programme clearly demonstrates the value of researcher development on research outputs and research careers. These methods could be applied to researcher development training programmes elsewhere.

Keywords

Citation

Browning, L., Thompson, K. and Dawson, D. (2014), "Developing future research leaders: Designing early career researcher programs to enhance track record", International Journal for Researcher Development, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 123-134. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRD-08-2014-0019

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited