Recommendations for empowering early career researchers to improve research culture and practice

Abstract

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.

Publication
Plos Biology
Felix Fischer
Felix Fischer
Group Leader Psychometrics and Health Outcomes

Psychologist with a weakness for quantitative data analysis

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