Early Career Researchers

The Early Career Researcher (ERC) SIG aims to raise awareness of new development within student engagement, supporting those in the beginning stages of their career in student engagement research and or in academia. The group seeks to meet the needs of not only those pursuing studies and or careers as researchers within HE but also those who are practitioners undertaking student engagement research to support their development. 

Complementing RAISE’s mission to “come together for beneficial scholarly discussion, sharing ideas and creating collaborative projects”, the SIG looks to provide opportunities for ECRs to develop their knowledge and skills, broadening their network to enhance collaboration within the HE sector. The SIG will also help RAISE to support and connect with the wider community in student engagement. 


Kiu Sum:  k.sum@my.westminster.ac.uk John Lean:  j.lean@mmu.ac.uk Twitter: @drjjlean

Terms of Reference

Please see the Terms of Reference for more information on the Early Career Researchers SIG.

Early Career Researchers Symposium: April 2021

Wednesday 28th April, 09:15-12:30 (BST) via MS Teams

Are you new to higher education teaching and research, or an established practitioner making the move into researching student engagement? Are you trying to connect with others and stay motivated whilst working online? Do you want feedback or ideas on your pedagogy and student engagement approaches?

Organised by the RAISE Early Career Researcher Group, this symposium will give Early Career Researchers* the opportunity to share their research, gain feedback, and establish future collaborations in student engagement and learning and teaching.

*Early Career Researchers = PhD researchers, research assistants, research associates, post-doctoral researchers, teaching fellows, first-position lecturers, within 5 years of completing their PhD, staff employed 0.2FTE or greater for student engagement roles primarily undertaking student engagement in 'research' or 'teaching' within any HEIs/ organisations


Registration for the event is now open.

The meeting link will be sent 48 hours before the day.

Any questions, please contact the Co-Convenors John Lean: j.lean@mmu.ac.uk and Kiu Sum: k.sum@my.westminster.ac.uk


  • 09:15 – 09:20: Welcome (John Lean & Kiu Sum, RAISE ECR Group Co-convenors)

  • 09:20 – 09:35: A Reflection on Designing Virtual Learning Experiences During a Pandemic (Priyanka Chandarana, University of Nottingham)

  • 09:35 – 09:50: Teaching in the time of massification: Exploring Education academics’ experiences of teaching large classes in South Africa higher education. (Thabang Mokoena, Dr Mlamuli Nkosingphile Hlatshwayo, Ms Thabile Zondi (University of KwaZulu-Natal))

  • 09:50 – 10:00: Q&As with Session 1 speakers

  • 10:00 – 10:30: Teaching and learning of communication skills (Emma Reith-Hall (University of Birmingham), Ryam Barber (Nottingham Trent University, Fiona Steane (Nottingham Trent University))

  • 10:30 – 10:40: Q&As with Session 2 speakers

  • 10:40 – 10:50: Break

  • 10:50 – 11:20: A student engagement lens on student residential accommodation: Notes from England & the Netherlands (Dr Zachery Daniel Spire (UCL))

  • 11:20 – 11:30: Q&As with Session 3 speaker

  • 11:30 – 11:45: Evaluation of students’ performance and engagement using post - laboratory integrated assessments within a pharmacy course in the United Kingdom: a pilot cohort cross-over study (Andrew Martin Lunn, Louise S. Cogan and Andrea Manfrin (University of Central Lancashire))

  • 11:45 – 12:00: Geography Student Teachers’ understanding of indigenising the Climatology module in a South African Higher Education Institution (Zamokuhle Wiseman Magubane, Dr Mlamuli Nkosingphile Hlatshwayo, Ms Thabile Zondi (University of KwaZulu-Natal))

  • 12:00 – 12:15: Gather.town: An opportunity for self-paced learning in a synchronous, distance-learning environment (Dr Colin D McClure, Dr Paul N Williams (Queen’s University Belfast))

  • 12:15 – 12:25: Q&As with Session 4 speakers

  • 12:30: End