Analysis of the career progression of early career researchers in the UK
Dr Charitini Stavropoulou, Reader in Health Services Research, City University
Wednesday, 20 October 2021, 4pm to 5pm
Date and Time: Wednesday 20th October 2021, 4:00 pm (UK GMT)
To Join: This is a free event, which will be taking place online via Zoom. To register your interest in attending this talk please click HERE.
The seminar will present results from a study analysing the career progression of Early Career Researchers (ECRs), defined as researchers managing their first independent research project and seeking to set up a substantive research programme in the UK. This is part of Charitini’s secondment to the Medical Research Council (MRC), the UK’s largest public funder of discovery biomedical research.
We use data from both successful and unsuccessful individuals who applied for an ECR fellowship or award between 2006 and 2016. Baseline characteristics include sex, ethnicity, age, research organisation and the scheme they have applied for. We then matched individuals with information on research grants, publications and patents they have generated over the years. For those individuals for whom we could not find information on research outcomes, we searched LinkedIn to see whether they are still in academia or not. Results of the quantitative analysis are complemented with findings from 40 interviews with MRC early career researchers.
We find that the vast majority of successful ECRs are still in UK Universities, while the chances of leaving academia were higher among unsuccessful candidates. Successful individuals are significantly more likely to secure more funds than those who were declined funding, confirming the hypothesis of a Matthew effect in research funding. However, the same effect does not seem to hold for publications post submission. Results of the quantitative analysis are complemented with findings from 40 interviews with MRC early career researchers.
The results contribute to a rather limited literature on the impact of funded research in the UK and will inform the MRC’s policies on how to better support early career researchers.
Dr Charitini Stavropoulou is a Reader in Health Services Research at the School of Health Sciences and the co-director of the Centre for Healthcare Innovation Research (CHIR). She is currently on a part-time secondment with the Medical Research Council, evaluating their early career schemes.
She holds an MSc in Operational Research from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Health Policy from the London School of Economics.
Her interests span across a number of areas of health services research including the barriers of embedding healthcare innovation, the role of patients in healthcare and the impact of funded research on academic and non-academic outcomes.
Her research has been published in leading medical and health policy journals, including The BMJ, the Lancet Public Health, the Milbank Quarterly and Social Sciences and Medicine. For her research Charitini has received funding from the Health Foundation, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Royal Marsden.