Call For papers/contributions: A Connected Communities Conference for Early Career Researchers


Changing the Future Research Landscape?

A Connected Communities Conference for Early Career Researchers


Call for papers/contributions


University of East Anglia, Norwich, 22-23 March 2016


The Connected Communities Programme is a cross-Research Council funding initiative, led by AHRC, which supports high level collaborative and co-produced research between academic and community partners. To date it has funded well over 300 projects, working with 500 community partners.


A key constituency for the programme, including for its future-oriented aspirations, is our early career researchers (ECRs). These play a vital role in many of the projects funded under the Programme including the large grant projects and First World War Engagement Centres. We have also sought specifically to identify their needs and pressures and to support them across the programme in ways including the following:


  • Involvement of ECRs in the initial scoping studies/reviews/networking activities including as principal/co-investigators on projects
  • Early career highlight notice in the 2013 summit follow-up fund supporting several ECR-led projects and a project on Connecting Epistemologies: Methods and Early Career Researchers
  • Cardiff Festival 2014, ECRs research development workshop, leading to the award of 11 follow-up grants for dedicated ECR-led projects 2015-16 involving 27 ECRs
  • Funding for 25 Collaborative Doctoral Awards under Connected Communities highlight notices since 2011 and some project-linked studentships
  • Support for ECRs under other strands of the programme, such as Research for Community Heritage / HLF All Our Stories collaboration, with the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE).


Call for papers/contributions


We invite proposals for papers, panels, workshops, discussion groups, and other activities from screenings to performances, from ECRs who are or have been involved in Connected Communities. In particular we wish to hear from the current funded ECR CC projects and research, and to bring them together to share emerging themes, challenges, opportunities, learning and experience, and explore ideas for the future. As far as possible we would expect each of the 11 ECR development awards funded following the 2014 workshop to be represented at the conference. We also anticipate contributions from ECRs from other CC projects, including post-doctoral researchers working on large grants, CDAs or project-linked students. Proposals may come from individual ECRs, ECR project teams or cross-project teams and may include community partners involved in research with ECRs; in some cases they may also involve input from more senior researchers. However, whilst there is flexibility on who can be involved as collaborators, in all cases the proposal lead should be an ECR who has been funded as an investigator, or employed as a researcher, or funded as a doctoral student, on a Connected Communities project.


Potential areas for discussion are expected to include, but are not restricted to:

  • Emerging themes, concepts, theories, methodological innovations, findings and questions from the ECR-led Connected Communities projects
  • Participatory / co-production best practice; collaboration and partnership working; roles, power and ethics; engaging with diverse and minority communities
  • Moving across research boundaries; case studies / methodological interrogation of the limits of discipline or of interdisciplinarity
  • Future directions for community research participation / co-production; connections to the 2016 Connected Communities Festival theme of Community Futures and Utopias
  • Career and skills development; ‘elite but peripheral?’; what / where / with whom next?; supporting learning networks and building communities of practice; training
  • Collaborative writing and publishing co-production; emerging forms of collaborative research outputs
  • Understanding the pathways, value, impact, legacies, sustainability from Connected Communities projects; beyond the ‘project’—precarity, sustainability and transitions.


We are also interested in exploring how ECRs within the Programme relate to wider issues of ECR development, such as the AHRC’s recently published Research Training Framework for Early Career Researchers, and/or issues of equalities and diversity for early career researchers. Alongside panels and activities proposed, we plan to include a session around career development featuring invited external speakers.


There will be social and networking opportunities as well as the chance to discuss ideas for future networking and funding activities and /or collaborative writing / outputs projects.


How to submit


300-word abstracts should be sent as a word attachment to Rachel Daniel (address below) by 3 pm, 2 February 2016. Please also include brief details about your Connected Communities project(s) and who it is proposed would attend the symposium. We aim for flexibility in format—if you have an innovative way to present your material please explain it. We will notify successful proposals of acceptance within two weeks or less.


Registration and accommodation


Registration will be free (including meals, refreshments, conference events), though please note that numbers are limited. In the event that capacity is reached, a waiting list will be operated. Further information to follow shortly, via the Connected Communities website.


For CC ECRs and any community partners who are speaking or presenting, reasonable travel and accommodation costs will be included / arranged by the organisers at UEA. We can also consider requests for support for accessibility, disability and care issues for researchers and/or community partners to attend part but not all of the symposium, where this would enhance equality of opportunities to participate.  Overnight accommodation on 22 March will be on campus at Broadview Lodge.


Provisional structure of conference


22 March

3 pm on          Early registration, room check-in

6 pm               Reception and networking, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

7.30 pm          Conference meal, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts


23 March

9-5 pm            Conference, Julian Study Centre

Activities to include keynote address(es), career development event, future funding discussion, your panels and presentations…


Organising committee (including ECRs)


George McKay (UEA)

Rachel Daniel (UEA)

Keri Facer (Bristol)

Geoff Bright (MMU)

We are keen to include on the organising committee and for chairing responsibilities other ECRs from across the programme. If you would like to contribute here, please get in touch with Rachel, including a short (half-page, max.) statement of interest.


Further information


For further information please contact Rachel Daniel, Connected Communities Administrator, UEA, on; 01603 592452