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The Australian SHAPE EMCR Network has been established to ensure early and mid-career researchers (EMCRs) have a voice, networks, and opportunities within the humanities, arts and social sciences, and in turn are able to shape the field. The Network has been formed with the full support of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (AAH) and the Academy of the Social Sciences Australia (ASSA) in response to the well-documented challenges in the sector faced by EMCRs.
This Network will ensure that EMCRs have a voice in the across the higer education sector and the nation. Through advocacy and representation in academies and across governments, the Network aims to empower EMCRs within their own institutions.
It aims to create and maintain a network of researchers across disciplines, at various stages of their early to mid career, that fosters a culture of collaboration, support and well-being at a critical time in researchers’ careers.
Finally, it will work with the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of the Social Sciences Australia to promote and create diverse opportunities that sustain, build, and empower the future of the humanities, arts and social sciences through its EMCRs.
In our network, SHAPE stands for Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts for People and Environment. This is a new framing for our disciplines developed by the British Academy as a more dynamic and outcomes-focused alternative to HASS (Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences). More information about the SHAPE campaign can be found at www.thisisshape.org.uk. The executive committee voted and selected this term as we felt this best captured what we aim to represent. While the “E” can sometimes represent the “Economy”, we felt the term “Environment” better represents the diverse challenges experienced in our sector. We use the term “Environment” in an inclusive sense, including the economic environment, social environment, work environment, home environment, political environment as well as the natural environment which is in need of urgent action to minimise the negative effects of climate change.
The Australian SHAPE EMCR Network defines an EMCR as any person in Australia who self-identifies as an early- or mid-career researcher (typically up to 15 years post-PhD, excluding career interruptions). The term researcher is interpreted broadly, and the EMCR Network strongly believes that the humanities, arts and social sciences research community includes research and teaching academics, professionals and practice-focused individuals both within and outside of academia. Many early- and mid-career researchers work in a variety of fields in industry and community and the SHAPE Futures network explicitly includes these researchers. As part of our activities, SHAPE Futures will seek to develop a better understanding of the EMCR cohort so as to better inform both its own actions and provide a resource for the broader community.
Joining the Australian SHAPE EMCR Network is free. Sign up to become a member today and receive our regular newsletter and announcements about opportunities for advocacy and connection.
The EMCR Network strongly believes that the humanities, arts, and social sciences EMCR community includes research and teaching academics, professionals, and practice-focused individuals both within and outside of academia. Many early and mid-career researchers work in a variety of fields in industry and community and the SHAPE Futures network explicitly includes these researchers and welcomes them as members.
To become a member simply go to our become a member page, fill out our short form and start receiving members-only content today.
The executive committee was formed in November 2021 and is in the early stages of formation. The executive, as with the network, draws its strength from a wide range of EMCRs working across multiple SHAPE disciplines in Australia.
The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Academy of the Humanities worked together to provide assistance in establishing the SHAPE Futures EMCR Network in late 2021. While the Network is now independent, the two academies provide ongoing support and continue to closely collaborate with the Network, providing important financial support and consultation as needed. Members of the executive are regularly invited to meetings with the academies and we have strong advocacy links.
Are you interested in providing your feedback on the current experiences and challenges faced as an early- or mid-career researcher EMCR? We want to know what issues EMCRs from different contexts are experiencing. We seek suggestions for building and developing our network, and for ensuring our website is informative each time you visit. Contact us today.
Find out what’s currently happening in the community and more.View all stories
The SHAPE Futures Network will host and support a range of events across the humanities, creative arts and social sciences each year. Be the first to know about upcoming events by becoming a member today.View all events
The Australian SHAPE EMCR Network recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and custodians of this land, and pays respect to Elders past and present. We acknowledge the continued cultural and spiritual connections to Country and community.