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

Brianne A Kent, Constance Holman, Emmanuella Amoako, Alberto Antonietti, James M Azam, Hanne Ballhausen, Yaw Bediako, Anat M Belasen, Clarissa F D Carneiro, Yen-Chung Chen, Ewoud B Compeer, Chelsea A C Connor, Sophia Crüwell, Humberto Debat, Emma Dorris, Hedyeh Ebrahimi, Jeffrey C Erlich, Florencia Fernández-Chiappe, Felix Fischer, Małgorzata Anna GazdaToivo Glatz, Peter Grabitz, Verena Heise, David G Kent, Hung Lo, Gary McDowell, Devang Mehta, Wolf-Julian Neumann, Kleber Neves, Mark Patterson, Naomi C Penfold, Sophie K Piper, Iratxe Puebla, Peter K Quashie, Carolina Paz Quezada, Julia L Riley, Jessica L Rohmann, Shyam Saladi, Benjamin Schwessinger, Bob Siegerink, Paulina Stehlik, Alexandra Tzilivaki, Kate D L Umbers, Aalok Varma, Kaivalya Walavalkar, Charlotte M de Winde, Cecilia Zaza, Tracey L Weissgerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3001680
JournalPLoS Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Recommendations for empowering early career researchers to improve research culture and practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this