The ICECReam: a collaborative network for early career researchers

Steven J. Kamper, Nicholas Henschke, Leonardo Costa, L. M. Costa, Tasha R Stanton, Christopher M. Williams, Zoe A. Michaleff, J. Diong

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review


Background: Early career researchers (post-graduate students and post-doctoral research fellows) are responsible for a large proportion of research output in health care. Physiotherapy early career researchers (ECRs) generate and synthesize high quality scientific material that supports evidence based practice in the profession. ECRs face numerous personal and professional challenges as they attempt to achieve the twin goals of producing high quality, relevant scientific output while furthering their professional education and career development. The International Collaboration of Early Career Researchers (the ICECReam) was established in 2011 to provide a platform for connecting and supporting ECRs around the world.

Purpose: The aim of this presentation is to describe the vision and activities of the ICECReam and encourage engagement from interested physiotherapists.

Methods: The mission of the ICECReam is outlined along with account of the accomplishments and resources produced to date and ideas for future directions.

Results: The main forum for connection is via the website ( and associated social media. The aim of the ICECReam is to provide a hub that connects and supports early career researchers all over the world. The inspiration for the site comes from the idea that while working conditions and research focus varies, many of the concerns, issues and challenges are common. By sharing tips, ideas, solutions and resources we make use of the collective experience and knowledge of ECRs around the world.

Material on the website includes experiences, tips and pointers, links to resources, information and reviews from conferences, job opportunities and general discussion. There is also a series of pages that breaks down the research process and provides links to reliable information to assist those seeking to learn more. The social media page provides additional links to other websites, blogs and articles that are relevant and informative or entertaining for ECRs. Currently the website has 160 subscribers and the Facebook page has 450 “likes”.

To complement the virtual activities, the ICECREam has run dedicated workshops and networking sessions at major international conferences. The WCPT organizing committee has asked the ICECReam for advice as to the preferences for ECR-specific content at the conference. A survey of over 50 respondents revealed that four topics were of particular interest: learning about successful research careers, developing collaborations, improving research skills, and bridging the gap between research and clinical practice. This information was relayed to the WCPT organizers for incorporation into the program. These themes will also guide the direction of the ICECReam in the coming years.

Conclusion(s): The ICECReam provides a platform aimed at enabling ECRs to connect with counterparts in other parts of the world and access information and accounts of experiences that are relevant to their own.

Implications: A resource to inform, connect and support ECRs is available through Get in touch with us if you would like to be involved or learn more!

Keywords: Early career researchers; ICECReam; Networking

Funding acknowledgements: The ICECReam is supported by the School of Public Health, The University of Sydney.

Ethics approval: N/A.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e712
Number of pages1
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventWorld Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015 - Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 1 May 20154 May 2015


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