This half-day workshop brings early career scholars together to address unique issues they face, develop strategies to achieve career goals, and foster a professional network. We define early career scholars as people who have finished the requirements for their terminal degree but have not advanced to the next level in their field or industry (e.g. in North America this would be tenure). AoIR’s strength is its communication. Now in its third year, this workshop fosters community among emerging scholars and bridges the divide between junior and senior scholars. We aim to continue working toward making this community as inclusive and representative as possible.
The workshop addresses both challenges and opportunities unique to early career scholars in the many fields and forms of scholarship represented at AoIR. First, we have to negotiate the transition from graduate student to early career professional that requires a higher level of autonomy and the challenge of figuring out the pragmatic and social aspects of a new work environment. Second, we must work quickly to establish ourselves in our fields and, often, secure funding. Third, we have increased service responsibilities. Fourth, after being guided by our advisors and committees for several years, we transition into mentorship roles. Fifth, we must learn to navigate to the next level of our careers while managing various degrees of precarity and ensuring time with family and friends. Being a junior scholar also comes with unique opportunities that we will explore. While recognition of internet scholarship has come a long way since AoIR’s inception, junior scholars still may find themselves facing certain hurdles in gaining recognition for their research (i.e. subject, method, etc.) in terms of promotion. In fact, some of the challenges we face are also opportunities to work towards changing the ways in which internet scholarship is perceived and valued within the academic structure.
The issues we will cover depends greatly on the participants. AoIR is an international and diverse organization, and we know that our experiences as scholars and educators vary by country, institution type, and field and are framed by our own identities (race, gender, etc.). Our goal is to discuss shared challenges and opportunities while understanding differences so that we can build our own professional networks at the same time that we create a diverse and inclusive community of scholars who will eventually become future career mentors within AoIR.
Based on feedback from the 2017 workshop, we will maintain last year’s three-session format while making important adjustments to the content of those sessions. We will open with an activity for generating questions/concerns/issues relevant to junior scholars that participants would like addressed during the first session. That first session will consist of a fish-bowl discussion for workshop participants. This discussion is intended as a get-to-know others event as well as an opportunity to discuss the issues and opportunities we face collectively. The second session will be a panel of established scholars who can share their insight and experiences. We define established scholars as those individuals who have continued to research and publish within their field, and who have been promoted within their given professional system.
Our goal in recruiting panelists this year is to be responsive to the needs of the different types of junior scholars participating in the workshop. This year, we hope to engage more scholars from the humanities and non-academic environments. The organizers will start the panel with questions drawn from the first session. In the final session, participants will form small groups with a senior scholar to address topics relevant to them (type of institution, academic system, etc.). Time will be left for follow-up questions and group discussion. We also are planning an informal social activity following the workshop.
This workshop is geared toward early career scholars who have their terminal degree.
1) Provide a space for the next generation of AoIR scholars to start building strong ties with each other, more established researchers, and the AoIR community.
2) Promote understanding of the breadth of academic work, including our shared experiences and differences.
3) Connect with established academics to build a stronger communities of support for our careers.
4) Develop strategies to build and maintain a junior scholar community outside of the annual conference.