Sustainable Futures Early Career Researcher Network Launch Friday 28 July 2023

The University of Manchester Interdisciplinary Research Platform, Sustainable Futures, launched its Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network at an event on Friday 28 July 2023.

With great attendance from all three faculties, there were some really interesting and engaging conversations taking place and some valuable connections made.

Networking break with ECRs during the event.

The event started with a networking launch for our delegates to get to know each other and find out about the array of research conducted here at The University of Manchester. We then heard from the Director of Sustainable Futures, Professor Michael Shaver, who gave the room a breakdown of the platform and expressed his enthusiasm and excitement for the launch of the ECR network.

Professor Michael Shaver, Director of Sustainable Futures, gave an introduction to the platform and expressed his enthusiasm for the ECR Network.

Following Professor Shaver's introduction, we had some really engaging presentations from three ECRs. First, Dr Stephen Lowe, Research Associate for Sustainable Futures, presented on the mapping of Sustainable Futures themes with The University of Manchester institutions and the significance of this. Up next was Dr Robert Chuter, Principal Clinical Scientist at The Christie Hospital and Honorary Lecturer at The University of Manchester, spoke about his research on the carbon footprint of radiotherapy. Finally, Samuel Hyman, PhD Researcher at The University of Manchester, presented some really interesting research on the association between long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 severity in Greater Manchester.

We ran an icebreaker as part of the session to help get our ECRs talking and, as it says on the tin, break the ice.

Before a coffee and networking break, we ran a 15 minute icebreaker to help delegates get chatting to everyone on their table. They got to know each other as people as well as researchers, helping to try and cement connections moving past the event.

Our final section of the launch event was a World Cafe Workshop where the icebreaker activities really helped to get conversations flowing. We asked our ECRs to answer six questions, one for each Challenge Area, relating to how their research would be able to contribute to that Challenge Area. This really helped to highlight how a research topic is not bound to one area, different aspects of it can relate to areas perhaps not considered. It also helped to spur on discussions of interdisciplinary research and the value that this can have in working towards sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.

Our ECRs discussing the World Cafe questions and challenges to a sustainable future.

Take a look at the discussions that took place during the World Cafe and have a think if you would be able to add anything else based on your research interests or expertise.

Resourceful Futures World Cafe Discussion
Inclusive and Prosperous Futures World Cafe Discussion
Net Zero Futures World Cafe Discussion
Healthy Futures World Cafe Discussion
Resilient Futures World Cafe Discussion
Inspired and Informed Futures World Cafe Discussion

The session was then wrapped up by our event chair, Dr Stephen Lowe, highlighting the importance once again for interdisciplinary research. Dr Lowe also commented on the excitement that we have at Sustainable Futures in launching this ECR network and asked delegates to complete a survey to join the ECR Network and to stay up-to-date with future events and opportunities. If you were not able to make it but would like to join the Sustainable Futures ECR Network, please fill in this short survey.

Connect with Sustainable Futures:

For more information, visit our website here.