Purpose and Scope

The Early Career Researcher Institute Steering Group has been established by the Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) to provide oversight, guidance, and recommendations for the development and implementation of an Early Career Researcher Institute at Imperial. The purpose of the Institute is to take a holistic view of the research career journey. Within this context the aim is to enhance the support, training, and administration provided to postgraduate and early career researchers, fostering a nurturing and stimulating research and intellectual environment. As a result, the Institute aims to ensure that Imperial remains world-leading in the attraction, development and retention of the highest quality researchers from around the world.


Imperial’s current centralised developmental support for ECRs and programmes relating to ECRs is distributed across various structures, as outlined below. Some of these structures entirely exist to support ECR-related activity (PFDC) whereas others provide services to a wider range of staff and/or students (CfAE, GSD, Graduate School, POD):

Role of the Steering Group

  1. Review and analyse existing definitions of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) across the sector and the College, to inform the establishment of an appropriate definition for Imperial.
  2. Consider the support and development the College needs to provide for ECRs over the next decade and the mechanisms to ensure the offer remains sector leading.
  3. Review the existing College structures supporting ECRs and propose recommendations for any revised structures to harmonise, desilo and streamline comprehensive support mechanisms for ECRs.
  4. Develop recommended Terms of Reference and management structure for a new Early Career Researcher Institute (ECRI) to take forward the implementation of Steering Group recommendations.

Reporting and Deliverables

The Steering Group will submit periodic progress reports to University Research and Enterprise Board (UREB) and produce a final comprehensive report for presenting at June 2024 UREB ahead of July 2024 University Management Board (UMB) outlining the recommendations and strategies for the establishment and effective functioning of the Early Career Researcher Institute.


The Steering Group will operate from December 2023, with meetings every month, aiming to complete the defined recommendations by June 2024, concluding with recommendations to be made to the University Management Board. 

Key milestones

  • Report to UREB in June 2024 followed by UMB in July 2024 for approval of the Steering Group’s report and recommendations.
  • (Provisional): Launch of Institute: October 2024

Proposed workplan

  • December 2023: Define definitions and parameters of “Early Career Researchers”.
  • January 2024: Initial view of what ECR support should look like over next 10 years.
  • February 2024: Review current ECR support (Part 1 – with focus on Graduate School)
  • March 2024: Review current ECR support (Part 2 – with focus on Postdoc and Fellows Development Centre)
  • April 2024: Finalise view of ECR support over next decade.
  • May 2024: Review of College structures supporting ECR, ensuring structures best support delivery of functions over next decade.
  • June 2024: Final report to UREB with feedback sought ahead.
  • July 2024: Final report to UMB with recommendations.

Resource Allocation

The College will provide necessary resources, support, and access to relevant stakeholders to facilitate the successful functioning of the Steering Group and implementation of its recommendations. Operational and Project support will be provided by the VPRE Office.

Steering Group Membership

  • Chair (George Constantinides)
  • Graduate School (Laura Lane and Yun Xu)
  • POD (Nichola Stallwood)
  • CfFAE (Julie King)
  • PFDC (Liz Elvidge)
  • Research Office (Suzanne Husein)
  • Library Services (Ruth Harrison)
  • HoDs (Omar Matar)
  • BS (Nikki Hann)
  • FoM (Clare Lloyd and Jeremy Levy)
  • VDR (Ramon Vilar Compte)
  • DoR (Billy Wu)
  • DPGS (Daniele Dini)
  • Early career academic (Bonnie Waring)
  • SU representative (Jordon Millward)
  • CLCC (Ana Costa-Pereira)
  • Research Fellow (Mark Friddin)
  • Careers Service (Jason Yarrow)
  • EDI (Lesley Cohen)
  • Group supported by Lara Breckon

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspects of the Early Career Researcher Institute further, please contact George Constantinides (g.constantinides@imperial.ac.uk) and/or Lara Breckon (l.breckon@imperial.ac.uk).