Welcome to The Early Pages!

What this is about...

This blog is intended to increase the visibility of early-career researchers (ECRs) within the scientific community and to make their voices heard. The blog focuses on the scientific work, experiences, and opinions of researchers who are just starting their careers. ECRs from all fields of paleosciences* are encouraged to be involved in creating this blog, and everybody is invited to comment on existing posts and spread the word. 

...and how it came to be

The idea of creating an early-researchers group was born at the 3rd Young Scientists Meeting of PAGES (Past Global Changes), a core project of Future Earth and scientific partner of the World Climate Research Programme. The Young Scientists Meeting took place in May 2017 in Morillo de Tou, Spain, and featured about 80 early-career researchers, lots of sun and wine, evening astronomy and folk-dance lessons, a few obligatory mosquitoes, and of course a marathon of training and science!
During the meeting, breakout groups were formed to discuss the necessity and potential remit of an early-career group within PAGES. ECRs bring fresh and novel ideas that have the potential to contribute to existing knowledge and challenge established paradigms. Unfortunately, intense competition in the current job market coupled with challenges such as establishing a professional identity, competing for grants, and choosing independent career paths lead to small success rates of ECRs in science. What’s more, the work of ECRs does not always get appropriate attention. 

Thus, some of the key priorities for ECRs are:
  • Better communicate between working groups, individual researchers and other institutions; create opportunities to start new scientific collaborations
  • Develop and exchange both hard and soft skills
  • Increase exposure and visibility of ECRs in the scientific community

For these reasons, a group of ten highly motivated PhD students and PostDocs decided to submit a proposal for an ECR group, with friendly encouragement from the PAGES leadership. The main objectives for the group were (1) to initiate and strengthen international collaboration among ECRs, (2) to facilitate an exchange of scientific ideas and experience, and (3) to promote the next generation of researchers of Earth’s past environment.

After months of collaborative writing and discussions via email, a dedicated online forum, and virtual meetings; the proposal for a PAGES Early-Career Network (PAGES ECN) was submitted in October 2017. A few weeks passed where we unfortunately could do nothing but attend to our own research, but then the message from PAGES came, and it was a positive one: The PAGES ECN proposal was accepted! The Network officially launched in February 2018 and since then the network leaders have been organizing webinars and meetings, preparing newsletters, setting up a skills database, and, among many more things, creating this very blog! For more information on the Network, its objectives, upcoming events and how to join, please visit our fresh new web page!

If you’d like to hear more about our activities and/or would like to write a post for this blog, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

*Not sure what we mean by paleosciences? Have a look at our about page!


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