We wanted to reinvigorate our early career research (ECR) community after the detrimental impact of lockdown. We hosted a whole school conference for ECRs which included short ‘blitz’ and longer research talks, giving ECRs valuable experience and CV material. It also included a ‘Dragons Den’ style grant application process, where pre-written grant applications were critiqued by senior leadership (‘Dragons’) and then defended by the applicants in a panel interview. The event was an enormous success and reached capacity for attendance. Four novel projects were created and sustained to this day.

Beneficiaries: Research staff Postgraduate researchers Research and teaching staff Teaching-only staff
Stakeholders: Researchers Managers of researchers
Concordat principles: Environment and culture Professional and career development
Keywords: ECR Career development Professional development Research identity Research culture Career progression Equality, diversity and inclusion Wellbeing Researcher voice Working conditions Leadership development Research assessment Recognition Community building Multidisciplinary Grants Conference Dragon's Den