The Top 5 Training Needs of Early Career Researchers

September 21, 2017 Graham Woodward

Researchers just starting out in their careers are the future of science. However, it’s clear that they’re under more strain than ever before, with mounting job insecurity and ever-increasing pressure to publish more if they are to cement their place within the research community. In our previous blog post, we saw how government frameworks and policies put in place to support early career researchers have failed them in the areas where they need the most help – learning how to be successful published authors.

Governments and policy makers are in a key position to help alleviate some of the problems faced by early career researchers, most of which are centered on the publication process:

Language needs

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If English isn’t your first language, publishing in an English language journal is always going to be more difficult. Language and spelling issues can lead to rejection as editors and reviewers find it harder to understand the work. For early career researchers already lacking in confidence, this can only make the problem worse.

Grant writing

Securing funding can be a long and difficult process for any researcher, but is even more of a challenge for those with less experience. If you’ve got the right knowledge and skills, and you know what a particular funder is looking for, it’s far more likely that your case will stand out.

Manuscript preparation

What makes a good manuscript? There are so many elements to take into consideration when writing and preparing an article, including structure, ethics and visual components. Early career researchers are disadvantaged simply through lack of experience.

Where to publish

Just knowing where to submit can leave early career researchers feeling overwhelmed. For those with less extensive knowledge and publishing experience, choosing an appropriate journal for submission often necessitates time consuming research.

Peer review

Peer review is a vital part of the publishing process, and most researchers  are expected to undertake peer review at some point. However, yet again, a lack of experience is problematic for early career researchers. There is a clear need for more training in the fundamentals of peer review.

For all the reasons above, we set out to find a solution that would address the needs of researchers just starting out.

The Wiley Researcher Academy

So far, author resources and training materials such as seminars, webinars and e-learning programs haven’t gone far enough in meeting researchers’ needs. In response, we’ve developed the Wiley Researcher Academy, a digital author training program designed to provide researchers with a thorough grounding in the publishing processes.

Researchers are able to study online, at their own pace, developing the skills and knowledge needed to be able to publish successfully. Although primarily designed with early career researchers in mind, if you’re a more experienced researcher looking to refresh or perfect your skills in certain areas, the Wiley Researcher Academy will be able to help. The fourteen learning paths cover the best practices and skills that researchers need to be able to gain an in-depth understanding of the publishing process:

  • Qualities of a successful researcher
  • Research and publication: the essential link
  • Funding research projects
  • Selecting appropriate journals
  • Best practices in writing scientific articles
  • Key components of a research article
  • Manuscript submission
  • Peer review
  • Open access to scientific literature
  • Managing research data
  • Ethical considerations in research and publishing
  • Roles of the publisher and journal editor
  • Post-publication activities and driving visibility
  • Becoming a peer reviewer

The Wiley Researcher Academy enables early career researchers to write and publish in quality, peer-reviewed journals, and gives them the confidence to become successful and productive members of the scientific research community.

We’ve come a long way in acknowledging the challenges faced by early career researchers. With scientific output proven to drive economic growth, it is vital that governments, policy makers and publishers alike all give due attention to the plight of those just setting out on their research careers. The Wiley Researcher Academy ensures that the next generation of researchers is well equipped to cope with the challenges of the future, wherever in the world they may be and whichever language they may speak.

For further information on the Wiley Researcher Academy, please visit

Image credit: Housh/Shutterstock

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