At the beginning of your career, what are the key issues and challenges you face as a social scientist? On this page – and across Social Science Space, in fact – are some tools and resources that may be of use.

Discuss with other early career researchers
Use our forum to get more direct information from others in the same boat as you

Getting published
Need help getting your article or book published? Here are some useful tips and tools:

SAGE gateway – advice on getting published
Guardian Higher Education live chat on getting published
The SAGE series on getting published, from SAGE Connection: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4
Nominate more resources for this section: email us

Some other useful sites with support for early career researchers in the social sciences

The Thesis Whisperer

Conference powerpoint presentation

Plenary + Panel Conferences Don’t Have to Be (So) Painful

The default format for most academic conferences is a plenary followed by panel presentations. If we can’t revolutionize conference design, we can at least consider Duncan Green’s seven tips for improvement (electric shocks optional).

8 months ago

Don’t Just Publish and Hope – Get Creative to Have Impact

Sorry, but academic publications in themselves are less likely to merit impact, though; if researchers want to reach beyond the ivy tower of academia, there are certain steps they can take. Why not consider a campaign? Toby Green discusses the imperative to ensure that researchers are seeking and finding proper audiences if they intend to cause impact. Researchers who do so will be more visible, and they’re more likely to win grants.

8 months ago
Presenting at academic conference

The Academic Conference – and its Discontents

Individuals find it harder to cover conference costs – and departments or research groups have fewer resources to support them. It is not hard to see why there is a sense of grievance. On the other hand, it is not so easy to see what can be done.

8 months ago
Slow Professor book cover

In Praise of Becoming a ‘Slow Professor’

After a friend gave the reviewer a copy of ‘The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy’ by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber, it gave him lots of food for thought: Working at a university, after several years of postdoctoral fellowships, why, indeed, not slow down?

9 months ago

International Students in China: Divergent Journeys and Multidimensional Lives

Mengwei Tu, a lecturer in sociology at East China University of Science and Technology, describes her encounters with two postgraduate students from Pakistan. They highlight both China’s potential to become an attractive destination for international students and the difficulties involved in the internationalization of a society that was isolated from the outside world for much of its recent history.

10 months ago

The Practice-Research Bridge: Do Marketing Practitioners Read Academic Research?

At the Winter Academic Conference of the American Marketing Association, four Austin, Texas-based marketing professionals discussed how they stay up-to-date on the latest marketing strategies and research, the place of research-based recommendations over others, and tips for researchers who want to make an impact in practice.

1 year ago
Ian Ross

Better lives with better toilets: An ESRC Better Lives Essay

Ian Ross is a development economist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where his studies and work as a research degree student focuses on the financing of water, sanitation and hygiene, or WASH, services. His PhD topic, and doctoral studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council, looks at cost-effectiveness of sanitation in Maputo, Mozambique, and one aspect on this is also the subject of this co-winning essay from the ESRC Better Lives Writing Competition. The competition asked PhD students who have received money from the ESRC write short essays about how their research leads too better lives.

1 year ago
Rosie Cowan

Notes on a G-string: An ESRC Better Lives Essay

Rosie Cowan ticked numerous beats in her journalism career: politics for the Press Association, business for The Belfast Telegraph, and Ireland and later crime for the Guardian. Now a postgraduate research student in the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast, she displays both her subject-matter expertise and writing skills in this co-winning essay from the ESRC Better Lives Writing Competition. The competition asked PhD students who have received money from the ESRC write short essays about how their research leads too better lives.

1 year ago
Celia Robbins

Tilting at windmills in a climate-changed world: An ESRC Better Lives Essay

Celia Robbins, a PhD student at the University of Exeter, spent 25 years working in environment and sustainability. In this shortlisted essay from the ESRC Better Lives Writing Competition, she examines how wind energy has been playing out in Cornwall, and what that means for renewables beyond that bucolic county.

1 year ago