Disruptions and flux in Higher Education: Turning the focus towards the early career researcher


  • Cecile Gerwel Proches University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Shenuka Singh University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Higher Education Leadership, Ethics, Digital Writing, COVID-19 Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic created unique challenges for early career researchers, especially those based in higher educational institutions (HEIs). Online teaching and learning, and remote working, resulted in HEIs not being in their usual social space, which is generally more conducive for learning, collaboration, reflection and reflexivity, and critical thinking in their professional and personal development. A systemic lens approach is adopted to identify key elements for optimising research output that is aligned with ethical practice; strengthening individual researcher capacity through digital writing support, facilitating research collaboration, and building leadership in research. These identified elements are intended to provide support for early career researchers to achieve optimal levels of motivation and career satisfaction. Early career researchers also need to consider the more personal elements that could impact their research career such as self-motivation, including the driving forces behind these decision-making processes. This requires self-reflection and introspection so that researchers engage more meaningfully with the complexities in research and leadership, as well as develop skills that would support communication and collaboration, both within and outside of HEIs in South Africa.


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How to Cite

Disruptions and flux in Higher Education: Turning the focus towards the early career researcher. (2023). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 20(2). https://open-publishing.org/journals/index.php/jutlp/article/view/642