Mission & Context

This Group will champion the interests of Early Career Academics in Modern Languages. Members will be self-identifying early career linguists, who are likely to be late-stage postgraduates, postdoctoral researchers, teaching fellows, and new lecturers (usually no more than 5 years into a permanent contract). Organisational partners will include the Arts and Humanities Alliance, the Association for German Studies, the Association of British and Irish Lusitanists, the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Academy, the Institute of Modern Languages Research, and the Society for Italian Studies.

In recognition of the challenges facing early career linguists in the current climate of precarity, the Group aims to support the progression of a diverse community of scholars. The Group will seek to extend the principles in Vitae’s updated Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers (2019) – designed to increase attention to wellbeing and inclusivity through regular reviews of academic environments – by soliciting contributions from peers, senior colleagues, and the wider discipline regarding good practice in institutional, community, and sector terms. The Group’s goal is the universal uptake of quantifiable actions to improve conditions within an acceptable timescale.

The Group will work closely with the Early Career Representative on the UCML Executive Committee.

Key initiatives

  1. Six-monthly meetings at a central location, involving knowledge-transfer workshops on topics such as applying for jobs/grants, developing career strategies, producing high-quality publications in varied forms, and teaching/designing modules
  2. A nationwide survey into early career experiences in Modern Languages, with results conveyed in a co-authored article
  3. An Early Career Charter of best practice for universities to incorporate into their environment submission for the Research Excellence Framework
  4. A mentoring scheme designed to support early career academics in two ways: ad hoc support for specific activities (conference papers, grant proposals, book proposals, etc.), and more substantial year-long mentoring. For more details including how to apply see here.


If you are interested in joining the group or would like to get in touch, please contact the co-chairs of the Group’s Steering Committee, Dr Hilary Potter (hilaryjanepotter@gmail.com) and Dr Dominique Carlini-Versini (Dominique.carlini-versini@durham.ac.uk).