Mission & Context

In recognition of the challenges facing early career linguists in the current climate of precarity, this group supports the progression of a diverse community of scholars. The Group seeks 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.

This group champions the interests of Early Career Academics in Modern Languages. Members are 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 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.

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

Key initiatives

  1. Six-monthly meetings, 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 Code 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.
  5. A Symposium for Early Career Academics


Dr Hilary PotterRoyal Holloway, University of London (until end of June 2021)Co-Chair
Dr Dominique Carlini VersiniDurham UniversityCo-Chair
Dr Liam LewisUniversity of LiverpoolUCML ECA Representative
Dr Caroline LaurentKing’s College London/Harvard UniversityFrench
Dr Hannah ScottMentoring
Dr Sara Al TubulyArabic
Dr Mavis HoUniversity of EdinburghTranslation Studies
Dr Serena VandiUniversity of OxfordItalian
Dr Cathy McAteerUniversity of ExeterRussian/Slavonic Studies
Dr Ashley HarrisQueen’s University BelfastFrench
Maria RoemerUniversity of LeedsJapanese

Previous members include:

Dr James Illingworth

Dr Karunika Kardak

Dr Catherine Barbour

Louis Cotgrove

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).