As an early career researcher in earth system governance there are many opportunities to develop your research, skills and professional network. At the same time, the world of academia can sometimes seem daunting. Making the most out of academic conferences, publishing your first (or second, third, fourth..) journal article, starting to teach, writing reviews, defending your PhD, acquiring funding, and balancing all these different activities without neglecting your mental and physical health. Within the Earth System Governance project we like to support each other as early career researchers. Therefore we have set up the early career communications. We aim to collect and share resources and experiences including advice from mid-career and senior scholars, experiences from early-career colleagues, online resources relevant to our field, and more. The early career communications will be send out approximately 4 times per year. If you would like to receive it please sign up here.

Previous issues of the early career communications:

Would you like to contribute to the Earth System Governance early career communications? Are you interested in recording a podcast or writing a blog? Do you have news or resources that you would like to share? Please contact the International Project Office:

On this page we will collect resources for early career Research Fellows of the Earth System Governance Project that have previously been posted in the early career communications.


Podcasts: advice from mid-career and senior scholars


  • Podcast with Kim Nicholas: “Ten things I wish I had known ten years ago”

In this podcast, research fellow Ina Möller interviews Kim Nicholas, senior lecturer at LUCSUS, Lund University. Kim Nicholas shares her advice for early career researchers on time management, dealing with failure, coping with the imposter syndrome, worrying about the future, taking care of your health, and the importance of maintaining relationships with friends and family. Have a listen! For a summary and a list of useful material, check out Kim’s blog.

  • Podcast with Frank Biermann: “Lessons learned from 10 years of managing the Earth System Governance Network”

In this podcast, research fellow Ina Möller interviews Frank Biermann, Professor with the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University. Frank Biermann looks back at the early stages of the Earth System Governance Project and shares his advice about how early career researchers can benefit from engaging with this research network. Have a listen!


“How to…”


  • How to.. navigate networking and project collaboration?

Professional networks – particularly with people that are not already close to you – supply you with job opportunities, publication opportunities and grant application opportunities (not to mention some great friendships here and there). In this brief, we want to share networking and collaboration strategies that have worked well for us and that might work well for you too. Read the brief here.

  • How to.. organize a virtual academic conference?

From March 2020 onwards, with the increasingly global spread and unpredictable evolution of the pandemic, many conference organizers were faced with difficult decisions on whether and how to go ahead with their conference. Read the brief here.

  • How to.. make the most out of academic conferences?

In two weeks, some of you will be attending the Earth System Governance Annual Conference in Oaxaca, Mexico. As you may (or may not) know, academic conferences can be overwhelming. In this brief, research fellow Carole-Anne Sénit provides you with some tips on how to strategize and make the most out of such global academic fests. Read the brief here.

  • How to.. write a review?

In our last edition, we asked editors from the Earth System Governance network about what to think of when submitting an article to an academic journal. Academic writing is not just about submitting your own work to journals. Every article needs to be peer reviewed, and somebody has got to do the reviewing! So here are our editors tips on why and how to write a good review when you are invited to do so. We’d like to thank Harro van Asselt from RECIEL, Sikina Jinnah from Environmental Politics, and Matt Hoffman from Global Environmental Politics for providing their valuable insights on this.

  • How to..get published?

Building on the academic writing tips in our last edition, we asked editors from the Earth System Governance network about things to keep in mind when preparing an article for submission to an academic journal. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your submission.

  • How to… write a good academic article?

Prof. Steve Sorrell (University of Sussex), Prof. Benjamin Sovacool (University of Sussex), and Assoc. Prof. Jonn Axsen (Simon Fraser University) published an open access review article which offers suggestions for promoting novelty, rigor, and style.

  • How to… prepare for your PhD defense

Are you you about to defend your PhD thesis? Are you just starting your PhD thesis? Or is that exciting moment already (far) behind you? Either way, check out this fun read with excellent tips by recent PhD graduate Dr. Carole-Anne Sénit on how to prepare for your PhD defense.

  • How to… respond to reviewers’ comments?

In the life of every researcher comes a moment when their first (second, third, …) paper is, after many many hours of work, ready to be submitted to a journal. Then follows the long wait for a response with, hopefully, the reply that you may ‘Revise and Resubmit’. In this brief Jennifer Bansard and Carole-Anne Sénit walk you through the “R&R process” and provide useful tips on how to respond to reviewers’ comments.


“Where to…”


  • Where to… find useful information?

You wonder how your fellow academics learned the rules of the game and how everyone is seemingly always aware of obscure conference calls and the latest job openings? Wonder no more, this brief is here to help!

  • Where to…find videos to use for teaching purposes?

In this brief, research fellow Jennifer Bansard makes a case for using video material to accommodate visual learning styles and to break up lecture blocs into smaller slots that better fit students’ attention span. The brief features a list of video resources clustered under topics such as environmental agreements or science and knowledge. In one video, Sir David Attenborough for example provides an overview of the ozone problem and history of the Montréal Protocol. 




  • Engagement of Early Career Researchers in the 2020 Earth System Governance Virtual Forum

Before the 2020 Earth System Governance Virtual Forum officially started, early career researchers attending the conference had the opportunity to meet up in an informal setting in the context of a dedicated early career event. After a nice speed-dating session, they were able to discuss topics relevant to junior scholars with senior researchers from the ESG network. Check the report here

  • 10 things you need to know when organizing an academic conference

In this brief, ESG fellows Sandra van der Hel and Carole-Anne Sénit, and the Managing Director of the ESG Project Gustav Thungren share with you their tips to organize a successful academic conference. Read the brief here.

  • Early career researchers and the Coronavirus pandemic

This brief, by ESG fellow Jennifer Bansard, gives some food for thought on how the pandemic is disrupting academic work and affecting early career researchers. It also points to some helpful initiatives, including resources to use for online teaching.

  • Experiences from the RFs at the 2019 Mexico Conference on Earth System Governance (6-8 November 2019)

For those of you that could not attend the conference, this is a way to get a glimpse of what this Earth System Governance conference was all about. For those of you that have been there, this might be a nice way to look back. Read their experience here

  • Report of the Earth System Governance Research Trip 2018 (28 May – 2 June 2018)

During this second edition of the ESG research trip, a group of research fellows visited Earth System Governance research groups in Geneva, Utrecht, Wageningen and Amsterdam. Read their report here.

  • Report of the early career event at the 2017 Lund Conference

Prior to the Lund Conference on Earth System Governance, early career researchers in the network came together for a full day of exchanges on developing a career in earth system governance research. Jennifer Bansard wrote up a report, including a summary of the discussions and pictures of the event. Have a look! 


Early Career Communications

Subscribe to the Earth System Governance early career communications here.