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#ECRday2022 comprised two days of online talks exploring life after the PhD. A broad variety of topics were discussed over the two days including working on a group project, applying for specific funding schemes, visas, working with the media and moving to careers beyond the academy. This year's event primarily focused on postdoctoral fellowship schemes in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

This followed the success of last year’s #ECRday2021 and with permission from speakers these talks were recorded and can be viewed below. (Day 2 recordings will be available to view soon.)

This event was organised by Dr Alison Garden and the #ECRday2022 team, with support from Professor Ramona Wray, the Queen’s University English Department, the QUB Postdoctoral Development Centre and the Queen’s University Belfast Research Culture Seed Fund.

Alison would like to thank all those involved for their assistance and support.


Thursday 5 May 2022


9.20 am - 11.00 am: The Early Career Journey

  • ‘Making the most of your PhD’ - Rebecca Rutherford, Graduate School, Queen’s University Belfast
  • ‘Maximising opportunities as a Postdoc’ - Dr Alice Dubois, Postdoctoral Development Centre Manager, Queen’s University Belfast
  • ‘Support for Fellowships’ - Paul Monahan, The Fellowship Academy, Queen’s University Belfast
  • ‘From PhD to Permanency’, Dr Sarah Arens, Lecturer in French, University of Liverpool

*Due to technical difficulties, we were unfortunately unable to include Dr Rebecca Rutherford's presentation in the recording.

11.30 am - 1.00 pm: Mind the gap: what happens after the PhD?

  • ‘Teaching fellowships & fixed-term contracts’ - Dr. Deidre Flynn, Mary Immaculate College
  • ‘Visas for non-UK & EU residents’ - Dr. Hailey Bachrach, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Roehampton
  • ‘Finding money and applying for grants’ - Peter Stephenson, Research and Enterprise, Queen’s University Belfast

*Due to the sensitive nature of Dr Hailey Bachrach's talk, this has not been included within the recording.

2.00 pm - 3.30 pm: British and Irish Postdoctoral Fellowship Schemes

  • ‘The Leverhulme Trust’ - Dr. Noreen Masud, University of Bristol
  • ‘Irish Research Council Enterprise scheme’ - Dr. Stephen O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin/Irish Museum of Modern Art
  • ‘The British Academy’ - Dr. Rasika Ajotikar, SOAS

4.00 pm - 5.30 pm: European Schemes

  • ‘German Schemes’ - Dr. Anna Pilz, University of Edinburgh
  • ‘Marie Curie Fellowships’ - Dr. Shonagh Hill, Queen’s University Belfast
  • ‘Swedish Research Council’ - Dr. Shuangyi Li, University of Bristol


Friday 6 May 2022


9.20 am - 11.00 am: Project postdocs and engaging with policy makers

  • ‘Tips from a Principal Investigator (PI)’ - Dr. Tom Hulme, Senior Lecturer, Queen’s University Belfast
  • ‘Working as a Postdoc on a group project’ - Dr. Ruth Coon, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Queen’s University Belfast
  • 'Research beyond University: Engaging with Policymakers' - Dr Yassin Brunger, Lecturer, Queen's University Belfast

11.30 am - 1.00 pm: Getting the open-ended lecturing position

  • Dr. Leanne Henderson, Lecturer in Education, Queen’s University Belfast
  • Dr. Sarah Sharp, Lecturer in Scottish Literature, University of Aberdeen
  • ‘Preparing for Interviews' - Professor Mark Burnett, Queen’s University Belfast

2.00 pm - 3.30 pm: Writing for diverse audiences, 'impact' and engaged research

  • ‘Working with the media’ - Dr. Fariha Shaikh, Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham
  • ‘Impact for REF and beyond’ - Dr. Caroline Magennis, Reader, University of Salford
  • ‘Engaged Research and working with the public’ - Dr. Maurice Casey, Research Fellow, Queen's University Belfast

We sincerely apologise for the interruptions encountered in the recording of Dr Maurice Casey's talk.

4.00 pm - 5.30 pm: Beyond the University

  • Dr. Tara McEvoy, Press Officer at Pushkin Press
  • Dr. James Bailey, Arts Council England
  • Dr. Lucie Whitmore, Fashion Curator, Museum of London


Dr Alice Dubois

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Alice Dubois is the Postdoctoral Development Centre (PDC) Manager at QUB. She is responsible for defining the strategy and provision of the PDC. Alice organises many of the activities, manages representation and policy work, and provides one-to-one support to postdocs. She originally established the PDC as a pilot initiative in the MHLS Faculty in January 2018 and ran that centre for almost four years before it became a central resource for all postdocs and researchers at Queen's for the academic year 2021-22.

For her work in establishing the MHLS PDC pilot and its rapid impact on postdocs, Alice received the Vice-Chancellor's Research Prize for Research Support in 2019 and was one of the 4 shortlisted candidates for the Outstanding Leadership Staff Excellence Award in 2020. Previously, Alice had obtained her PhD on innate immune mechanisms and proteolysis at the University of Tours in France, before moving to the Centre for Infection and Immunity (now the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine) at Queen's to research lung immunology as a postdoc.

Dr. Noreen Masud | 'The Leverhulme Trust'

University of Bristol

Following a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at Durham, Dr Noreen Masud became a Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature at the University of Bristol in January 2022, working on aphorism, flatness and nonsense. 

Noreen's book on Stevie Smith and aphorism is due to be released in 2022 and her memoir-travelogue on flat landscapes will be released by Penguin in 2023.

Dr. Anna Pilz | ‘German Schemes’

University of Edinburgh

Dr Anna Pilz is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh (2020-2022) with a 3-month secondment at the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway (March-May 2022).

Anna is a cultural historian who works at the intersection of cultural productions and environmental history. Her MSCA project investigates a rich archive of Romantic-era travel writing on Ireland and Scotland’s Atlantic coasts. Anna previously held research fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, a Carson Fellowship at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU Munich, and an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at University College Cork.

View Anna's academic profile 

Follow Anna on Twitter: @anna_pilz

Dr Shonagh Hill | 'Marie Curie Fellowships'

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Shonagh Hill is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast, undertaking a project on ‘Generational Feminisms in Contemporary Northern Irish Performance’.

Shonagh’s first monograph, Women and Embodied Mythmaking in Irish Theatre (Cambridge University Press, 2019) provides an historical overview of women’s contributions to, and an alternative genealogy of, modern Irish theatre.

Dr Tom Hulme | 'Tips from a Principal Investigator'

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Tom Hulme is a Senior Lecturer in Modern British History at Queen’s University Belfast, where he has taught since 2016. His research ranges broadly across topics of urban cultural history, from civic pride and citizenship to historical re-enactment and the place of the popular past. His most recent work is investigating all aspects of Northern Ireland’s rich yet undervalued modern queer history, from everyday sexual experiences and identities to gay literature and politics. Working with Dr Leanne McCormick (Ulster University), the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland and the LGBT charity Cara Friend, he runs an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project: Queer Northern Ireland: Sexuality Before Liberation.

Tom's past work includes: a monograph, After the Shock City: Urban Culture and the Making of Modern Citizenship (Boydell, 2019); an edited volume with Professor Simon Gunn, New Approaches to Governance and Rule in Urban Europe since 1500 (Routledge, 2020); an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, ‘Voyaging through History: the Meaning of the Mayflower in Britain, 1620-2020’; and journal articles on themes such as urban governance, historical pageants and school architecture in journals including Urban HistoryJournal of British StudiesCultural and Social History, and English Historical Review.

Find out more about Tom's work

Dr Leanne Henderson

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Leanne Henderson is a Lecturer in Education Studies in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, QUB. Her research interests are in the areas of educational trajectories and transitions, language and education policy, educational assessment and young people's perspectives on education.  

Leanne's current research focuses on language learner aspirations in relation to curriculum and assessment at post-primary level. This research shows serious inequalities in the provision and practice of language learning and in uptake of languages qualifications beyond the compulsory phase.  This follows on from her work as a Research Fellow in Language Policy in the School of Arts, English and Languages, working on the AHRC Modern Languages Leadership Fellowship Language Policy Project 'Foreign, indigenous and community languages in the devolved regions of the UK: policy and practice for growth', which engaged with young people to understand the factors influencing uptake of modern languages qualifications in the UK context. 

Leanne has experience as a French teacher and Head of Modern Languages at post-primary level. She is a member of the Centre for Research in Linguistics.

Dr Caroline Magennis | 'Impact for REF and beyond'

University of Salford

Dr Caroline Magennis is an academic and writer originally from Portadown, Northern Ireland. She is Reader in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature and Impact Lead for the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford.

Caroline is the author of numerous articles, essays and chapters on contemporary Northern Irish literature and culture. She published 'Northern Irish Writing After The Troubles' with Bloomsbury Academic in 2021 and is currently writing a literary history of the childless woman.

Find out more about Caroline's work

Dr Maurice Casey | 'Engaged Research and working with the public'

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Maurice J Casey is a Research Fellow at QUB, working on the project Queer Northern Ireland: Sexuality before Liberation. He received his DPhil in History from the University of Oxford in 2020.

Maurice specialises in radical history, transnational history and queer history and is interested in how each can transform popular understandings of Ireland and its diaspora in the early 20th century. His public history experience has included curating two exhibitions as Historian in Residence at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum alongside contributions to radio, podcasts and television.

Maurice is currently working on a trade audience history book, provisionally tiled Hotel Lux: An Intimate History of World Revolution. 

Dr Ruth Coon

Queen's University Belfast

Ruth Coon is currently a Research Fellow in the School of Arts, English, and Languages at Queen’s University Belfast, where she works with Dr Alison Garden on her UKRI Future Leaders funded project ‘Acts of Union: Mixed Marriage in Modern Ireland’. 

Ruth is a historian of medical and oral history. Her expertise lies in modern British and Irish history: the Troubles, medicine, Irish society and culture. She particularly focuses on using oral history as a method to uncover hidden or sensitive histories.

Ruth received her PhD, which focused on the experiences of the health service during the Northern Ireland Troubles, in 2021. Her PhD was awarded the Adele Dalsimer Prize by the American Conference for Irish Studies in 2022. Her first monograph, based on her PhD research, is under contract with Liverpool University Press. 

Dr James Bailey

Arts Council England

Dr James Bailey is a writer and researcher based in Manchester. He is the author of Muriel Spark’s Early Fiction: Literary Subversion and Experiments with Form (Edinburgh University Press, 2021) and articles for publications including European Journal of English Studies and Contemporary Women’s Writing.

James currently works as a senior staff member at Arts Council England.

Follow James on Twitter: @drjamesjbailey

Dr Shuangyi Li

University of Bristol

Dr Shuangyi Li is a Lecturer in Comparative Literatures and Cultures at the University of Bristol. He is the author of Proust, China and Intertextual Engagement: Translation and Transcultural Dialogue (2017), International Comparative Literature Association Anna Balakian Prize (2019) and more recently, Travel, Translation and Transmedia Aesthetics: Franco-Chinese Literature and Visual Arts in a Global Age (2021).

Originally from China, Shuangyi received his PhD at the University of Edinburgh and had studied at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Beglium) and the École Normale Supérieure (Paris). He worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Lund University in Sweden 2017-19, which was then extended by a three-year research grant from the Swedish Research Council (2019-2021).

Dr Lucie Whitmore

Museum of London

Dr Lucie Whitmore is Curator of Fashion at the Museum of London, where she works both on the Dress and Textile collection and as a content lead on the New Museum galleries.

In 2019 she completed her AHRC funded PhD at the University of Glasgow - her thesis was titled ‘Fashion Narratives of the First World War’ and explored the impact of the war on women’s fashion in Britain.

Lucie has published on the subjects of mourning dress and ‘remnant’ fashions, and is currently working on a project researching London’s Jewish fashion makers. She has a Masters in Dress and Textile History and a BA in Textile Design.

Lucie has previously worked for the Museum of Edinburgh and in various fashion, textile, retail, and freelance jobs. She co-founded and runs the ‘Sartorial Series’ seminar.

Follow Lucie on Twitter: @luciewhitmore

Photo © Museum of London

Dr Hailey Bachrach

University of Roehampton

Dr Hailey Bachrach is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Roehampton.

Hailey received both her MA and PhD from King's College London in collaboration from Shakespeare's Globe and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in the United States, where she is from.

Hailey's work considers the performance of gender on the early modern stage and in today's Shakespeare industry.

Paul Monahan

Queen's University Belfast

Paul Monahan is employed as Learning and Development Consultant in the Organisational Development team at Queen’s University Belfast, co-ordinating the range of professional and career development activities provided for research staff, including; staff induction, classroom based sessions, online materials and support for school based events. Paul has been employed in this role since 2005 having worked in Queen’s since 1997.

As part of the programme Paul has delivered workshops on the use of SPSS, project planning, presentation skills for researchers and public engagement. Further, he co-ordinates the Queen’s Fellowship Academy and associated activities and has a remit for supporting the development of mentoring across the university. 

Paul worked as a researcher at Queen’s in the Centre for Educational Development, investigating students and staff attitudes to higher education. He has taught on research methods courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students and worked as a researcher in a number of public and private sector organisations. 

Find out more about Researcher Development at Queen's

Dr Yassin Brunger

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Yassin Brunger is a Lecturer in Human Rights Law and Co-Director of the Gender Justice and Society Research Network at Queen’s University Belfast. Her research, teaching, and supervision interests include international criminal law, transitional justice and feminist interventions in international law.

As a long-term scholar-activist, Yassin's academic work remains informed by the lived experiences of post-conflict, justice and peace of marginalised communities in the ‘Global South’ and amplifying struggles for justice within and beyond academia. She has worked with a broad range of stakeholders, including international organisations, national governments and civil society actors working on post-conflict responses to atrocity crimes in Africa.

Professor Mark Burnett

Queen's University Belfast

Professor Mark Thornton Burnett is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen’s University Belfast.

He is the author of Masters and Servants in English Renaissance Drama and Culture: Authority and Obedience (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997), Constructing ‘Monsters’ in Shakespearean Drama and Early Modern Culture (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002), Filming Shakespeare in the Global Marketplace (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007; 2nd ed. 2012), Shakespeare and World Cinema (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) and ‘Hamlet’ and World Cinema (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

His new co-edited collection, Women and Indian Shakespeares, will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in June 2022.

Peter Stephenson

Queen's University Belfast

Peter Stephenson is Research Development Manager for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast. Peter has worked at Queen’s since 2013 supporting researchers across AHSS disciplines to identify and apply for research funding to support their work.

Prior to joining Queen’s, Peter worked for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) where he managed several funding programmes and grant schemes.

Peter studied Politics and International Relations at The University of Plymouth as well as Mechanical Engineering at the Institute of Technology, Sligo.

Dr Tara McEvoy

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Tara McEvoy is Press Officer for Pushkin Press, a Fellow at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, and Editor of The Tangerine, a Belfast-based magazine of new writing.

Tara won the Vogue Talent Contest 2018 and was runner-up for the Observer Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism. Her work has been published in Vogue, The Observer, The Guardian, and The Irish Times.

Tara completed her PhD in 2020 at Queen’s University Belfast. 

Jordan McCullough

Queen's University Belfast

Dr Jordan McCullough is a PhD candidate in French Studies at Queen's University Belfast. His doctoral research project, funded by the AHRC’s Northern Bridge Consortium, is centred on contemporary, parental grief narratives and examines the role of writing in creating a continuing a bond with a deceased child.

Jordan's wider research interests are in the area of French Studies Medical Humanities and he is the author of a number of articles in this field. 

Jordan is the Postgraduate Representative for the Association for French and Francophone Studies in Ireland and chairs the Student Research Network in the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s. 

Dr Sarah Sharp

University of Aberdeen

Dr Sarah Sharp completed her doctoral studies at the University of Edinburgh in 2016. She has held positions as a Leverhulme Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Otago, working within the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, and an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Dublin.

Sarah was selected for a Fulbright Scottish Studies Scholar Award in 2018 and was based at the University of South Carolina. She joined the University of Aberdeen in 2019 as a Lecturer in Scottish Literature working between the Department of English and the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies where she is a Deputy Director.

Rebecca Rutherford

Queen's University Belfast

Rebecca Rutherford has worked at Queen’s since 2011, firstly as Head of International Student Support and then as Strategic Project Lead within the Directorate of Academic & Student Affairs. 

Currently she is the Graduate School Manager, responsible for the strategic direction and operations of the Graduate School and also for managing the embedded model of English Language support for international students.

Prior to joining Queen’s, Rebecca worked at Imperial College London in a variety of student and academic support roles.

Dr Deirdre Flynn

Mary Immaculate College

Dr Deirdre Flynn is a Lecturer in 21st-century literature at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. She has published widely on Contemporary literature, Irish Studies, Haruki Murakami, migration, and Literary Urban studies.

Her newest co-edited collection, Austerity and Irish women's writing and culture 1980 - 2020 with Dr Ciara Murphy will be published this summer with Routledge.

She recently co-edited two collections on Irish Literature with Palgrave Macmillan Irish Urban Fictions and Representations of Loss in Irish Literature. Deirdre edits the blog on and has worked in NUI Galway, UCD and UL.

Follow Deirdre on Twitter: @deirdre_flynn

Dr Stephen O'Neill

Trinity College Dublin

Dr Stephen O'Neill is an Irish Research Council Enterprise Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of English at Trinity College Dublin, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Stephen was previously a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow for the Keough Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He has also held short term visiting fellowships at NUI Galway and the University of São Paulo.

His first book, Irish Culture and Partition, 1920-1955 is forthcoming with Liverpool University Press.

Dr Rasika Ajotikar

SOAS University of London

Dr Rasika Ajotikar is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the department of Development Studies at SOAS University of London. Her project examines issues of labour and gender as they relate to caste, class and hereditary artisanship to explore the ways in which musicianship as a service has evolved into a performance art in modern India. Through ethnographic research and engagement with philosophical enquiries on art, aesthetics, the project analyses how these social dynamics have shaped contemporary cultural movements mobilised by historically marginalised and exploited groups in rural and urban India. 

This project is an extension of Dr Ajotikar’s doctoral research on Dalit or formerly untouchable women's performance spheres in modern western India, which she completed from SOAS in 2019. Dr Ajotikar has worked as a postdoctoral fellow on a DFG (German Research Foundation) project  between 2017 and 2020 at the department of Musicology in Göttingen, Germany in collaboration with the Berliner Phonogramm-Archiv.

Rasika was also a teaching fellow at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies in Göttingen in 2020. Dr Ajotikar's training in North Indian classical vocal music of over two decades has been central to her research. While critically engaging with the pedagogy and modern historiography of  North Indian classical music, she has also been an active performer. Her research and performance have led to extensive collaborations with activists and musicians in India. 

Susie Deedigan

Queen's University Belfast

Susie Deedigan is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University, Belfast. She previously studied at Trinity College, Dublin (MPhil) and Balliol College, Oxford (BA). Her PhD, funded by the Department for the Economy, comparatively examines the impact of gender on political imprisonment during the Second World War in Ireland. Her previous research and broader interests include: militancy and Irish suffrage, female activism, labour and trade unionism, female associational culture and histories of incarceration. She has presented widely and contributed to online publications, some examples of which can be found on History Workshop Online and History Hub.

Susie works as a TA in the School of HAPP at QUB and as an Assistant in QUB Special Collections and Archives. She is a Postgraduate Representative on the Executive Committee of the Women’s History Association of Ireland. She is also committed to promoting inclusivity and equality of opportunity in education, with six years' experience of secondary level teaching. She is a Teach First Ambassador and member of their policy network and an Academic Guide on the Pathway Programme through the Widening Participation Unit at QUB.

Susie has been selected for the HAPP-IES Visiting Student Fellowship at UC Berkeley to commence in 2023, will be presenting at the American Historical Association Conference in Philadelphia in Jan 2023 and is contributing a chapter to a forthcoming publication under review with Liverpool University Press. She is currently organising the ‘Gender and political Imprisonment: 22’ conference to be held at QUB in September 2022. For more information on this conference and her wider work follow @SDeedigan on Twitter.

Dr Fariha Shaikh

University of Birmingham

Dr Fariha Shaikh is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Her research focuses on empire and migration and she has published broadly and widely, including her monograph, Nineteenth-Century Settler Emigration in British Literature and Art (Edinburgh University Press, 2018).

In 2021 Fariha was named an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker.

Dr Sarah Arens

University of Liverpool

Dr Sarah Aren is Lecturer in French Studies at the University of Liverpool. She was previously a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of St Andrews, working on a project exploring the histories and narratives of sciences and their role for Belgian colonialism.

Sarah is also working on a book project on the postcolonial condition of the city of Brussels for Liverpool University Press.