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Emerging Researchers in Ageing (ERA)

Pre-Conference Event

Better futures for gerontologists!

Each year, we hold a pre-conference event for Emerging Researchers in Ageing (ERA) which is aimed at PhD students, post-doctoral or early career researchers, as well as established researchers or practitioners who might be transitioning into ageing research. This event will be held ahead of the main conference on Tuesday 5th July 2022.

This year’s pre-conference theme is: Better futures for gerontologists!

Early career researchers have many calls on their time and attention, which means that career planning is often overlooked, with major career decisions made in reaction to circumstances. This year’s ERA Pre-Conference focus is on proactive career planning. The pre-conference will be held online and you can sign up here:

During the day, attendees will hear from international career management coach, Ruth Winden, on how to shape your career, helping you plan, rather than react to opportunities. In the afternoon, there will be breakout rooms in which attendees can meet with sector representatives from academia, business, policy, care, project and data management, and professional services in higher education (see below for the biographies). The focus of these conversations will be to explore the competencies and qualifications necessary, and to understand how your skills and interests can be applied to different industry sectors employing early career gerontologists. The day also includes a session during which early career researchers have a chance to present their own research. The day closes with a session on mentoring provided by the BSG, and final thoughts on how to take the next steps in your career.

A note about our facilitator: Ruth Winden has worked with clients worldwide to make well-informed, courageous and confident career transitions. At the University of Leeds, Ruth implements the Researcher Development Concordat where she facilitates the career development of 1500 postdocs. She leads programmes to support researchers’ career choices in a variety of industry sectors.

Breakout Rooms

Direct and Applied Care (hosted by ERA committee member Christoph Heuser)

Mervyn Eastman is a qualified social worker and formerly a Director of Social Services and the Better Government for Older People Programme (cabinet office). Mervyn is an author, TedX speaker and contributor to numerous health and care publications. He is a founder member of ChangeAGEnts co-operative collective and co-founder member of the Later Life Audio and Radio Co-operative (LLARC). Mervyn is also a member of the Sexual Intimacy in Later Life UK forum (SILFF). 

Jackie Marshall-Cyrus runs a consultancy, Jackie Marshall-Cyrus & Associates Ltd, providing ageing and independent living expertise. She works with a range of organisations and individuals developing age-related products, services and systems. She is a Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator with over 35 years experience and holds a first class Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Older Adults, and a Masters’ Degree in Education. She has earned an international and national reputation for being a visionary, inspirational speaker, thought-leader, and ageing innovation expert. Her research interests include ageing sexuality and sexual health, as well as transcultural nursing education. 

Professional services in higher education (hosted by ERA committee member Lisa Davison) 

Dr Ruth Watkins is Head of Student Learning Services, University of Stirling. Ruth’s background is in earth sciences and paleoecology. She started her academic career as a geology/environmental science lecturer working in Ireland, Australia and Scotland. After taking a PGCert in Teaching (HE) and an MRes in Educational Research, she now works as Head of Student Learning Services at the University of Stirling. The role includes the strategic and operational oversight of the service, a contribution to staff development, teaching and input to institutional projects and policies.  

Dr Kathryn Wicks is a Faculty Research and Enterprise Officer in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Southampton. Her role involves working closely with academics across the five Schools (Business, Law, Education, Mathematics and Economic, Social and Political Sciences) to identify and develop impact and enterprise opportunities. Kathryn is also involved in managing the Research Excellence Framework preparations at Faculty level. Kathryn was a Teaching Fellow in Gerontology for a number of years and is also a non-practising solicitor, having specialised in the area of Private Client. 

Project & data management (hosted by ERA Committee member Miranda Quinney) 

Dr Eleanor Loughlin is a Researcher Development Consultant at Nottingham Trent University. Building on her experience as a researcher, she has worked in academic staff, researcher and student development roles since 2003. She has managed institutional and inter-institutional projects and has published and delivered training on project management. 

Shahid Nawaz leads Hays’ Technology recruitment business in the City and has over 20 years’ experience as a professional services recruiter. His teams place people in permanent and contract roles across Projects & Change Management, Data Science, Software Engineering, Cyber Security and IT Infrastructure. 

Policy & influence (hosted by ERA Committee member Lucy Szablewska)  

Dr Aideen Young is a senior evidence manager (research, impact and voice) at the Centre for Ageing Better.  She oversees delivery of the flagship State of Ageing report and has commissioned, and led, myriad projects including those on active travel, strength and balance training, pandemic experiences and later life transitions. She holds an MSc in Ageing and Society from King’s College, London and a PhD in Chemistry from New York University. She previously worked in the medical communications sector and as a protein crystallographer solving the structure of proteins involved in the immune response. 

Business, consulting and start ups (hosted by ERA Committee member Alison Benzimra) 

Dr Paul Clarkson is a specialist social care researcher and Deputy Director, Social Care and Society at the University of Manchester. He collaborates with the public, private and third sectors and is a Research Partner with Age Care Technologies International ACT Assessment. He is a member of the BSG’s Special Interest Group on Ageing, Business and Society. 

Dr Tim Shakespeare is the Research Acceleration Lead at ZINC which was set up to build a new commercial innovation system for the social sciences. During his earlier career in academia he bridged the gap between academics, healthcare professionals and people affected by dementia to create new solutions. Before joining Zinc, Tim gained experience in research comms, fundraising and innovation, combining research and creativity to develop new products and services at Alzheimer’s Society. He is a member of the BSG’s Special Interest Group on Ageing, Business and Society. 

Academia (hosted by ERA Committee member Matthew Lariviere)  

Dr Rosalind Willis is an Associate Professor in Gerontology and Faculty Director of the Graduate School at Southampton University. She teaches and conducts research on the topics of ethnicity, care and support, and dementia, and has conducted research on the emotional impacts of research on PhD students.