YECREA Pre-conference. ECREA 2024

22 and 23 of September (Ljubljana)

Academic culture and working conditions at universities have become increasingly neo-liberal (Morrish 2017). This shift is visible in greater competition and precarity, among other developments, and particularly among those occupying the lowest positions in the hierarchy: Early career researchers (ECRs). Following on from our recent successful workshop on the same topic, and in line with the ECC2024 theme, the YECREA network aims to further spark and continue conversations about (dis)order in academic culture and ways of  reimagining it as a place of meaning and collaboration. We invite ECRs who are outspoken, engaged, and committed to coming up with creative and disruptive solutions and ideas to challenge academia in its current state. By bringing together ECRs from different countries and diverse backgrounds, we hope to learn from each other’s unique experiences and perspectives, and strengthen this network.  

Reflecting on your observations of and experiences in academia so far, submit a 500-word abstract addressing one of the following or related questions:

  • How can we define precarity in academia, considering our experiences?
  • What types of power dynamics characterize academia and what needs to change?
  • What are the key obstacles and forms of discrimination preventing access to academic spaces and opportunities, and how have they impacted you?
  • What sort of mental health issues have been observed in academia, and what solutions do you envision?
  • How can we ensure the guidelines defining the ‘grant-application’ system are more equitable?
  • How did academia arrive at the ‘publish-or-perish’ point, and what impact is it having on academic output?
  • How can we reconfigure the relationship between supervisor and PhD student and establish sustainable mentorship training?

Abstracts can be sent to YECREA ( by 23:59 CET, 15 March 2024.
Deadline extended: 29th March 2024

Notification of Acceptance/Rejection/Waiting list will be announced by 22 March 2024. We expect confirmation of participation by 8 April 2024.

If selected, you will be invited to expand on your abstract to develop a critical and reflective essay of 2000 words (excl. references) which you will present during the workshop in any creative form you want. Participation in the pre-conference is free (no fee). 

Pre-conference organizers are the YECREA Network Management team, Dr. Sandra Banjac (chair, University of Groningen), Dr. Phoebe Maares (vice-chair, University of Vienna), Dr. Antonio Cuartero (vice-chair, University of Malaga), Birte Leonhardt (communications officer, University of Vienna). 

Date and location: 22 September 2024 (12.00-18.00), 23 September 2024 (9.00-15.00). Location will be confirmed after decisions are announced.