The Elsevier Foundation, funded by Elsevier, a global leader in research publishing and information analytics, is investing more than half a million dollars this year to support inclusive career progression through a series of innovative partnerships, which will nurture early career researchers’ (ECRs’) ability to secure funding, expand their networks, gain recognition and increase representation in their field.
The newest set of partnerships build upon Elsevier’s 2022 I&D Advisory Board Report, which highlights the need to support women and other underrepresented groups in academic research. Evidence from Elsevier’s global gender report, “The researcher journey through a gender lens”, published in 2020, indicates that while the representation of women in research is increasing, substantial inequality remains in terms of output, citations, awarded grants and collaborations—especially in the physical sciences and engineering. Women researchers and scientists were further disadvantaged during the pandemic, often bearing a disproportionate burden of family care; structural racism also continues to be a prevalent stressor for researchers of color, who already feel isolated in many fields and disciplines.
Based on these findings, the Elsevier Foundation is investing in seven new partnerships in Japan, China, Singapore, Germany, the UK and the US that will address the specific challenges faced by ECRs in their regions, providing localized approaches. The new partnerships will each receive up to $50,000 USD a year and build on the Foundation’s existing ECR portfolio, which includes the OWSD Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career women scientists from developing countries, Water First! workshops for African women scientists, TWAS – Women in Climate Action research grants and theChemistry for Climate Action Challenge, in addition to many STEM pipeline programs focused on today’s youth.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to address the issues that underrepresented researchers face as they embark on their careers. Challenges differ around the world: this is why the Foundation has elected to support a variety of partners ranging from the Falling Walls Foundation to the Asian Scientist Magazine and Vitae, a UK nonprofit that champions the needs of ethnic minority ECRs.
Dr. Juliana Chan, Publisher of the Asian Scientist Magazine, said: “‘The Asian Scientist-Elsevier Foundation Salon for Leadership in STEM’ is anchored on raw conversations. With support from the Elsevier Foundation, we will create a safe space for women in STEM to exchange ideas, find inspiration and support one another in their professional journeys.”
Ylann Schemm, Director of the Elsevier Foundation, added: “To really build a sustainable future, we need researchers to be representative of all of society – ensuring that talented people are not disadvantaged because of their gender, race or ethnicity.
“By taking an integrated, intersectional and evidence-based approach to supporting career progression, we can work with the research community to help build a truly inclusive research landscape. Ultimately, our goal is to capture the learning from our new set of projects and disseminate them widely, so that the research community can benefit and leverage our investment even more.”