Apply for Mid Career Workshop

ISLS Annual Meeting 2021 (Online Event)
Reflecting the Past and Embracing the Future
Bochum, Germany, June 8-11
Workshops: June 1-7

Call for Applications: Mid Career Workshop

Please submit your application, extended until January 26, 2021, to: https://isls2021.exordo.com (Submission closed)

**New** In order to be maximally inclusive and accommodate participants across multiple time zones as well as to take into account time restrictions due to family duties, we may begin the Mid Career Workshops the week prior to the conference.

Organizers & Contact

Sahana Murthy, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India, [email protected]
Alyssa Wise, New York University, US
Armin Weinberger, Saarland University, Germany

Contact us for all questions regarding the workshop.

Important dates

  • January 26, 2021 (extended) – Submissions due, submitted via Ex Ordo system
  • Feb 20, 2021 – Notification of acceptance
  • June 7-11, 2021 – ISLS Annual Meeting

What is the Mid-Career Workshop and Who Is It for?

The Mid-Career Workshop is an opportunity for learning sciences researchers to reflect on their existing work and strategically plan for the next phase of their careers. Ideally, participants should be 6-10 years post doctorate (for example, in an academic role having recently obtained tenure or planning to go up for tenure soon; in an industry role often having advanced to managing others or hoping to do so soon; in R&D positions in governmental or private organizations or NGOs). By this stage, researchers have produced a substantial body of impactful research to build on, and yet, they may feel a need to re-orientate and advance their work. Researchers who are more advanced in their career but considering a shift in their work are welcome to apply as well.

What is Special about the Mid-Career Stage?

The mid-career stage generally occurs after a researcher has accomplished the initial efforts to establish themselves in the field and is considering with a longer view the shape of the professional contribution(s) they want to make. It may be experienced as a new opportunity for risk taking towards more ambitious research agendas, or broadening their scope of work, with the promise of greater impact. Yet, with this newfound freedom often comes greater administrative responsibility and increased frequency of invitations for external professional involvement. These new demands can become overwhelming and cause mid-career faculty to wonder “How does one navigate this new landscape without becoming over-committed?”, and “How does one achieve a healthy balance of pursuing one’s research agenda and providing service to the community?” It is also a time when many researchers need to decide what kinds of leadership roles they wish to pursue.

What Will Happen at the Mid-Career Workshop?

The Mid-Career Workshop at ISLS 2021 will be an interactive event. We will discuss what is known about the mid-career research stage and look at varying conditions and challenges for mid-career researchers across countries and contexts (e.g. academy, industry, government). The workshop will feature break-out groups to create, reflect on, and promote individual career plans, workshop-wide discussion with mentors to learn from each other about leadership roles and supervising junior researchers, and sessions dedicated to effective ways to self-organize and manage the competing demands of research, teaching, and service. Workshop participants will share experiences among themselves, develop and collect feedback on their own research agendas and plans for a satisfying and successful mid-career, and interactively learn to apply effective knowledge management strategies. Discussions will focus around issues relevant to mid-career professionals, such as:

  • Creating (or re-creating) one’s narrative to have desired impacts
  • Fostering engagement with local or global communities
  • Dealing with ambivalence, dissatisfaction, boredom or other inner demons
  • Conceptualizing and achieving for BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals)


**New** The workshop will run prior to the ISLS Annual Meeting 2021 in Bochum, Germany. The organizers will structure the time slots to accommodate the specific needs of the cohort. The workshop will be run online. A detailed schedule will be published about a month or so prior to the event.

Application instructions

  • The deadline for applications has been extended until January 26, 2021.
  • Applications may be submitted by uploading the completed document via Ex Ordo submission system: https://isls2021.exordo.com
  • Applicants should submit one document, named according to the applicant’s last name, i.e., “Garcia_MCWS” Your document should include the following five sections:
    1. A cover sheet with your name, institution, email address.
    2. A 1-page summary (using conference formatting) of your research program, including theoretical framework(s), methods you are using and how these have developed throughout your career, knowledge contributions you have made and next planned steps.
    3. A half-page narrative description of your current position including the type of institution that you work in, and your responsibilities (e.g., teaching, research, mentoring, and committee work).
    4. A half-page statement describing how the Mid-Career Workshop can be useful for you, and what you would like to see discussed in the workshop. You may include topics of panels or mini-classes that you would find helpful.
    5. A current curriculum vita.

Participation is limited and competitive. Selection criteria include meeting the eligibility requirements, quality of the research program, potential benefit of participation to the candidate, and the assembly of a productive and diverse cohort.

Notification of acceptance will be made around February 20, 2021.