The GYA is pleased to announce that the first publication stemming from the GloSYS Africa project is now available: ‘Voices of Early Career Researchers in and out of the Academy: A Pan- African Perspective‘.

The team of authors to the publication include Lynn McAlpine (University of Oxford and McGill University), Otilia Chiramba (University of Witwatersrand), Matt Keane (former GloSYS Africa Research Assistant), alumnus Abdeslam Badre (Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco) and Fatima Kareem (former GloSYS Africa Project Researcher). While there is a burgeoning literature on the experiences and career trajectories of early-career researchers (ECRs) in Europe, North America and Oceania, there are very few documented experiences of young African researchers. Yet Africa is a huge continent of 54 countries, with a population of over one billion people in 2018, and a growing demand for researchers – both to advance knowledge and to increase university participation rates.

The purpose of this publication is to offer narratives that highlight the on-the-ground experiences of African ECRs who are trying to navigate their careers while dealing with personal and work challenges and affordances. Due to their personal nature, the accounts can often speak to us in ways that statistical reports and summaries may not.

The 61 stories they present recount the successes and challenges of navigating individual careers and lives. The stories encompass those who have stayed in the academy and those who have left, those who live in their home countries and those who don’t. The stories do not dwell on the global and continental structures that other reports may – though you will see some of these described in the individual stories. Rather, these global forces are background, as each of these individuals negotiates work amidst personal goals and values and the ‘rest of life.’ Thus, while most accounts of ECRs focus on their academic journey and careers, the publication also explores broader life perspectives and the influence that family and children have on decisions.