Digit co-hosts event for early career researchers at Leeds University Business School

1 February 2024

On Wednesday 24 January 2024, Digit co-hosted and co-funded a British Sociological Association Early Career Forum Regional event at Leeds University Business School. The event, entitled ‘Digital Transformations of Work and Employment in the Professions’ was also sponsored by the Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change (CERIC).

The event brought together early career researchers (ECRs) and post-graduate researchers (PGRs) undertaking research on digital change in professional work. Attendees joined from universities across England, representing a diverse range of disciplines, including organisation studies, sociology of work, employment relations, industrial sociology and management studies.

This lively day-long event provided an opportunity to share papers in progress and a chance for ECRs and PGRs to develop skills in reviewing. Paper presenters were given detailed constructive feedback on their work by Digit and CERIC academics who generously gave their time and expertise to the event.

Attendees also benefitted from an excellent ‘Meet the Editors’ session, delivered by Digit Impact Lead Professor Kate Hardy and CERIC’s Professor Vera Trappmann, which highlighted the intellectual, technical and emotional aspects of getting published in leading journals.

Kate Hardy presenting

Professor Kate Hardy presenting the ‘Meet the Editors’ session

Finally, an expert panel session brought academics into conversation with industry professionals from law, education and management consulting. Panellists provided practice-based perspectives that might inform a future research agenda for studies of digitalisation in the professions. Panel Chair and Digit Co-Director Professor Mark Stuart was joined by Digit colleague Professor Danat Valizade, CERIC academic Dr Sundeep Aulakh, Julian Wells from Whitecap Consulting, and Rachel Jackson from the National STEM Learning Centre. John MacKenzie, Partner at Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, was unable to travel from Edinburgh due to Storm Jocelyn but instead joined the panel remotely.

Mark Stuart and the panel

Professor Mark Stuart and the panel

The event was organised by Dr Esme Terry and Dr Xanthe Whittaker. Esme, a Digit Research Fellow, said of the event, “It was a privilege to host such a promising and enthusiastic group of early career researchers, who presented fascinating works in progress. The varied format of our other panel sessions was popular with attendees and generated lively discussion. Xanthe and I would like to thank everyone who took part, particularly our exceptional colleagues at Digit and CERIC, as well as our external speakers, for supporting the event so generously. We look forward to seeing the fruits of the workshop published in the future.”

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