Webinar Report: In pursuit of more equitable funding

In this month’s webinar our speakers discussed the challenges ECRs and underrepresented groups face when pursuing funding opportunities and suggested examples of how funding could be made fairer.

I think it’s really important for us as early-career researchers to stand together for what we want...if we want change we should really actively pursue [it] and start a discussion.

The ability to secure funding is a necessary but often complex process to navigate for researchers aspiring to advance in their scientific career. The design of funding programmes and the rationale behind funding decisions can also introduce bias. Early-career applicants and scientists from specific geographies or underrepresented communities – whether due to socio-economic background, ethnicity, gender, disability or any other characteristic – are often left unable to secure funding, regardless of their own existing and potential contributions to research.

In this webinar, the panellists discussed the inherent biases, disadvantages and challenges faced when pursuing funding opportunities, and explored examples of funding policies and community initiatives that they think could help make funding fairer.

You can view the webinar slides here.


Carolina Quezada, ECAG member, Postdoctoral researcher, Centro Integrativo de Biología y Química Aplicada (CIBQA), Universidad Bernardo O'Higgins, Chile


Lotte de Winde, ECAG member, leading the Fair Funding initiative within eLife’s Ambassador programme

Lotte highlighted key information and opportunities she and her peers recently summarised in a white paper.

Hugo A. Carignano, eLife Community Ambassador, investigated ECR funding in Argentina

Hugo discussed how initiation grants benefit ECRs in Argentina, and how this may set an example to encourage funding agencies and grant reviewers to open up funding opportunities to a more diverse set of researchers worldwide.

Katie Grogan, leading the Job Application Reviewers Initiative on FuturePI Slack

Katie shared how ECRs can empower each other through peer support, based on her work with FuturePI Slack.


We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at hello [at] elifesciences [dot] org.

Interested in our full selection of #ECRWednesday webinars, on topics such as preprints, finding funding and more? Take a look at the collection of past reports and recordings.