Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Presented at the Higher Education in Transformation Symposium November 2 - 4, 2016 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada


This paper will identify barriers to recruiting and retaining early career research talent in higher education today, and consider how to overcome these barriers. The need for a pipeline of research staff is being driven by a requirement for higher education institutes (HEIs) to commercialise their knowledge and research findings in support of socio-economic objectives, and to compensate for the ongoing reduction in state funding. Using the concept of the entrepreneurial university as a lens, this paper describes how higher education must adopt to significant forces for change, which if left unchecked, will outrun their ability to respond. To further understand the issues surrounding the recruitment and retention of early career researchers, interviews were conducted with principal investigators in Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT). This indicated a degree of correlation with the literature on issues such as pay and conditions, and the attractiveness of the competing universities for undertaking research. A further round of interviews with Human Resource (HR) managers in the TU4Dublin Alliance provided additional perspectives on this issue, and considered how to make research a more attractive career. This paper notes the necessity for HEIs to develop a workplace that will nurture, support, and harness research talent in order to fulfil strategic objectives, and concludes with a number of recommendations which have emerged from the research.