Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers

Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers


Early Career Researchers (ECRs)


ASAL ECRs are a collegiate network, looking to support each other in career development. In 2019, ASAL’s early career representatives are Joseph Cummins and Catherine Noske. We have established an email list to offer updates on relevant opportunities, and will be in touch through that network. We have a Facebook group


In recent years ASAL’s work to support ECRs has included the ‘Seed Funding’ initiative, competitive one-off grants of up to $2000 designed to support diverse research projects. Currently we are developing a range of initiatives, including travel bursaries to support ECR participation in ASAL conferences, and other career development opportunities, such as mentorship.


The 2018 Literary Studies Convention at the Australian National University and the 2019 ASAL Annual Conference at the University of Western Australia both hosted ECR key note addresses, from Duc Dau in 2018 and Ellen Smith in 2019.


We ask all ECRs interested in connecting with the group to get into contact with us via email ( While most institutions define ECR as a researcher within five years of submission of a PhD, we also recognise that limited opportunity can affect your progress on this scale. Please also get in contact if you are outside this timeframe and define yourself as early-career*, especially if you do not have an ongoing position.


* NB While we welcome all to define themselves in the category of early career for the purposes of collegiality and networking, please note that some opportunities and schemes may adhere to specific definitions of the ECR status, including the ARC definition.

Copyright Agency Bursaries for Postgraduates Attending ASAL Conferences 

ASAL provides bursaries for postgraduates presenting papers at ASAL conferences who would like some support for travel and/or accommodation costs. These bursaries are funded by Copyright Agency and are valued at up to $750 each.

When do I apply?

You should apply for the Postgraduate Bursary before the conference starts, but after your paper has been accepted. Please take note of any specific advice and deadlines for applications by checking the conference website. The funding pool is not unlimited, so it is best to apply as soon as you can after acceptance of your paper, before the conference begins. Conference conveners will advise you by email if/when your application is approved/successful.

How do I apply?

Email your request for a bursary to the conveners of the relevant ASAL conference. In your email, please provide the following details:

  • Name, postgrad degree, home institution
  • Title of paper accepted for conference
  • List of costed items for which you are seeking support
  • Details of any funding for conference travel you’re receiving from your home institution
  • Name and email of your supervisor (if possible, you should also attach or forward a supporting email from your supervisor confirming that you are without institutional funding, or else indicating what funding you are receiving).

When are the funds provided? 

Once the conference has ended, you can seek reimbursement for approved costs. Just send an email with scans of your receipts to the ASAL Treasurer.

Postgraduate Representatives

In 2017 ASAL’s postgraduate representatives are Keyvan Allahyari and Imogen Mathew. To join the ASAL postgraduate email list, please contact Keyvan by sending an email to

Postgraduate Reports

View archived Postgraduate Reports:

Completed Theses

Click here to see a list of completed theses in Australian literary culture.