Engaging Junior Researchers for ESD
The ENSI Junior Researchers Project started in 2008 aiming to disseminate ENSI research methodology and achievements with the ‘Research World’. It also opened the opportunity for the ENSI network to cultivate its own competence and expertise in the field of ‘Research in ESD’ and attract new research members.
The junior researchers gathered first time with a seminar 2008 in Switzerland for 20 master or PhD researchers. Under the guidance of ENSI experts these junior researchers exchanged their professional knowledge and explored cultural differences but also shared common interests. Over six years approximately 30 Junior Researchers were involved; ENSI expert Michela Mayer was mentoring members in their work. Despite of stressful funding problems it was possible to involve Junior Researchers to seven conferences and to offer opportunities to present their work in a broader public. Outcomes of the Junior Researchers project were 10 articles in the Proceedings of the Leuven ENSI International Conference, 4 large conference evaluation reports, a book on ‘Research and Innovation in ESD’ with 9 contributions from the Junior Researchers.
A range of theses were influenced by ENSI, and one doctoral thesis broached the issue of ENSI itself on “Scaling up, Scaling out, and Scaling in: Facilitating effective Education for Sustainability through a Decentralized Global Network” .
The ‘ENSI Junior Researcher for ESD’ project was fruitful for the involved partners –the exchange, the acquisition of new knowledge and the cooperation among all participants acquainted with Action Research in the field of ESD. Later on several members of the Junior Researchers network developed next steps in their professional career in Research for ESD.