Caroline Leicht30 April 2024


Following the end of her tenure as PSA Early Career Network Communications Officer, Caroline reflects on her time on the committee and introduces her successor.

As many of you will already know, my elected term as Communications Officer of the PSA Early Career Network is ending today. We recently held elections to determine my successor who will be taking over the role from tomorrow (1 May). As I hand over to the next early career academic, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my time on the committee and introduce you to your new Communications Officer.

I was elected to the PSA ECN Committee in April 2022 and was humbled that you, our members, had put your trust in me. When I joined, the other committee members had already been in their roles for almost a year. Entering new spaces and communities can be intimidating, I think we all know this as early career academics. But in this case, I very quickly realized that I had nothing to worry about. Quite the opposite. I was welcomed with open arms by my new ECN colleagues and can genuinely say that I made some great friends.

As Communications Officer, my role was perhaps the one closest to the membership. For the past two years, I have managed the key communication channels of the ECN, our Twitter (now X) account, website, and newsletter. This work gave me the opportunity to directly interact with our members, and watching our members grow in their early career journeys has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the job. Many of you have presented your work at the ECN Conference over the years or won one of our conference prizes, and it has been so fantastic to see you share your next career updates on Twitter, whether that be passing your viva, publishing your first paper, or securing your first job.


One of the first ECN events I organized was the Early Career Panel at our Annual Conference in 2022. The idea had been to bring together the previous ECN Chairs, James Weinberg and Heather Alberro, and our then-Chair, Taylor Borowetz, to discuss how to navigate early career academia. The session was the first one at our Career Development Day, quite early in the morning, and I remember feeling a bit pessimistic about what the turnout and engagement would look like. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what really happened.

I opened the session with one question for our panel members and then invited our attendees – far more than I had expected – to ask their own questions or share experiences they have had. Within minutes, the chat was flooded with messages, and I could barely keep track of raised hands. They weren’t all questions. The vast majority were messages of support and commiseration.

“I hear you.”

“Same here!”

“I thought I was the only one.”

“I’m so glad I’m not alone in this.”

This panel has stayed with me. If my work on the ECN Committee has taught me one thing it’s that there is so much power in community. We often underestimate this because it might seem too obvious or too unattainable. But I sincerely hope that the ECN has been as much a community for you as it has been for my fellow committee members and me, and that it continues to be this space.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome the new committee into their roles last summer and join them on their first few months of ECN work. It has been fantastic to see their enthusiasm and watch them grow into their roles. I look forward to seeing what they do next.

I have loved being your PSA ECN Communications Officer, and I am grateful that you put your trust in me. It has been fantastic to interact with you all online and see many of you at our in-person events too. As much as I will miss this work, I firmly believe that part of the role is letting the next early career academic step up to the task. Following an election, Arvind Kumar has been selected by you as the next Communications Officer. I am delighted to say that Arvind will officially take over as Communications Officer tomorrow (1 May). You can find out more about Arvind on our “Meet the Committee” page. And as always, you will be able to send any items for the ECN newsletter to

Thank you for a fantastic two years, and I hope to see many of you at future ECN and PSA events!