The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant difficulties in research, particularly for early-stage researchers. In-person conferences and events in our field have been cancelled, and it has become difficult, if not impossible, for early-stage researchers to present their work to our wider scholarly community, to receive feedback and advice from more senior scholars, and to start building their own networks of contacts. Researcher and emma member Ivana Kostovska (imec-SMIT-VUB Vrije Universiteit Brussel), recognised the need for this initiative and submitted the idea to the emma board. As a response, we launched emmaConnect.
During the first edition, emmaConnect brought together early-stage researchers and more experienced scholars in an informal and temporary set-up. Taking the form of a single online conversation or multiple conversations about the research or career path of the early-stage researcher. In the longer term it might lead to research collaboration with the more experienced scholar and his or her team, or, possibly, the inclusion of the early-stage researcher in online meetings of other PhD students or post-doc students at the advanced scholar’s university. We are grateful that many experienced scholars are willing to share their expertise and knowledge in the field of media management and media economics research with emma members who are less advanced in their academic careers. We are planning for a second edition of emmaConnect next year!