Applications are now open for the UCML ECA Support Network (ECASN), a mentoring scheme organised by the University Council of Modern Languages to connect early-career academics with more experienced peers and colleagues, with the aim to support the ECAs’ career development. The SIS is committed to increase the presence of Italianists within the UCML schemes to make sure that ECA members can receive adequate support. 

The scheme comprises two mentoring modes:

  1. Year-long Mentoring Partnerships

The UCML ECA Support Network welcomes applications from Modern Languages ECAs in the UK and Ireland to benefit from its year-long mentoring partnerships, which will last for one year from September 2021 to September 2022. These partnerships are intended for early-career academics who are affected by precarity. Priority will be given to those who either:


  1. do not currently hold an academic position;
  2. are working in academia in the UK and Ireland but have no access to mentoring or support from within their institution.


The partnership will support the overall career development of the selected mentees through advice on matters such as honing future research plans, developing the content of an academic CV, managing teaching loads to enable research time, and shaping funding applications.


For more information about the scheme and for the short application form, see the website: 

Deadline for applications: 3rd September 2021.


Mentees will be selected on the basis of: a) availability of a suitable mentor on the network database to match with the applicant’s field, mentoring needs, etc.; b) the absence of support structures in the mentee’s current professional situation. Mentees from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.


Any questions can be directed to the scheme’s coordinator, Dr Hannah Scott, at


  1. Individual requests

The UCML ECA Support Network aims to connect researchers at the start of their career who have standalone projects on which they need advice with more experienced peers and colleagues who can provide constructive feedback: this includes article submissions, conference and seminar proposals and presentations, pitches for special issues of journals, plans for events and public engagement, book proposals, CV design, and bids for research-council fellowships/grants. In order to avoid conflicts of interest, live job applications cannot be an object of discussion, but there will be scope for general advice based on past job applications with the view to making future improvements.


Early-career academics should direct their request for support to the list moderator (Dr Hannah Scott –, accompanied by a brief academic biography (focusing on the field of research and experience so far). The list moderator will then identify any mentors on the database with relevant experience and email them to check their availability. If a match is found, the available mentor will then contact the mentee directly via email to provide support.