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Winners of the Early Career Publishing Prize announced

Three alumni are celebrating their success in the first Leeds Early Career Publishing Prize.

The prize celebrates PhD research and supports authors to publish an open access monograph.

Dean of the Leeds Doctoral College, Professor Luke Windsor, welcomed the result, saying “It is my pleasure to highlight the work of Olena Gundarina, Yuliya Kazanova and Andrea White, as the three winners of the Early Career Publishing Prize.

“The prize highlights our excellent postgraduate research and provides a firm platform for catalysing the impact of individual postgraduate researchers. The winners will have the opportunity to develop their outstanding doctoral projects into impactful and publishable book proposals, and potentially to disseminate their work through White Rose University Press.”

The prize winners completed their PhD research at Leeds between 2017–2019 and won the prize by demonstrating how their thesis would be reworked as an effective monograph. They will now work with White Rose University Press (WRUP), the open access academic press supported by the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, to take their winning proposal through peer review and the commissioning process.

We are really pleased to work with the prize winners and support them through our commissioning processes. I hope this will result in the WRUP Editorial Board commissioning open access monographs based on these proposals and that we can help the authors share their exciting research without any paywall or subscription barriers.

Kate Petherbridge, White Rose University Press Manager

It is not easy for early career researchers to find opportunities to publish monographs and increase the audience for their research. The competition was organised and supported by the University to support outstanding researchers at the start of their careers to increase the impact of their work.

The three alumni offered their reactions to being chosen to work with the open access press to publish their work.

Yuliya Kazanova’s PhD research offered a new look at the tragic irony in selected works by Graham Greene. She said:

“I am honoured to win the prize and deeply grateful for this opportunity to publish my research findings as a book, with financial and consultative support from Leeds University. For me, this prize is a significant professional endorsement of the value of my research and an inspiration to carry on.

“I am a strong supporter of open-access publishing because it makes research freely available to all those interested, irrespective of their academic and economic background. I did my MA in Ukraine, my native country, and remember how frustrating it was when many scholarly publications in English literature, which I needed for my thesis, were inaccessible because they were too expensive to buy for the university library and for me personally.”

Olena Gundarina studied Russian-speaking migrant children’s experiences in UK primary schools and feels that winning this prize has given her the confidence to truly believe she can contribute to the field: “I am especially delighted that the open access nature of this publication will ensure my own additions can be accessed by as many seekers of knowledge as possible, wherever and whoever they are. I believe that open access publishing should lie at the core of all research dissemination.”

Andrea White’s research examined Mental Causation and the Metaphysics of Action and she welcomed the opportunity to share her research with a wider audience: “I believe the output of academic research should be available to anyone who is interested to read it. Most research is conducted to advance knowledge or improve people's lives, and it seems to me that the best way for research to achieve that purpose is for it to be accessible to all.”

I am delighted that we can both recognise the outstanding work from these talented early career researchers and support its open dissemination.

Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation

The University encourages the use of open research practices and the use of digital approaches for publication, dissemination and impact activities. Nick Plant explains:

“The University of Leeds is committed to Open Research, ensuring that our work can reach all those who can benefit from it. With my twin hats of Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation and Editorial Board member for White Rose University Press, I am delighted that we can both recognise the outstanding work from these talented early career researchers and support its open dissemination.”

The winning proposals that move successfully through peer review and are commissioned for publication will be available through the WRUP website once published.

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