Early Career Group

This is an IOP special interest group, which is a community of IOP members focused on a particular discipline, application or area of interest. Special interest groups allow members to connect and share knowledge and ideas. The IOP funds groups to deliver a range of activities including events, prizes and bursaries. All of our groups are driven by members.

About the group

As a special interest, member-driven group, we facilitate peer support and knowledge exchange. We are a forum for discussion and represent the views of our members in the physics community to the IOP and external bodies.

We are open to all in the physics community and especially welcome those who have taken a career break, or are on an unconventional career path.

You may have:

  • finished your first degree
  • started your professional career
  • been studying for a PhD 
  • secured an apprenticeship 
  • moved to physics from another career, or transitioned between scientific disciplines

What the group does

We aim to:

  • build peer physics networks across disciplines and sectors, including industry, education, academia and business
  • put early physics career members in touch with those who can support them
  • support members to understand career options and think about opportunities in industry, academia, business teaching and other career paths
  • support members to develop skills like networking, writing funding applications, conducting effective outreach
  • serve as a gateway into the Institute and direct members from the physics community towards other special interest groups and activities of interest to them

Early Career Members Group launch

At our launch in 2018, we decided to provide:

  • a voice
  • opportunities
  • collaboration
  • mentoring

Institute Vice-President for Science and Innovation, Professor Sarah Thompson, said:

“It’s important that you don’t feel held back by the way that groups have done things before, as there’s no standard way of doing things”.

Our co-chairs said at the launch, “We want this group to span the entirety of the physics community”. He said plans include:

  • a newsletter
  • live-streaming events
  • sponsorship of a prize

Secretary, Dr Apostolos Evangelopoulos, said the group would bring together academia and industry, as well as research, and support mentoring of members.

Treasurer Maciej Matuszewski, finishing a PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Durham, said people can feel uncertain how to progress a physics  career and hoped the group would build a physics community beyond career boundaries.

Media Officer, Jennifer Radtke, encouraged tweeters to follow on @IOPECM and share thoughts using #IOPEarlyCareer. The ECM Group also has a LinkedIn group.

Would you like to join this group?

Group events

Find group events on our events portal.

Committee and contacts

Co-chair: Dr Robert Thompson robert.j.thompson@ucl.ac.uk
Co-chair: Mr Joseph Beaver joseph.beaver@gmail.com
Secretary: Dr Apostolos Evangelopoulos a.evangelopoulos@gmail.com


Joseph Beaver – co-chair (with Robert Thompson)

Joe is a physicist and scientist with a Masters and a postgraduate Masters. He has worked at Rolls-Royce for five years as a reactor designer, mainly in software methods for current class submarines. He teaches basic nuclear physics at Rolls-Royce and participates in external STEM activities when he can. He particularly wants to support people make the switch from academia to industry.

Robert Thompson – co-chair (with Joseph Beaver)

Rob currently manages the UCL Institute of Communications and Connected Systems. He’s a passionate communicator of physics and engineering with a Masters in physics and PhD in electronic and electrical engineering. He trains postgraduates in research dissemination and stakeholder management and his interests lie in the intersections of physics, materials science, engineering and the creative and artistic sectors. 

Maciej Matuszewski - Treasurer

Maciej is in the final year of a PhD and research that looks at using techniques related to string theory to model meson decay. Early career physicists are often underrepresented in the physics community, believes Maciej, and it is vital to build a strong group that represents their voices and provides support and guidance. Maciej monitors the group’s spending and sets out the budget for future years.

Robin Ravi Gajria – Careers fair coordinator

Postgraduate associate member of the Institute, Robin Ravi Gajria guest lectures at universities and companies. New business proposals aim to improve collaborations between early career physicists, commerce and education to nurture sustainable small enterprise. Robin’s part time studies include university short courses and corporate career professional development.

Anuradha Damale - Diversity officer

Anuradha has BSc in physics and studies for a postgraduate degree in science and technology policy. Her focus is governance and security and she wants to work in policy towards nuclear disarmament. She campaigns for women in STEM, writes on women in physics and went to the International Conference for Women in Physics in 2017. She hopes to support physicists from diverse backgrounds to network and pursue a range of careers.

Apostolos Evangelopoulos - Secretary

Apostolos studied mathematical physics and doctoral and postdoctoral soft matter and materials science in polymers and magnetic fluids. His research at the University of Reading is on the magnetic and rheological behaviour of complex fluids with embedded magnetic nanoparticles. He wants the group to be a hub to connect early career members from education, industry, and academia.

Christine Thorogood – joint Events and Outreach Officer

Christine is a 20 year-old assistant research scientist in the electronical and magnetic materials group at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). She joined the science apprenticeship scheme after A-levels. She is a STEM Ambassador and wants to find out what members want, and provide them with a friendly community.

Jennifer Radtke - Social Media Officer

Jennifer is in the final year of PhD studies and believes it is important to bring people together in the early stage of their careers. She hopes the group can support members to find the answers that are right for them, learn skills and help others. She is looking forward to the networking events, workshops and working with the group’s committee.

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Early Career Researchers Fund

For researchers at the start of their careers to attend international meetings and facilities.

Find out more.

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