IZO Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN)

About the Network

The IZO has long been committed to supporting early career researchers (ECR) in their personal development, e.g. by funding research trips, participation in academic conferences, or supporting publications. The IZO Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN) was Created in 2021 by the centre's Academic Coordinator, Bertram Lang, as an additional offer for young researchers, both in terms of personal exchanges and tailored support.

  • Networking and horizontal exchanges: While our research areas may be very different, we all share an interest in East and Southeast Asian societies, languages and cultures. IZO-ECR creates a platform for informal exchanges with peers studying (South)East Asia from different angles, to find like-minded people at the university who you have never met before, or to suggest social activities as this is becoming possible again.
  • Exclusive Workshops: Whenever we have interesting guest lecturers or visiting professors with a strong East or Southeast Asia profile in Frankfurt, we seek to organise a special side event with them for personal exchanges with members of the IZO-ECR network. This is a great opportunity both to get first-hand insights from experienced researchers beyond the usual public talks and of course to strengthen your own academic networks. 
  • Special funding opportunities for joint projects: In addition to IZO's early career fund for individual researchers, the IZO board also accepts funding proposals for joint activities by at least two members of the IZO-ECR network. This can be for co-organised panels at conferences, or exploratory research for prospective third-party funding applications.
  • Organisational support and funding for your own ideas: The network is not organised top-down but developed based on members' own ideas and initiatives. We are happy to take up your ideas and promote them vis-à-vis the IZO board!

Joining the Network

As a member of IZO, you can signal your interest in joining the network to the Academic Coordinator along with a brief profile, including:

  • Full name and title/position
  • 2-3 sentence short bio
  • Portrait photo (web quality)
  • Link to your university or personal website (English/German), if available

Events of the ECR Network

Regular Network Meetings on Campus

Since the 2021/22 winter semester, we have been organising regular informal meetings to exchange ideas concerning our research and teaching activities as well as to plan new network activities.

All ECRN members are also invited to present their own projects or project ideas at these working lunches and to receive inspiring feedback from people with other professional backgrounds and regional focus areas. Joint ideas can be further developed into project applications within the framework of the IZO's ECRN Fund.

IZO Early Career Researcher Network Workshop on “Publishing in Academic Journals”, 30 August 2023

As part of the IZO co-sponsored international workshop "Asia in International Financial Affairs" at Goethe University Frankfurt, ECRN member Johannes Petry and colleagues organised a special ECR session on "Publishing in Academic Journals".    
For Early Career Researchers, writing and publishing journal articles is an essential but often daunting task. How do you frame your original research and contribute to existing debates? How do you tailor your writing to specific journals? How do peer review processes work? These are real questions and challenges, especially when it comes to submitting to journals. At the same time, the pressure to publish has never been greater. For individual researchers, this can be a difficult and often frustrating task. During our workshop, we tackled these issues head-on.    

First, we had a session with Professor Lena Rethel (University of Warwick), who until recently was the editor-in-chief of the Review of International Political Economy. She first gave a brief presentation on the do's and don'ts of the publishing process, followed by a Q&A session on the various issues involved in publishing in academic journals. As a renowned scholar working on Islamic finance in Southeast Asia, she provided valuable insights on how to publish interdisciplinary work on Asia in academic journals.

Second, we held an 'Open Review' session with Fabian Pape (LSE) and Johannes Petry (Goethe University). The aim of this session was to take a closer look at what the review process actually looks like. To do this, we followed the life journey of one of our papers on the growing importance of Asia in global finance - from submission to publication. Prior to the session, we had distributed the (1) original paper, the (2) comments we received from editors and reviewers, and the (3) revised paper, along with the accompanying revision guide and cover letter. During the session, we first successfully discussed all the main steps and then used the remaining time for a final Q&A session.

We would like to thank all participants for the inspiring exchange and look forward to further ECR network events in the coming months!  

IZO Early Career Researcher Network Workshop at Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, 16/17 February 2023

On the initiative of Bertram Lang and Marina Rudyak, the IZO brought together early career researchers from Frankfurt with established China researchers, think tankers and politicians on 16 and 17 February 2023 for a two-day workshop at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg.

The aim was to exchange experiences in the field of practice-oriented China research and to develop new formats to improve the exchange of knowledge between academic research and political practice in China policy. Guest speakers and discussion partners included Björn Alpermann, Professor at the University of Würzburg, Mikko Huotari, Director of the Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics) and Jens Brandenburg, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Further follow-up events in a similar format are already being planned for the end of the year and for spring 2024.

IZO Early Career Researcher Network Workshop with Prof. William A. Callahan, 27 January 2023

The IZO ECRN was honoured to welcome William A. Callahan, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science for an exclusive workshop at Goethe University Frankfurt on 27 January 2023. During the three-hour workshop, titled "How to understand China and understand the world: mixed methods approach", Prof. Callahan shared and discussed his essay on China's statecraft from the Ming Dynasty to the current Xi Jinping era and the role of imperialism/nationalism discourses through a cartographic approach. 

The workshop participants raised a wide range of questions regarding Prof. Callahan's thoughts on studying China's foreign policy and related empirical research methods. We discussed conceptualising cultural implications into politics through Tianxia 天下 and explaining the concepts of civilisation vs nation. Prof. Callahan conceptualised his “imperial gaze" framework and exchanged ideas with the participants regarding China's claims in the South China Sea. In terms of discussing China's international role from an International Relations perspective, we discussed how to reconcile mainstream concepts like balancing, bandwagoning and hedging with the Chinese Communist Party's own specific United Front Work framework, and with its notion of “friendship" and identification of political enemies. Lastly, Prof. Callahan shared his mixed-methods approach to researching Chinese foreign policy strategy and some foreseeable challenges when China re-opens for scholars to conduct field research. 

We thank Prof. Callahan again for the fruitful and lively discussion and thoughtful inspirations for our own research. We look forward to organising further ECRN events in the coming months.  

Background Discussion with Prof. Barry Naughton (UCSD) at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, 29 October 2021

On November 29, 2021, Prof. Barry Naughton, Chair of China's International Relations at UC San Diego's School of Global Policy & Strategy, was a guest at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften in Bad Homburg for two IZO events. Under the title "China Summer 2021: From Industrial Policy to Comprehensive Steerage?" Naughton discussed the wave of far-reaching regulatory measures and sweeping economic policy reforms launched by the Chinese Communist Party leadership in recent months.

Following a discussion with IZO researchers and external guests, Prof. Naughton answered questions from young researchers from the newly founded IZO Early Career Researcher Network in the afternoon. The interest in the informal exchange with the renowned China scholar was huge and the discussions both about the content of Naughton's research and about the future prospects of research in and with China could have lasted far longer than the planned three hours.

We would like to thank Barry Naughton for the inspiring exchange and look forward to further ECR network events in the coming months!

Members of the ECR Network

Ah-Hyun Angela Lee

PhD student in Korean Studies

Yifan Dai, M.A.

MEAS graduate, doing her doctorate on the topic "Dressing the Nation: Fashion Politics in Modern China". Research focuses on Sinophone fashion classicism, nationalism, ethnography and material culture

Dr. Bertram Lang

Academic Coordinator

Casandra Chistinean, M. A.

PhD student in the CEDITRAA project. M.A. in Modern East Asian Studies and International Peace and Conflict Studies

Chin-fing (William) NG

PhD student in Sinology at Goethe-University Frankfurt

Christopher Bracks

Scientific staff at South East Asian Studies

Felix Dröll

PhD student in Japanese Law (Prof. Moritz Bälz)

Fei Wang

Machine Learning specialist at the Chair for the Study of Economic Institutions, Innovation and East Asian Development (Prof. Storz)

Hong Jiang

PhD student working on Chinese economic history (Prof. Bertram Scheffold)

Jian Long, M.A.

Chinese literary and cultural research, gender studies, journalist for Chinese-language media

Johannes Petry, PhD

Postdoc in Political economy, focus on China's economic rise and relationship to the global financial system 

Kris Ramlan

PhD student and lecturer in Southeast Asian Studies, researches transcultural encounters

Marion Wambold

Scientific staff at Korean Studies

Marlene Herz

PhD student in innovation cconomics, focus on innovation systems in China and the European Union

Dr. des. Mirjam Tröster

MEAS Coordinator
CEDITRAA project on Taiwan

Mohammad Rokib

PhD student in Southeast Asian Studies

Dr. Na Zou

Postdoc in innovation economics. Her research interests lie in the areas of entrepreneurship and business innovation

Nuryatul Lailiyah

PhD student in Southeast Asian Studies at Goethe University and lecturer at Diponegoro University Indonesia, focus: "Social Media and Islamic Preachers in Indonesia"

Dr. Ruth Achenbach

Project Leader QuaMaFa & AspirE

Silvia Mayasari-Hoffert

Researcher and lecturer in Southeast Asian Studies, researches the role of literature and culture, power relations, identity, postcolonialism and (new) media in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia

Swantje Heiser-Cahyono

PhD student in Southeast Asian Studies (Prof. Arndt Graf)

Tim Jablonski

M.A. in „China Language and Economy“ (University Würzburg) and BSc in Economics. Currently doing research on economic development in the past and current industrial policy in China

Wenjing Han

PhD student in Sinology, researches German-Chinese translation theory and practice, Chinese-Western transculturality, translation and reception of "Liaozhai zhi yi" in the West.


IZO Coordinator:

Bertram Lang
Bockenheimer Landstr. 133, Neue Mensa R. 305, PO 20
D-60325 Frankfurt/Main
Tel. +49 (0) 69-798-23284, email: izo[at]uni-frankfurt.de

MEAS Coordinator (contact person for all study-related questions):

Mirjam Tröster

Rostocker Straße 2, SKW, 5th floor, room 05.B140
60323 Frankfurt/Main
Mailing address:

Sinology/MEAS, FB09 - Linguistics, Cultures, and Arts
Mirjam Tröster/SKW
60629 Frankfurt

Tel. +49 (0)69-798-28795, email: m.troester[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

Student Assistants:

Matthew Kwan-ho Lee (IZO), E-Mail: k.lee[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

John Droß, (IZO/MEAS), E-Mail: dross[at]em.uni-frankfurt.de

Image Credits (from top to bottom.): Bertram Lang