Historically, science education research has been aligned with a collection of familiar topics and ideas: inquiry-based learning, conceptual understanding and research on multiple representations, to name a few. Today, science education research is considerably more varied. The scope of traditional journals has widened to include topics such as digital technologies, STEM, and equity and diversity. In addition, researchers are increasingly embracing interdisciplinarity, and are employing theoretical and methodological frameworks from other fields, such as computer science, sociology and linguistics, to understand the new and enduring problems in science education.

Early career researchers are at the forefront of progressing ideas forward, as they generate innovative new knowledge as part of their doctoral research and beyond. Thus, in this special issue, we wish to capture a moment in time: a look at the innovations of today that will become the research programs of tomorrow. As a group of three early career academics, we are curious about the future of science education research and are ourselves working to contribute new understandings to the field. Driven by the question ‘What research can we look forward to emerging in the next decade and beyond?’, we invite contributions from early career academics for a RISE special issue titled Early Career Innovations in Science Education Research.

We invite authors who identify as early career science education researchers (e.g., an individual who is within five years or equivalent of the award of their PhD) to contribute articles that highlight new ideas, methodologies, theories and practical approaches in science education. Contexts may include early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary, workplace, and informal learning settings.

We ask contributing authors to pay attention to and elaborate upon how the article demonstrates the “innovation” theme of the special issue. Innovation is broadly interpreted as reflecting research that aligns with one or more of the following criteria:

● New (new frontiers, contemporaneous responses to current issues);● Divergent (controversial or contentious, reinterpreting past perspectives, null results); and/or● Creative (merging approaches, crossing disciplinary boundaries, reinvigorating science learning and teaching).

Papers may take the form of:

·   A review article that transforms our current state of understanding or characterizes a new field;·   A theoretical/methodological article presenting new perspectives, frameworks or techniques relevant to contemporary science education; or·   An empirical research article employing rigorous quantitative and/or qualitative methods to substantiate innovation claims and practices.


Call for contributions: September 30, 2021

Submission of abstract deadline: November 30, 2021

Notification and feedback from guest editors via email: January 31st, 2022

Submission of full manuscript (max 6,000 words): July 31, 2022

Peer review process: July 31, 2022 to November 30, 2022

Submission of final manuscript: January 31, 2023

Publication (early view): Feb/March, 2023

Submission Guidelines

Interested authors should submit a title and 500-word abstract to Dr Reece Mills, Queensland University of Technology, Australia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Please include the names, emails and institutional affiliations for every co-author. Please note that in multiple-author papers, the ECR should be the first-named author.