Expanding your networks

Today, research is more international than ever and it is important to establish a network of collaborators. These contacts can help discuss and review ideas, exchange reagents, tissues and animal models, and they could even be future employers or collaborate with you on a grant. 

One of the best ways to meet fellow researchers is to attend conferences and seminars, both inside and outside of your field. However, many people find networking at conferences stressful. If so, you might find the following tips useful: 

  • Attend the poster sessions and ask questions. People love talking about their work. Make sure you exchange names and email addresses before you move on. 
  • Try and think of a relevant question to ask after a presentation. This can help get your name known while you are an early career researcher. 
  • Join in person or digital networking events during the conference; this could include dedicated mentoring or networking sessions, so keep an eye out for opportunities dedicated to expanding your network.
  • Ask your supervisor, mentor or another trusted colleague to introduce you to others during the conference.
  • Follow up with people you meet on LinkedIn or by email. Perhaps share an article of mutual interest.
  • Introduce others. If you take the time to make introductions, people will repay the favour.
  • Stop when you’ve had enough! If you find networking stressful, set yourself a limit of speaking to two new people and then take some time out.

Find out about upcoming pharamacology events and conferences

If you are unable to travel to conferences or join online meetings, there are other ways to raise your profile (in addition to publishing):

  • Reach out to other pharmacologists through the online BPS Community - a dedicated online space for members to share, collaborate and build networks globally.
  • Try writing a comment article or blog on your research – check out the Society’s blog and Pharmacology Matters magazine for inspiration
  • Embrace press interest in your research – it is important to promote good science! Reach out to your university and funder’s press office for support in sharing your research with the media
  • Sharing articles and news on LinkedIn 
  • If you know someone else attending the conference, ask if they could present or reference your work on your behalf at a conference
  • Make the most of new technology – ask if you can present by videolink at conferences
  • Get involved in Society committees and groups - you will gain insight into different areas of Society activity and work with members from around the world.