Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Developing networks and forums

Developing networks of other researchers, academics, and others, is important in most research areas.

Networks provide you with colleagues to discuss your research ideas, potential collaborators, peer support to get you through the tough times, and contacts to help you find future jobs.

Groups and networks within the University

Here are some ideas for finding groups and networks in your School or Institute, College, and the wider University community.

  • Ask your Supervisor for introductions to other doctoral researchers in your area
  • Look out for opportunities to interact with other research groups and teams beyond your own
  • Look out for local seminar series’, journal reading clubs, researcher societies
  • Go to open talks, lectures and events that interest you, get chatting to other delegates
  • Keep in touch with fellow researchers you meet at training courses
  • Simple social activities in your School or department

Research specialist networks in the University

If you can’t find a group or network in the area you want - why not try setting up something yourself?

Groups and networks outside the University

Here are some ideas for expanding your networks beyond the University.

  • Attend conferences in your research area, and make every effort to get to know other researchers at other Universities
  • Join relevant professional bodies or organisations that represent your research discipline; they may offer events and networking opportunities you can attend
  • Attend talks and seminars at other local Universities, if relevant to your research area
  • If your area is part of a research pool, attend training and seminars at other Universities in your pool whenever possible
    • Research pools include:
      • ScotCHEM
      • SULSA
      • SUPA
      • SICSA