Reviewing your networks and visibility
The phrase ‘what got you here won’t get you there’ applies to your networks as you establish yourself as a PI. You may find, as you progress your ambitions and strategy, that the networks that helped you to get where you are today may not be the same as the ones you will need in the future. Or you may need to interact with your existing networks differently from now on. It’s valuable, therefore, to pause and review your networks and your networking:
- Are the right people in your network?
- Are you doing all you can for them?
- Are you building and maintaining them effectively?
- Are you doing the right things to enhance your visibility to new collaborators?
Networking and collaboration are about reciprocity: what do you offer each other? What can you each gain from knowing each other, helping one another, or working together? So you should also be thinking about whether your networks know what you can do for them and whether you are making that clear to them.
In this section you will:
- think about who needs to be in your network as your leadership develops
- review your current networks
- reflect on your readiness and visibility for collaboration
- learn how other researchers developed their networks
- consider ways to assess and enhance your visibility and reputation
Approaches to improving your networks
Internal resources and guidance
Creating and managing your online profile at Imperial College London:
- Top tips for creating a great professional web page (PWP)
- Online course for creating your PWP
- User guide for creating your PWP
- POD’s Networking Skills workshop for all staff – the course pages also contains links to other networking resources
External resources and guidance
Networking at academic conferences:
- Wish I’d said that - Dr Sara Shinton’s blog shares reflections from researchers on conference networking chats.
- Top five ways to better academic networking – The Thesis Whisperer on chatting to people at conferences.
Cold call emails:
- A blog on approaching someone for the first time: The art of the ‘cold call’ email from The Thesis Whisperer
Boosting visibility of your outputs:
- There are some great suggestions in the University of Edinburgh’s guide to boosting the impact of publications.
Having an effective online profile:
- What does your digital footprint say about you? 15 questions from Fast Track Impact that will tell you if your professional online identity is an asset or a risk
- Managing your digital footprint – an online course from the University of Edinburgh
- Tips on how to use Twitter, LinkedIn and open research tools to maximise your findability as an academic: Upping Your Online Presence - Overview
- Aimed at early career researchers: the University of Bristol has an online guide to Networking
- More than lucky: a blog by Dr Sara Shinton with some suggestions for how you can maximize your chances at being lucky in getting an opportunity.
- Drafting a short pitch to spark interest in what your research is about – a useful structure for researchers.
- See page six on the success factors for collaborations in the University of Edinburgh’s: Research Collaborations - A guide for early career researchers by early career researchers