While your research is your own work, you will probably be part of a team, either in your research group and/or in a larger collaboration. Working with other people is an inevitable part of research and in the workplace, so use your time at Imperial to develop this skill.


Collaborations can be a particularly fulfilling part of a research project. They allow you to work within an extended team, develop your networks, interact with researchers with complementary skill sets, develop expertise in techniques not available in your laboratory and develop your communication skills among other advantages.

There are challenges to managing a successful collaboration. Try to respond to requests for information in a timely manner. If you can’t provide the requested information then explain why not and give an estimated time for when the information will be available. Try to maintain open channels of communication at all times - not only is it good practice, it'll be useful when you need them yourself.

If you're working in a team, make sure you agree how credit for collaborative work will be shared before you begin the research project. This will avoid conflict and disagreements later on.

Cohort building

Your department shoud have assigned you to a group of students known as a cohort. There are many activities that cohorts of students can undertake together, such as research seminars, symposia or journal clubs. Additionally, the Graduate School provides funding for cohort building activities. Further details and how to apply for funding can be found on the cohort building website.

Graduate School courses

To help improve your collaborative skills, the Graduate School runs a series of courses you can attend during your time at Imperial. These courses will help you to build your teamworking and leadership skills so you can develop as a well rounded researcher throughout your programme.