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UCD Research Skills & Career Development

Forbairt Ghairme & Taighde Scileanna UCD

Networking both internally and externally

Researchers can develop their networking skills by contacting other colleagues, both within and outside of the university, and PI/Mentors may have some useful contacts that they would be willing to pass on. Talking to other researchers in the university about their role and the type of work in which they are involved is a useful way of understanding work in different contexts, and can help researchers make better informed decisions about potential moves to other environments.  The opportunity to discuss experiences and exchange knowledge, insights and perspectives is a useful exercise and helps people to see challenges differently and even come up with creative solutions to move a situation forward. 

Benefits of networking

  • Networking internally- raise your profile, source new project opportunities, strengthen relationships with stakeholders and gather information on requirements
  • Networking externally with peers - exchange of best practice knowledge, learn new methods, stay abreast of latest news or find knowledge or contacts to help a colleague.

 How do they operate?
Networks are operated on an informal basis and are self managed so the ground-rules, procedures and areas for discussion are agreed by the network participants.  The network can operate by email or face to face and as well as a forum for discussion and problem solving. It allows people a sounding board to test out new ideas in front of a cross disciplinary audience.  It is recommended that in order to build and nurture interpersonal connections that the network meets face to face at least once every three months.  However the idea is not to become too prescriptive so that the network is something that participants choose to maintain rather than it becoming an onerous obligation.