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Develop your network

In all your efforts to promote yourself and your research, don't forget about traditional approaches to building a network. As well as helping you spread the word about your work, it is also important for developing relationships and finding collaborators.

There are more opportunities than ever to develop a fruitful network. For instance, almost all EU funding calls are now accompanied by brokerage events which provide further opportunities to promote yourself and your work to potential partners and collaborators. A lot of networking advice for academics is common sense, but it's easy to forget to take advantage of these simple but effective steps.

Below are some practical tips for growing and engaging a network, and further down is specific advice for taking advantage of EU brokerage events.

General advice for developing your network

  • Use networking platforms that are specifically designed to enable professional networking and outreach, such as (opens in a new window)Research Professional, (opens in a new window)Academia.edu(opens in a new window)ResearchGate and LinkedIn.  
  • Keep in touch with mentors and past collaborators, and keep them up-to-date with your key findings.
  • Join organisations, associations and networks that will link you with academic and industry peers, like the (opens in a new window)European Women's Association.
  • Reach out to those working in areas close to yours, within and outside academia, and make them aware of your important publications.
  • Plan your career to make good use of sabbaticals and research visits.
  • Attend networking events, such as those organised by MSCA and Horizon Europe, as well as national and non-EU funding agencies. 
  • Make use of existing contacts and partnerships that can help you make new connections.
  • Use social media to find and engage with people and groups with shared interests, especially by following relevant hashtags and handles on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Attend academic conferences where appropriate. For more information, see our page on promoting your research at conferences.

Taking advantage of EU funding brokerage events

Brokerage events (sometimes called "matchmaking events") are great opportunities for increasing your visibility, offering face-to-face meetings with potential partners. Below is some guidance from NCP Networks on how to make the most of them. Remember to keep an eye on your local National Contact Point (NCP). They offer a wealth of resources and information about EU funding calls and associated networking opportunities. 

  • Plan ahead. Preparation is key to making the most of these events, so set yourself clear goals. Prepare a good profile and remember to update your other online profiles in advance of the event.
  • Spend time preparing your pitch for prospective partners. Tailor your pitch to calls identified in the work programme, or to potential partners you are going to meet. Keep it short and relevant.
  • Check the event agenda and the list of participants, and invest time in choosing potential partners to meet face-to-face. Do your homework on participants you want to meet – social media can provide a wealth of insights into potential partners or groups of interest.
  • Share relevant information with your NCP. You can also engage with them for information on potential partners or groups forming around your interest areas.
  • Reach out in advance and break the ice with contacts you plan to meet, by email or social media.
  • Follow up and stay connected after the event. Even if you don't end up collaborating on this occasion, it's always worthwhile to maintain an active network of colleagues. 

Additional tips and resources

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