Networking events, be it live or virtual, could help connect PhDs and academics with similar interests, and they could also help them discover different ways of approaching certain aspects of academia life. They could be organized in the form of conferences, seminars, lab meetings, various social events as well as online social networks, where social media profiles of academics can be used for a rather useful purpose. Such events bring people from different fields of academia together, creating opportunities for them to hear about other people's research, and also allowing them to discover different institutions they could visit in order to gain new knowledge.
Better communication and cooperation Improved visibility Support mental health and wellbeing Social integration
|Categories||Networking Social Integration & Daily Life|
|Mobility stages||During mobility phase|
|Delivery schedule||Once an academic year|
|Importance||Important to have|
|Scale of organizational change|
|Target groups||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Types of contracts of researchers||Full degree student Permanent employee Visiting scholar Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs) Exchange student|
|Career stages of researchers||Less than 6 months 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience 3-10 years of experience 10-15 years of experience More than 15 years of experience|
|Lengths of stays of researchers||0-3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months More than 12 months|
When planning networking events for PhDs/academics, the following should be kept in mind:
Apart from such rather advanced events that need a lot of resources (conferences, summer schools, etc), a great opportunity to support the social integration of incoming PhD students and academics as well as establish social and professional networks are various smaller-scale social events that are less demanding for the budget. Here are some examples:
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@ Other HEI/research organisations in city/ region - may join their forces and use the resources more efficiently to create a so-called " one-stop-shop" and plan and offer a joint " Welcome Service", especially, if also smaller institutions are involved. They can also organise joint welcome and other social networking events or even create a mixing place leading to effective networking between local and international academics. Locally organized activities have proved to facilitate the integration into a new social community.
@EURAXESS centre typically provides a wide portfolio of integration services, organises some kind of social events for incoming PhD students/academics/researchers. EURAXESS members also have expertise in mobility-related topics, can be invited as guest speakers to various events. It can also promote various events via the national EURAXESS portal and dedicated social media.
@ Municipality - can host welcome events for internationals, or provide a venue/premises for cultural events or talks where also international PhD students and academics could be invited and actively involved in programme (talks, public discussion forum), the city council. The City council can also promote various events for families (Christmas markets, cultural programme, summer cultural events, voluntary activities for better social integration of spouses, cultural events where internationals from different countries can present their culture, sports activities (runs), etc).
@Tourist information office/board in cooperation with IROs can provide materials and professional guide for the guided city tour, during pandemic many of them have prepared virtual city tours, videos (also in English, or at least with English subtitles) that can be recommended to incoming international students and academics.
@Local ex-pat centre - in several cities ex-pat centres organise welcome events for all internationals on a regular basis, they also organise lectures and seminars on various topics of interest relevant to internationals, inviting internationals to speak and share their experience.
Delivery activities are the following:
Challenges (factors to consider): These events should encourage their participants to meet and exchange information about their field of work. It might be considered to opt for organising themed networking events.
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For the tips for collaboration with external partners see the examples in the Set-up activities.
Lansing Community College organizes IT Speed Networking, an annual event which offers the opportunity for LCC IT students and local employers to connect. This is a networking event first and foremost.
The platform “EURAXESS Meeting Point VIENNA” offers different tools to support exchange and collaboration of researchers in the Vienna area in order to facilitate social integration of internationals including their family members. The platform organises regular: