The journey of doctoral research is full of excitement and intellectual stimulation. As a doctoral candidate, we spend a lot of time delving into the depths of our research topics, analysing and assimilating new knowledge each day and acquiring new skills that goes on to shape our careers in the future. While our main focus is on working on our research topics and contribute to the advancement of the scientific knowledge, the major aspect of building a professional network is often overlooked. The main reasons for not neglecting professional networking during your PhD are:
1. Expanding your knowledge and perspectives by exchanging ideas with fellow researchers and scholars
2. Identifying potential collaborators and building a framework for joint publications, grants and projects
3. Gaining insights into industry trends, career paths and job opportunities and establishing relationships with experienced professionals for guidance
4. Gaining access to funding opportunities and resources like specialized equipment, facilities and expertise not available at your own institution
5. Enhancing communication and presentation skills
As part of SPEAR, I get to benefit from both industrial and academic networking opportunities. I have gained insights into how an industrial entity functions by sharing my results and exchanging ideas in team meetings and meetings with partners at Antaios. I also try to take advantage of the rich scientific culture in Grenoble. Last month, I had the opportunity to present my work at Rencontres des Jeunes Physicien(ne)s, 2023. Many young physicists from Grenoble presented their work ranging from biophysics to astronomy. It was a fruitful day where we learnt about nature photography and some awe-inspiring photos from the James Webb Telescope.
SPEAR training sessions are an excellent opportunity for networking. We not only build strong connections within ourselves but also exchange ideas with the invited speakers who bring a wide range of ideas, experience and technical expertise. We get a chance to develop a collaborative project in a new environment during our secondments. Last few months, we hosted Marco (ESR 3) at Antaios and we had a great time discussing results, exchanging ideas and spending hours in the lab. I am looking forward to my secondment at ETH Zurich for a beautiful Swiss experience and to benefit from their expertise in spin orbit torques.