Annual Meeting Guide: Networking and Professional Development

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Are you planning on attending Neuroscience 2017? Whether you will be presenting a poster or networking with prospective employers, SfN’s annual meeting can provide you with an unparalleled opportunity to learn, connect, and advance in your career.

These tips are excerpted from “Your Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Your Time at SfN’s Annual Meeting." Read the full article.

Build your scientific network and find collaborators:

  • Bring business cards with a current email address.
  • Ask for business cards when you meet new people. Write notes about your discussion topics and why you want to connect with them on the back of their cards.
  • Identify labs whose research would be helpful to your work and go to the posters that are coming out of those labs. Contact lab members ahead of the meeting to schedule a meeting over coffee.
  • Spend time at poster sessions within your area of study, and in the areas of study of any labs you identified as potential collaborators to strike up conversations. Often, poster sessions will turn into mini-conferences for the individuals within the area of study the session is focused on.
  • Attend socials in your area of study and those that are a step removed from your work to network with colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Don’t forget the exhibit floor. Build relationships with the employees of organizations and companies that you work with throughout the year.

Build your professional skillset:

  • Attend Professional Development Workshops on topics relating to career skills. Professional Development Workshops take place Saturday-Monday during the meeting.
  • Attend the Departments and Programs Workshop to refine your teaching techniques.
  • Drop by the Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) booth and consider attending the FUN Social.
  • Attend the Career Development Topics: A Networking Event on Saturday evening. Rotate between tables that are discussing topics you want to learn more about, and network with the established neuroscientists stationed there.
  • Visit the SfN booth to learn more about the professional development and training resources that available to members on Neuronline year-round.

Do you have any questions or want to share your own tips for networking and professional development at the annual meeting? Post them in the comments below.


These tips are excerpted from “Your Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Your Time at SfN’s Annual Meeting." Read the full article.