Networks are really important: many successful researchers see them as key to their effective working. These are the sort of things that people say about their networks:
- they keep you informed - of interesting developments, forthcoming opportunities, good practice, etc
- they save you time - you don't need to reinvent wheels, you can learn how other people have done things
- they provide support - and we all need this from time to time from like-minded folk
- they help you with your career - in all sorts of ways.
You may at times want to focus on the subset of your peers that are actively engaged in your field(s) or work. This is commonly referred to as a ‘community of practice' (cf Etienne Wenger) and can often be the best initial source of help.
It's helpful to map your networks to see if there are any gaps. Here's a framework that may be helpful:
Use this framework - you may want to adapt it to suit your particular needs, to help you to assess the state of health of your networks.
Then consider what you could do to strengthen your networks.
You may also be interested in the different stakeholders page.
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