Monday, July 8, 2013

Cold Contact and Collaborations

Academia is full of examples where who you know matters a lot. One of my goals these days is to get in contact with people who might be useful for me in the future (job, collaborations, advice etc. etc.). Mind you that I am fairly well connected, have multiple collaborators, and am generally good at inter-personal dealings. I also arrange a annual mid-sized meeting and have been on a undisclosed-post for some time now which gives me good exposure to many people and allows me to interact with them.

But I want more !

One way that I have been thinking about is to contact the local scientists in my geographical-area and start talking to them. But I am not sure how to do that. What do I say? Do I ask them to collaborate with me? Do I say nothing and just chat with them on random scientific topics?

I think part of the problem is my research area. I do not fit any of the traditional departments, and between two/three department my research lies are not always so welcoming.

I am thinking about cold-cantacting them and seeing what happens. I am not sure how to do that either. Email ofcourse. but what do I say.

Blogosphere might have some brilliant thoughts?


  1. I would definitely contact them and just tell them what you told us here. Having a research area that does not fit traditional departments is an advantage today. Your opportunities are two/three times better. You can serve as a link between research groups in two different departments. Contact them, look at their projects and try to suggest how your qualifications and skills can help them expand their research, make their research more complete and how their expertise can aid you tackle your research projects. Let them know you appreciate connections, collaborations and their professional advice. And if they are eager to build a professional relationship with you then ask them what the best way is to start a connection and why and how they choose who to collaborate with and what is actually the best way of approaching other scientists in their view.

    Good luck with you research!