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10 Tips for Grad Students to Make the Most of a Scientific Conference

Conferences are a great place to get feedback on your research from leaders in your field as well as other graduate students. They’re also great for networking and building a group of contacts that you can use for advice in the future.  David Shiffman (PhD candidate at the University of Miami), shares tips and tricks for students to get the most out of a conference. Read David Shiffman’s full article.

  1. If you’re a graduate student in the sciences, you should try to attend scientific conferences (or at least one).
  2. Read ahead, e-mail ahead, and plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss anything at the conference you’re attending.
  3. If your conference has concurrent sessions, it’s ok to move between rooms.
  4. Prepare an “elevator speech.”
  5. Don’t eat alone.
  6. You should have business cards. Seriously.
  7. Don’t be afraid to approach senior/famous scientists.
  8. Look for people who look like they don’t know anybody.
  9. Be active on Twitter before, after, and during the conference.
  10. Planning ahead makes conferences more affordable.

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