Research Conferences

Research Conferences

Category : PROspective

This past week many of our colleagues had the opportunity to participate in the Society for Epidemiologic Research Conference, sharing with and learning from experts in the field from around the country. For many students, attending a conference for the first time may be an exciting, but intimidating experience. Presenting your research to strangers is a daunting task, but conferences can be a great place to make connections and learn more about your research field. Here are some tips on how to navigate a research conference to help you!

  1. Plan ahead. No need to wait until you get to the conference to figure out your schedule! Find the conference schedule online and take a look at who the presenters are so you can make a list of what activities and presentations you want to go to. Are there any speakers you particularly want to hear? Search for your research interests so you have an idea ahead of time how you may want to structure your visit.
  2. Conferences are a unique opportunity to meet people in person you might otherwise never run into. Whether it is someone you admire in the field or a fellow student with similar interests, taking the opportunity to get to know the other attendees could serve you in the future. If you’re too nervous to approach someone in person, try reaching out to them ahead of the conference and setting up a time to meet up.
  3. Take notes. Even though you won’t be tested on everything you learn, this is still an invaluable experience for you to learn from. You probably won’t remember everything you hear at the conference, so keeping a pen and paper or your laptop around to scribble ideas down is smart. Plus, your thoughts from different presentations could be good conversation starters when networking with new people.
  4. Set goals. Whether it be to meet someone new every day or to speak up when giving your own presentation (if you’re giving one!) setting specific goals can help you keep yourself accountable for using the conference to further your career goals.

Whether it’s your first conference or 100th, conferences can be both nerve-wracking and fun. While you may be there for work or school, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Take some time to explore a new city and reconnect with friends. If you’re interested in how SER 2022 went check out the Twitter hashtag #SER2022!

Featured Image by Terren Hurst on Unsplash


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