Research-relevant networks

Networking beyond your immediate research area can be useful to gain inspiration and further your career. Here are just a few ideas.


There are numerous online forums for PhD researchers, UK based and worldwide. Here are just a few:

Public engagement and outreach activities

Getting involved in public engagement is great for your research profile and can put you in touch with a huge number of potentially interested people. The following groups and websites might be of interest:


If your research has “spin out potential”, you have a great idea for a business or you just think that one day you might want to be your own boss, joining entrepreneurial activities will open the door to a wide range of options, people and skills. The following groups and websites might be of interest:

The Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club (E-Club) is a consortium of students, alumni, researchers, faculty and staff from across the university, and colleagues from the wider community who share a common goal of fostering the entrepreneurial spirit.

Twitter: @EclubEDI

The Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club (E-Club)

Edinburgh Innovations for students, a free University support service, provides students—from undergraduates, to PhDs and recent alumni—with one-to-one help from a business advisor on all aspects of setting up a business.

Their website also has details of upcoming competitions for entrepreneurs.

Edinburgh Innovations - for students website

Converge Challenge is the largest business competition and entrepreneurial training programme in Scotland with the top prize of £60,000. They provide training (including seminars and webinars), hands-on mentoring, business support and give out cash prizes up to £35,000.

The competition is open to staff, postgraduate and final year students of all Scottish Universities and Research Institutes and they work with any Industry sector, product or service-based ideas at any stage of development.

Twitter: @ConvergeC

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship. Each year, it plays a critical role in encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to consider starting up their own business through events. Their aim is to create a collaborative, local and practical week which enables people to learn more about the wealth of support that is available to entrepreneurs in the UK.

Twitter: @gewuk

The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) provides online resources, events, activities and training for students in Scotland who want to start up their own ventures, and develop their entrepreneurial talent.

Twitter: @_sie_

Scottish Institute for Enterprise website

The University’s Business School runs events covering a spectrum of business topics including finance, entrepreneurship, climate change and corporate governance.

Twitter: @uoebusiness

Events run by the University of Edinburgh Business School

Informatics Ventures - a partnership of the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Enterprise and the European Regional Development Fund - was established to nurture Scottish entrepreneurial talent and fuel innovation in the high tech sector. Through their practitioner led education programmes, they aim to enable aspiring entrepreneurs to translate ideas into successful commercial ventures.

Twitter: @infventures

Informatics Ventures: support for high-tech business start-ups

Interdisciplinary groups

Finding (or founding) an interdisciplinary groups can be a great way to meet people and broaden your horizons. A great example is:

The ASCUS arts-science collective

If you can’t find a group or network in the area you want - why not try setting up something yourself?