One of the easiest ways to increase your productivity in graduate school is to collaborate. By collaborating, you can maintain a pipeline of papers. But as a graduate student, it may be hard to know who to approach for collaborations and how to approach them. You also have to be cautious about keeping your mentor in the loop and happy.
The possibilities on who to collaborate with are endless!
- You can reach out to people you have worked with in the past (e.g., people you have worked with as an undergraduate or people for whom you were a research coordinator). You can ask them to add a variable to one of their protocols (as long as it doesn’t create too much additional work for them).
- Alternatively, you can tell them that you wish to increase your productivity and ask them if there’s anything you can help them out with.
- I have also sent emails to people I have met at conferences, and they have been very receptive to collaboration. On one of these occasions, I mentioned something that they talked about at the conference and told them that I would really like to be involved with it.
- Other times, I have told these contacts that I am really interested in their research and that I would like to be involved with it in any way that I could.
In my experience it has been important to keep my mentor aware of any collaborations. You do not want your mentor finding out about the side projects you have been working on through other sources. Most mentors will be fine with collaborations as long as they don’t cause you to slack off on your graduate school duties and on the work you have been doing with your mentor.
In what ways have you struck up a collaboration? Please share your ideas.
Editor’s note: This post was written by Sophia Fitzgerald, a student in a clinical psychology PhD program. Follow her blog at http://clinicalpsychphd.wordpress.com.