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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Delegates networking at Language Sciences Symposium for Early Career Researchers 2023

Cambridge Language Sciences welcomed early-career researchers from across the University to an afternoon of networking skills training hosted by comedian and public-engagement consultant Dr Steve Cross

The event took place at Newnham College on 4 October. It was attended by post-doctoral researchers, PhD students and those in the early stages of their research career working in the language sciences. This was the first in-person Language Sciences Symposium for Early-Career Researchers since 2020.

The focus of the symposium was on how to build authentic, effective networks – or, as Steve Cross says, “building your network without your soul shrivelling up”.

He added “Your networking has to suit the way you work and live. So we'll focus on building relationships that build to positive personal and career outcomes, and avoid anything that feels like Pokémon (you don't have to catch 'em all).”

Steve, who describes himself as “a serious skills trainer who’s also a comedian”, brought a fun and down-to-earth approach to the day. 

The training was highly interactive, with plenty of discussion and chance to share ideas. 

Attendees were encouraged to think about how activities they like doing anyway can help build their network, and how to network in a more focussed way. 

Some key take-aways include get a mentor, apply for awards, be proactive and “make the thing you need”, be that running a seminar series or setting up a comedy night like Steve has done. 

We look forward to welcoming attendees to put their new networking skills into practice at the next Language Sciences event - the Language Sciences Annual Symposium on 16 November. 

Steve Cross is a freelance communications and public engagement consultant, Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow and former Head of Public Engagement at University College London. 

He runs the Science Showoff comedy cabaret, and Talent Factory communication and performance development programme.

Image: Networking at the Language Sciences Symposium for Early-Career Researchers. Photo by Lorene Hunault

What we do

Cambridge Language Sciences is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge. Our virtual network connects researchers from five schools across the university as well as other world-leading research institutions. Our aim is to strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines in order to address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges relating to language research.