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Build your network

Recommendations for expanding your professional network during your NIH training.

While you are here at the NIH, your network will provide the key to research success, friendships, career progression, and personal growth. Take time to build relationships with your PI and research group to have a collegial workplace, join trainee-focused groups to meet friends and build community, attend NIH activities to build your scientific knowledge, and meet interesting people to boost your career. And, know where to turn if you ever need help.

Settle into your research group

Build healthy relationships with supervisors, mentors, colleagues, and peers. Refer to our tips for successfully integrating into your research group page for more details.

Meet other trainees

There are thousands of trainees at all education and training levels in the NIH IRP - find new friends and get involved! The Postbac Committee, Graduate Student Council, Felcom (for postdocs), ClinFelCom (for clinical fellows), and the Visiting Fellows Committee have social channels and plan events to help you meet other trainees.

The affinity groups connect specific communities, such as LGBTQIA+, African-American, SACNAS, parents, and others. Many ICs have trainee-specific groups as well, check with your IC training director.

Connect to your Institute or Center

Meet your IC training director, attend events, and build your community within your Institute or Center.

Join the NIH scientific community

Attend the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) and participate in cross-IC discussions in Scientific Interests Groups (SIGS). Learn how basic and clinical science combine through the Demystifying Medicine series, and subscribe to the NIH events calendar. Visit our page on building relationships with mentors to support you to find out how to connect with additional mentors.

Use NIH resources

Explore the books, workshops, and resources of the NIH Library. Join a club or meet-up from NIH Recreation and Welfare (R&W). Take a course (science or non-science) from FAES. Bank at the NIH Federal Credit Union. Talk to a professional in the Employee Assistance Program, the NIH Ombudsman, or NIH Civil.


Reach out to us at with questions.