Kent networks

Kent networks

Invest in developing relationships and building networks to benefit your professional development and career progression.

Get involved and inspire your colleagues to do the same

Support your colleagues and your own professional and personal development by engaging with relevant Kent networks. As a teaching or research professional, you are a key stakeholder in the University’s academic and research community. Help to strengthen this group of dedicated staff and stay up-to-date with developments and opportunities by participating in current discussions, groups and networks for your benefit and that of your colleagues. 

There are many ways in which you can become even more involved in Kent’s research and wider communities. Participating in networks of relevance and interest can lead to other developmental and collaborative opportunities such as mentoring, job shadowing, exchanging ideas and initiating projects. Many of these count towards the 10 days of development pro rata per year recommended for all staff who research.   

Divisional networks

Strengthen your School and Divisional research communities by participating in regular, informal dialogue. Shape your local research environment by contributing to relevant networks. Engaging with colleagues in and beyond your Department, Centre, School and Division is one of the pleasures of working in an academic community. Local networks provide welcome support for both new and established research staff, and contribute to the development of a “supportive and inclusive research culture”.


Join a local group or set up your own

Some Kent Schools have established researcher networks, groups, representatives and events, and similar activities are being created or considered at Divisional level. Please contact your Divisional R&I team if you are interested in setting up or participating in a similar initiative.  

Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN)

Kent’s Early Career Researcher Network (ECRN) offers support to academic and research staff at the beginning of their careers. Whatever your role as a researcher, ECRN will be for you if you have recently completed your PhD or are relatively new to academia.

The ECRN events programme spans professional and career development, including positive mental health and wellbeing: ECRs are prioritised in terms of places, although all staff are welcome. Sessions complement the Grants Factory's tailored focus on funding and innovation policies and practices. Relevant events are mapped to the Academic Career Map and Researcher Development Framework.

External networks

Some disciplines have active subject-specific networks of researchers. These include some learned and honorary societies. Please ask your PI, academic colleagues or Divisional R&I team about any networks which may be relevant to you. 

Vitae is committed to building research communities within and beyond institutions. The University is fortunate that Dr Helen Leech from the Division of Natural Sciences is a member of Vitae's Researcher Networks Working Group. Please contact her for information about researcher networks in the natural sciences and other fields.

Keep up-to-date and in touch by participating in a researcher network

Connect with colleagues across the sector and contribute to the wider debate. Online research communities are flourishing and Vitae collates details of relevant digital networks. A similar list is provided for international research communities.     

EURAXESS - Researchers in Motion supports researcher mobility and career development. The platform offers a range of services and resources to its research community.

You may also wish to get involved with the following national network for researchers:  

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Early Career Researcher Forum

Launched in January 2021, this network is open to all postdoctoral researchers, research associates and other ECRs, and enables them to benefit from peer interaction, support and opportunities. 

UK Research Staff Association (UKRSA) group

UKRSA in association with Vitae provides a collective voice for research staff. There is no University-wide UKRSA group at Kent, although we are working towards establishing one. 

Please contact your Divisional R&I team or the Graduate and Researcher College if you would be interested in joining a Kent Research Staff Association so you can have a voice within and beyond the University.