Collaborating in science is nothing new. However, as we adjust to life during a pandemic, more researchers might require support from colleagues and depend on those partnerships to collect the data they need to keep their labs operational. Here are some guidelines we have developed as we re-envision and diversify our collaborations.
Share the load
Most researchers seek out colleagues in their broad field to collaborate with. But challenges imposed by the pandemic might mean that other factors, such as location or ease of collecting samples, should count for more when considering potential collaborators.
Know what you’re looking for
Having a clear set of goals for what you want to achieve in the collaboration will help you to identify who you could ask for help and how you can offer support to others.
Working on multiple projects can become overwhelming, so we have been careful to set realistic expectations for ourselves and our collaborators. Although it might be tempting to pile on the data-collection opportunities, managing one or two well-executed collaborations will probably be much more effective than haphazardly collecting samples for many collaborators at once.
This is (an abstract) an article from the Nature Careers Community, a place for Nature readers to share their professional experiences and advice.