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Build Your Network as a PhD Student

Telfer PhD students attending the IACM conference

Telfer PhD students and faculty attending the IACM conference, from left to right: Hong Qui, Ritu Virk, A.J. Corner, Andrew Scarffe, Elmira Mirbahaeddin, Ghazale Shoghaliniri, Manal Chakra, Vu Chu. Missing from the photo is Yanhong Li.

The International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) held its 35th annual conference in Ottawa this year, welcoming nearly 200 delegates from 17 countries to the capital from July 10 to 13, 2022. As the leading academic organization for the study of negotiation and conflict, the IACM connects a global membership of established and emerging researchers with government representatives and private sector consultants.

Sponsored by Telfer

As an IACM partner, Telfer was proud to sponsor several students from the Telfer PhD in Management program. They were selected for this experiential learning opportunity through a competitive application process funded in keeping with Telfer’s Areas of Strategic Impact. The selected participants represented a diversity of research topics and program fields, such as Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources (OBHR), Entrepreneurship, and Health Systems; all of which include aspects of negotiation and conflict management.

Breaking COVID isolation to build networks

This conference was a first in-person experience for many. After an isolating start to their doctorate studies because of the pandemic, attending this conference allowed the students to expand their networks and renew their determination. This was particularly impactful for Elmira Mirbahaeddin, doctoral candidate in Health Systems: “I found the conference a valuable experience personally because after a couple of years of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference gave me a sense of vitality in academia. It was a chance to meet like-minded individuals who had similar challenges such as focusing on research and being productive in lockdowns, working on a thesis during a pandemic and aiming to publish in leading journals.”

Elmira MirbahaeddinPhD Spotlight – Elmira Mirbahaeddin

Why attend a conference as a doctoral student?

One of the highlights of this event was the Doctoral Student Workshop, which provided insights, resources and support for PhD students. Many of the Telfer students saw it as an opportunity to have meaningful interactions with other researchers and learn from their experience. Here are some of their concrete take-aways:

  • Tips for conducting and disseminating research
  • Teaching strategies
  • Suggestions for future research topics
  • Insights into an academic career
  • Tools and resources to overcome challenges
  • Motivation to pursue and deepen their research
  • Understanding of the importance of networks and collaboration

A. J. Corner, professor of OBHR at Telfer, encouraged students to take part in this learning experience: “It was wonderful to see the level of engagement of our students and how much they gained from the conference experience.” Professor Corner assisted the IACM board of directors, serving as a Local Arrangement Chair in planning the event.

Read about Professor Corner's research on the different ways expatriate employees interpret and respond to psychological contracts.

Benefits of peer networking

Conferences like this are an invaluable opportunity to connect with other doctoral students, according to Andrew Scarffe, whose research focuses on health systems management, risk perception, regret and decision-making. “Hearing about their experiences, programs of research and career aspirations was a learning opportunity for me. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to learn from my peers in this type of setting.”

Other benefits of networking include:

  • Help narrowing your research focus
  • Meeting peers and colleagues
  • Learning from others’ lived experience
  • Gaining information and knowledge
  • Creating partnerships
  • Finding tools and resources
  • Getting advice from experts

Find networking opportunities at Telfer

Telfer’s Research Office offers seminars, forums and events where graduate students have the opportunity to network with their colleagues as well as business leaders and policymakers. Check out the Telfer Research Seminar Series and stay up to date on networking opportunities at Telfer by visiting the research events page

Did you know that Telfer offers funding for PhD students who want to present their research at a conference? Apply now for the PhD Graduate Student Conference Travel Support.

About the Author

En tant que conseillère en mobilisation des connaissances et communications, Mireille transforme les concepts et les impacts de la recherche de l'École de gestion Telfer de manière à rejoindre un large éventail de publics et rehausser l'image et la réputation de l'école.<br/><br/>As Knowledge Mobilization and Communications Advisor, Mireille translates Telfer researchers interests and impacts in a clear and engaging manner in order to reach a range of audiences and enhance the School’s image and reputation.

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