Jul 10, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

Electronic collaboration tool Slack has changed the way coworkers communicate. But the imperative to collaborate is far from limited to the business world. As all graduate students know, collaboration is also alive and well in academia. Enter Grad Student Slack. Here’s a closer look at this exciting new community, as recently reported by Science magazine.

Introducing Grad Student Slack

After using Slack to communicate with others while working on her research, graduate student Brittany Jack realized the tremendous value she stood to gain from interacting with other students who shared her career stage. So Jack teamed with two other graduate students to launch Grad Student Slack. Her motivation for doing so? “I just wanted to have a community and...camaraderie with graduate students across the world. We are all going through the same thing, and we can give each other advice,” she said.

Is Grad Student Slack for You?

Wondering if Grad Student Slack is for you? The answer is simple: If you’re enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program, it is.

And while the group is still small at just 300 members, it’s growing fast since its launch last month with interest coming not only from the US, but also from all over the world. Currently, more than 40 forums exist covering topics ranging from cell and molecular biology to how to mentor undergraduate students.

Enthuses grad student Ankita Patil of Grad Student Slack, “It is a space for open and honest discussions about graduate school, both the personal and the professional aspects of it. It’s also nice that there are plenty of students who actively engage in the conversations. It definitely allows you to voice your opinions or ideas without feeling like they may be singled out or dismissed.”

“Grad Student Slack is able to provide that broader sense of community that I haven’t yet found on campus. I’ve met other students both within my discipline and from other branches of science, to mention students at my university that I wouldn’t have otherwise interacted with,” adds grad student Joshua Landman.

Another way to connect with other grads while gaining exposure? Blogging about your research. Check out the advantages of doing so here.

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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