Ways to Engage Before You Arrive


The summer that precedes your entry into a research doctorate is different from any other— and this summer is especially unique. The Northeastern research community is eager to welcome you and help you make an excellent start. Here are some suggestions of ways to engage with your research group, PI, peers, and the wider university community even before you arrive.  


Building connections with your advisor/PI

  • Set up an initial video or phone call
    • Email your advisor asking for a time to talk
    • Ask to schedule a regular meeting time
    • Ask to be invited to lab meetings (if working in a lab)
    • Ask for some initial readings
    • Ask if there is another PhD student (or students) who would be willing to keep in touch with you before your arrival
  • Read an article/book and prepare to discuss it with your advisor

Meeting your Lab Team

  • Ask your PI to be invited to lab meetings
  • Be prepared to present on research/work that you’ve done
  • Ask for everyone to do a quick round of introductions
  • Offer to do a virtual tour of your home/city/neighborhood
  • Ask to follow up with other students to learn more about their work
  • Ask if a virtual lab tour might be possible

Meeting PhD Colleagues in Other Departments

  • The PhD Network offers many events and programs for PhDs and postdocs throughout the year covering career and professional development, wellness, and more. We are continuing to offer them virtually this summer. As an incoming PhD student, you are welcome and encouraged to take advantage of this programming.
  • Explore graduate student-specific and general-interest student groups and connect with others who share your interests

Asking Questions