Online network bids to help ‘isolated’ researchers

Restrictions imposed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic have only deepened the need for connection within the research community, says the founder of the Scientistt site

A new online networking site has been launched with the aim of bringing together academic researchers and students.

Scientistt was developed, in part, to help counter reportedly rising levels of poor mental health among PhD students.

The idea, said the free service’s founder, Hassan Mahmudul, is to open up “a professional network that is supportive in terms of lifestyle and wellness, as well as academic development and progress.

“Some of the brightest minds are working to solve the world’s biggest problems, yet they are often doing this in isolation.

“Research is a lonely profession and the current restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic have intensified the need for connection and collaboration within the research community to maintain good mental health.”

The site isn’t just academic papers and debates, it’s about our lives as researchers – Scientistt founder, Hassan Mahmudul

The Durham University graduate perceived a gap in the networking market, with the likes of LinkedIn geared towards the business sector and academic-focused platforms strong on publication sharing but offering little on the social side.

To that end, Scientistt seeks to help overcome the sense of isolation not uncommon to research life.

“The site isn’t just academic papers and debates, it’s about our lives as researchers,” added Hassan.

“I know first-hand how easy it is to become focused on the specifics of your own work and lose sight of the bigger picture, meaning you could be missing out on collaborative opportunities or multi-disciplinary approaches.

“Networking is an essential part of the research process to generate new ideas and prevent duplication of effort.”

To that end, Scientistt enables users to collaborate, access research, take part in virtual networking events, develop skills, join special interest groups, and contribute to blogs and journals.

More than 1200 people have signed up to the site following a soft launch in March, a figure expected to grow significantly in the wake of backing from Durham City Incubator and Northstar Ventures.

For further information or to sign up, visit

Related news: New HEPI report shows PhD students’ voices left ‘unheard’


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