The last year, I have been granted a fund from a workshop in High Prestigious Conference, from a couple of days I have received from the organizer if I would like to volunteer in organizing the next workshop and help in bringing funding and contacts. For sure, I do like volunteering and there are many important profiles volunteering, and I am the lowest one. I don't have so many contacts in my field likely organizations. I am afraid that I think I am not going being able to contribute massively compared to other members. It is the first time to receive this volunteering opportunity and I don't know what could be the possible pros and cons behind my participation?

I don't know whether I should focus only on research in the recent moment or participate in organizing the workshop.

  • This is for you to decide... We don't know all your circumstances or the possible networking opportunities you may, or may not, come across...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


There's a lot of work involved in organising workshops, but as the most junior member of the committee, you're not likely to be asked to take the lead on soliciting for sponsors and so on. There would probably be a lot of grunt work involved for a few days leading up to the workshop and perhaps scattered calls on your time here and there overall.

If organising a workshop prevented researchers from doing their primary research, I doubt that any researcher would volunteer for the job. Getting to meet leading researchers in your field on a personal basis is a 'Pro' that you shouldn't dismiss too quickly. You could end up discussing their pet theories while driving them around or asking them about your own research over lunch. Or you might be assigned to stack chairs and have to make your own opportunities.

The opportunities are there for the taking, and the time commitment shouldn't be onerous. It would be wise to ask previous committee members about their experience, especially about whether / how it impacted their research. You can also speak with the workshop chair about how much time you have available for the role, should you take it up. This would help you judge whether it is practical for you to volunteer in this instance.

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