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As an international postdoc who’s studied the microbiome from laboratories around the world, my career moves have almost always started online, mostly at remote conferences. The opportunity to apply for my very first postdoctoral grant came at the Federation of European Microbiological Societies conference in 2014. Although I hadn’t met my future mentor — Ameet Pinto at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta — in person yet, we tweeted each other and arranged a project investigating the drinking-water microbiome.