Early Career Researcher Advice Article of the Week: Getting with the PID programme by Dr. Barbara Lemon

If you’re a researcher in any field, chances are you want people to find, read and use your stuff, right? You probably want them to continue finding it, using it and correctly attributing it to you, whether it’s twenty days or twenty years after publication. In our current state of digital deluge, we’re pretty good on the twenty days. It’s the twenty years where we come unstuck. Enter the persistent identifier,… Read more

Sandpits can develop cross-disciplinary projects, but funders need to be as open-minded as researchers by Maxwell, Benneworth, and Siefkes

The “sandpit” method of generating cross-disciplinary research projects is gaining ground as a way to encourage innovation and creativity in research design. A sandpit is an event where academics and industry professionals from different disciplines, institutions, and places come together for three to five days with a view to creating new projects around a given theme. As a method it can indeed spark new… Read more

Early Career Researcher Advice Article of the Week: Troscianko and Bray: Resilience: The feedback dynamics between you and academia

In the first post in this series on resilience, we thought about how you and the academic environment interact. We considered some of the benefits and drawbacks of working in academia, and some of the personal characteristics that might make you more or less resilient in the face of its stresses. In this post, we offer a way of modelling these interactions in more visual, dynamic terms. Seeing things drawn as well as written… Read more
Two people talking to each other in a feedback loop

Early Career Researcher Advice Article of the Week: Jonathan O’Donnell: The effect of impact

As a research whisperer, I spend my life helping people to refine their grant applications. An important part of that is wielding the ‘big red pen of clarity’, and editing their material to help express their ideas more clearly. You can imagine my reaction when I read ‘impactful’ in a grant application recently. I was appalled. In the Australian vernacular, I nearly choked on my Weeties. This horror appeared… Read more

Janet Salmons: Two Perspectives on Critical Thinking and Research

How would you define critical thinking in the context of research? Tom Chatfield: In a sense, thinking critically is one of the foundations of research, as it entails making good arguments and seeking good explanations: asking what follows from those things we know, and how things came to be a certain way in the first place. Equally importantly, critical thinking is concerned with clarifying the limits of our knowledge… Read more
diagram of the thought process behind critical thinking.

Jenny Marlar: Do Quick Response Codes Enhance or Hinder Surveys?

Although marketers have historically used Quick Response (QR) codes — square black and white barcodes — as marketing tools, survey researchers have often wondered if using QR codes on survey invitations could make it easier for some respondents to access surveys (Dillman, Smyth & Christian, 2014; Link et al., 2014). For example, instead of typing in a URL and/or an access code to start the survey,… Read more
hand holding a smart phone with a QR Code on it

Early Career Researcher Advice article of the Week: Residential writing retreats: three wishes for academic output by Dr. Bronwyn Eager

If academia was a Disney film and I was a street rat (early career researcher) living on the sandy backstreets of Agrabah, who happened to summon a genie, my three top-of-my-head wishes would be: publications, grant money, and a pipeline of non-traditional research outputs. But after the wishes were granted and I was flying away on my magic carpet, I’d realise my error (besides the fact that I’d forgotten to wish… Read more
Photo of a typewriter on a rock in a stream

Early Career Researcher Advice Article of the Week: Advice on fellowships by Jonathan O’Donnell

Fellowship applications are hard. They force you to stand alone. You are often applying early in your career, when you feel like you don’t have much to skite about. The temptation to puff yourself up is overwhelming – then you read back on it and it makes you want to vomit, just a bit. On the other hand, Fellowships allow you to stand out. This is your moment to shine. Your moment in the spotlight. I guess it all depends on… Read more

Diego-Rosell and Joudo Larsen: Estimating the Risk of Modern Slavery in 2018

In 2017, Walk Free Foundation and the International Labour Organization estimated that there were 40 million victims of modern slavery on any given day in 2016, including 25 million people in forced labor and 15 million in forced marriage. Some regions of the world suffer this problem disproportionately, with modern slavery most prevalent in Africa (7.6 per 1,000 people) and least prevalent in the Americas (1.9 per… Read more
Pictogram of a tangle going into a cog and coming out as straight lines

Early Career Researcher Advice Article of the Week: Five common writing mistakes new scientists make by Jacqueline Gill

As a professor, journal editor, reviewer, and mentor, I review a lot of writing. I come from a long tradition of mentors who focused on writing — during my PhD, I often heard stories of my grand advisor returning his students’ work covered in red line edits, and then I experienced the same when I turned in my first drafts. My own students now know that this is something they can expect from me: close reading and detailed… Read more
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