The 5 things I’d tell my younger self about research, are simple, but very important.
There are a few major points I wish I’d known about as I embarked on my career, as a (relatively) fresh-faced 22 year old:
1.Your role as a young researcher is to understand data – to fully get underneath how to collect it in the right ways and go through many variations of analysing these sets of information.
2. Recruitment is one of the most difficult challenges you will come across – it is never an easy thing to accomplish, but very rewarding once your sampling targets have been met.
3. Only experience can teach you how to become a good interviewer – one who fully develops the questioning in a fashion that gives the respondent the opportunity and space to give a rich and insightful answer.
4. Aside from ethics and good practice, there are no rigid right and wrong ways to conduct your project – this is the beauty of research, but can also be a major downfall – its all about design, design and design, to help ensure you end up with the data you originally planned for and if you’re lucky, a bit more too.
5. No-one else on the planet is the same researcher as you, with the same ethos, approach and skills – this is a great thing to remember, you are unique and can collect key bits of information that others would not.
What are your top 5?