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Research scientists play a pivotal role in society. Their passion for science will drive them forward, leading to new discoveries that will ultimately make the world a better place. Unfortunately, as the professional environment becomes more and more competitive, research scientists today cannot just rely on technical knowledge to carve successful careers. Besides technical skills, they will need to acquire other skills, such as how to communicate their science to the outside world. A Survival Guide for Research Scientists is a one-stop-shop that will help you to develop those core skills not often taught at school or university.
The book has been written by an author with more than 20 years of scientific research experience (across different scientific disciplines). She has not only been a research scientist but also a writer, a consultant, a sole-trader and a project manager.
A Survival Guide for Research Scientists takes on a holistic approach in order to help you pave the way for success. As such, it features practical guidelines on how to:
• conduct your scientific research (how to: do literature review, design experiments, adopt best practice, ensure health and safety, etc.).
• write and edit (reports, bid proposals, peer review publications, etc).
• interact with the outside world (be a team leader, manage a project, network, deal with difficult people, do presentations, organise meetings, etc.).
• look after your career (and get your dream job).• look after yourself (and how to manage stress).
• look for a job (develop your CV, prepare for interviews, etc.).
• become self-employed (and achieve business success).
• deal with redundancy (and move forward in life, etc)
Whatever your scientific background may be, this book is the perfect accompaniment, to guide you at every stage of your career.
Table of Contents
This section describes the goal of the book, what to expect, what not to expect, how to use the book, who is the book intended for, what to expect from the chapters, etc.
This chapter is intended as background information not discussed in the other chapters. The material is aimed at early-career scientists. It gives an overview of how to choose the right science project, what to look for in a supervisor, the importance in understanding organizational structure, where to look for support in your organization, appreciating the different types of organizations (and understanding their goals), etc. The chapter also discusses the different career paths available and the pitfalls of certain jobs (e.g. postdocing). It looks at the difference between academia, industry and government research – their goals, advantages/ disadvantages of the different working cultures, and the like. Finally, the chapter will discuss “research ethics,” e.g. declaring conflicts of interest, plagiarism, copyright issues, and the negative impact of what happens when you “cherry pick” results, etc. The goal of this chapter is to encourage readers to have an awareness of their “working ecosystems” and to harness good working ethics before embarking upon a research project.
3. LITERATURE REVIEWThis chapter guides the reader on how to properly carry out a literature research. It discusses sub-topics such as: how to “skim and pick” amongst a sea of literature, describes different methods of conducting a literature review and identifies different search engines. The chapter will give a step-by-step protocol or checklist on what to do when conducting a literature research.
4. HEALTH AND SAFETY
This chapter discusses the importance of implementing a safe approach to conducting experiments in the lab. It will discuss topics such as COSHH (Controlof Substances Hazardous to Health), how to identify potential hazards and assess risk. The chapter will contain case scenarios when health and safety have been disregarded and discuss their impacts. The chapter will provide a checklist on how to perform risk assessment.
5. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN AND DATA REPORTING
This chapter aims to answer several questions: How do I design an experiment? What do I do when an experiment goes wrong? What do I do with the generated data? How do I undertake data analysis and reporting? The chapter will advise on what to do when designing an experiment and reporting the data. 6. MANAGING YOUR PROJECTS
This chapter discusses the project and time management skills needed to delivery your projects successfully. The topic also focuses on how to deal with difficult people and difficult situations, understanding different personality types and your strategy of how to deal with/p> them. ;
7. PRESENTATION SKILLS
This chapter discusses how to create slides, how to shape your presentation material and how best to deliver your material in order to create impact. The chapter will give a checklist on what to do when you are tasked with doing a PowerPoint presentation and how to prepare your speech.
8. WRITING FOR PEER REVIEW JOURNAL ARTICLE
This chapter discusses the different journals and how to identify which journal is best for you. It discusses the practicalities of writing for peer review e.g. writing styles, how to enhance acceptance rate, different elements in a peer review article etc. The chapter will give a step by step protocol or checklist on what to do when you are task to write a journal article for peer review.
9. GRANT WRITING
This chapter deals with questions: what is networking, why network, how to create a personal brand, tips to boost confidence, practical tips, etc.