As previously noted, I’m writing about how academic research and career exploration are similar over at Career Options Magazine these days. The most recent iterations of this series touch on ethics boards (shudder) and data collection (also known as getting action).
Here are some excerpts.
In order to pass the scrutiny of an ethics review board unscathed, a researcher has to identify all the things that could go wrong in the execution of their research design, and develop plans to either prevent or deal with those contingencies as they come up. It’s actually a good thing for a researcher to be a little bit paranoid in the planning stages, a little bit obsessive about and afraid of the mistakes they could potentially make, so that they can adequately address those concerns in their proposal, allaying any concerns an ethics review board might have.
I think we’re naturally conditioned to behave the same way when it comes to career exploration—the only difference being that this over-emphasis on planning is ultimately hurtful instead of helpful.
If researchers never did anything, no research would ever get done. Despite the intense critical thought and careful planning that marks the earlier stages of research, the only way to actually get any sort of results is to get out there and start collecting data. Data collection means action (even if it’s tedious, repetitive, actually quite boring action)—and when it comes to careers, the best thing we can do is to get some action.
As usual, head over to Career Options Magazine’s blogspot for the full articles.