November 4, 2019

Do you have what it takes to be a researcher?

Here's a look at some of the quirks that researchers have (and have to endure). 

2 min read

Research can sometimes be tedious, if not outright unpleasant. But the process can often be quite humorous as well.

1. Frame the question

If you’re lucky enough to frame the research questions yourself (and they aren’t handed over to you by your donor), spend an inordinate amount of time on framing every trivial and non-trivial question.

Illustration of a researcher stratching his head

2. Navigate data collection

a) Take a picture with the panchayat head. 

b) Build relationships with your respondents (drink what they offer, always).

c) Manage the patriarchy when you need to talk to anybody but the ‘man of the house.’

Illustration of a researcher in a village

Related article: Nonprofit flow chart | Should you write that research report?

3. Guard your data

Even though you know full-well that a large chunk of it will never be used. 

Illustration of a researcher hoarding his research like a dragon guarding gold

4. Present what you’ve found

Even if everybody else at the conference is busy either networking or eating snacks. 

Illustration of a researcher at a conference

5. Get your findings published in a peer reviewed, high-impact journal

If can you survive the black hole that is the review process.

Illustration of a researcher trying to get his work published

Illustrations by Subash Surendran Padmaja.

*Aditya KS and Aakansha Melkani contributed to this article. 

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Subash Surendran Padmaja profile|
Subash Surendran Padmaja

Subash Surendran Padmaja is an agricultural economics scientist with Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research. He has been involved in household level survey-based research in India and Nepal, and started his career as a researcher with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).