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Setting up research projects


Today at work I am mostly tinkering around in the background with a research project we are going to be doing. It has been internally agreed, but is not yet out in the big wide world. This gives me a lot more opportunities to fret and be anxious about aspects of it (such as recruiting someone experienced in the area to work specifically on it) than I would have if it were announced and ‘public property’.

Nothing will go wrong, and we do plenty of these projects every year, but I find them much more challenging than developing and starting my own (academic) research projects, which have never to date been collaborative to the same degree as the ones in work. I know that there are some people who find it much less stressful to be involved in a group or pair when doing research, but I find myself much more anal (and, therefore, anxious) about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s when there are other people with a stake in endeavour. I don’t find this to be so with any of the academic advisers I’ve had, but perhaps that is because none of them have ever really invested very much!

I will fret about this project until it is under way, anyway.



  1. What are the things you ENJOY about working with others? If you focus on the positive aspects, you'll fret less. Working on your own, you have more control and are responsible for all elements. Collaboration means giving up some of that control and working in a different way. It can bring about some new insights that are then useful the next time you work on your own.

    Good luck!

  2. La Graciada says:

    Thanks, Devon. It is far more the initial start-up that gets me anxious because there are just so many contingencies to plan for. Once things are up and running, I like project work a lot more. It's getting a group of people all up to speed and on the same page that's most stressful!

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