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075. When Research Sucks (R)

It’s inevitable.  At some point in your research career, you’re going to get that sinking feeling.

Your experiments will all fail, your PI will get on your case about finishing that paper, and your graduation date will drift maddeningly out of reach.

So what can you do when your research starts to drag you down?

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166. Want to Improve Research Careers? Scientists Have 5,434 Suggestions.

The CACTUS Global Mental Health Survey asked valuable questions about stress, performance, and career goals for scientists.

The data revealed plenty of room for improvement, as researchers struggle with harassment, work-life balance, and limited pay.

But the study’s authors also asked more open-ended questions:

Do you have any suggestions for organizations within academia or other related stakeholders on what they can do to ensure a great work environment for researchers?

The received 5,434 ideas from the 13,000 survey respondents.

This week, we’re joined once again by Andrea Hayward, Senior Associate for Global Community Engagement at Cactus Communications.

We unpack the themes she uncovered from those responses, and identify the many ways in which Academia can foster a more supportive research environment.

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165: A Survey Asked Researchers About Their Mental Health. Here’s What They Said.

Most academics are overwhelmed, even the ones who are successful in terms of being productive researchers, busy teachers and efficient administrators. But, they seem like the norm and everyone who struggles is not, and this needs to be disrupted and changed.

Research fellow/post-doctoral researcher, Africa.

I’m worried about sexism in academia in general and this might make me want to leave after finishing my PhD, even though my current work environment is good.

PhD scholar, Europe

It’s not about free time, it’s a lack of free energy. Who can do hobbies when you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally drained?

Lecturer, North America

Would it surprise you to hear that researchers and scientists around the globe are stressed out? Long hours, competitive labs, and unpredictable funding are just a few of the factors that contribute poor mental health among academics.

Graduate students tend to suffer the most, as they don’t receive the same support as those more advanced in their careers.

This week on the show, we delve into data collected by the Cactus Foundation from their 2020 Mental Health Survey Report.

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164. The Essential Guide to Grad School Applications

Do you hear it? It’s the sound of hopeful scientists frantically typing out their grad school applications!

They’re pondering the best format for a CV, scouring University websites to learn more about each graduate program, and begging their research advisors to PLEASE make the time to write that letter of recommendation!

The silence you hear is the sound of trepidation as they sit down to write their personal statements….

This week on the show, we unpack the essential elements of a grad school application, and what you need to know before you begin.

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163. The 3 T’s of Successful Field Research

The only thing harder than hiking for three hours into a remote boreal forest is realizing you forgot your sample kit back in the lab.

For many researchers, running out of a reagent means walking down the hall to borrow more from a neighboring lab, but field researchers don’t have that luxury. They may be hours away from their labs, and miles away from the van.

That’s why planning is so important.

This week, we learn the three T’s you should remember to pack on EVERY trip.

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