The path to useful discovery and innovation comes from talented individuals who refuse to give up. There are certain skills that we have all observed in great thinkers and scientists whom we greatly admire.
If you are planning to venture into research and wondering whether you would be good enough by judging your IQ, it is not just that. Intelligence is a huge component but there are several other characteristics that you must possess in order to succeed in this field. The purpose of this article is to convey the idea that even if you do not possess these qualities, you can improve upon them to reach your goals in your research career.
If you still have the child-like wonder that makes you ask questions about the world around you and how it works, you can be open to a lot of subjects that need your inquisitive ideas. Thinking about how different systems work will help you discover the gaps in knowledge and open up questions that can be built into useful studies.
Build upon this quality if it is lying latent somewhere in your mind as it is an extremely important quality for research work.
2. Open mindedness
Confining yourself to one way of thinking is never a good quality to stay curious. It limits your worldview and finding new connections and avenues or solutions to problems will become difficult. Therefore, thinking outside the box and keeping the space open for fresh ideas is highly important for the truth to reveal itself.
Keeping a neutral mind during research work is required to deal with unexpected results. Sometimes the experiments do not yield the results that you were expecting or you might get stuck due to your own techniques and approaches to the question being asked. Overcoming these unexpected hurdles is what defines a good researcher.
3. Time and data management skills
This might be the least discussed quality of a researcher. The curious and inquisitive mind is always asking questions but there needs to be a system to store all that information in an organised way so that it can be accessed at the right time during research. Good data organising includes note taking, tracking the results and backing everything up. Practices like these are learned over time and save unnecessary experiment repetition.
Time management is important in order to stay on track and give each task the required time without getting overwhelmed at any point.
The complete research design should have a flow that is guided by logic. Keeping in mind the resources available, safety and practicality, the experimental path has to be changed to take the next sensible step for the research question to be answered.
When your paper is ready to be published, it will go through rigorous tests to check its validity and soundness of logic within the design. Having a logical approach from the start will help you stay objective and achieve success.
Lab Work requires extreme patience and determination. The equipment does not always cooperate or the personnel might not be there to help but during all these predicaments, keeping a cool mind and waiting is very important to stay consistent in your progress towards the results.
Time constraint can also be a stressful aspect but dealing with it all while believing that your work is moving forward is something that you must cultivate.
All of this hard work and exercising logic has to be rooted in a strong moral standard because if the researcher’s integrity is questionable, your work will lose meaning within your community. A good researcher must follow all lab and data collection protocols- this includes, taking care of equipment and not leaking or tampering with sensitive data or information that is obtained for the research
Data analysis should be done with absolute transparency and should never be manipulated to fit a certain hypothesis or idea for your convenience. You must be committed to the truth and the honest search for the truth.
These are the qualities that you need to polish in order to make your research process more efficient and excel in your career. If you come across some quality that you do not possess then it is time to start improving and exercising that quality because it is never too late to start. At the end of the day, your self-reliance and commitment to finding answers will propel you to perform better work and improve constantly. Ask your peers and supervisors where you are lacking and you can take the first step from there.