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Tag: originality

Unregistered Mirsumon 21 February 2012

Productivity vs Creativity

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Posted in applied research, Ethics, Getting published, PhD life, Research and education

I am at the last year of my PhD. I started working on a topic which was quite new in the sci community. I also published about 5 articles on that topic and 4 other articles in related topics. Sometimes i had too much pressure to publish my works as it normally happens in a place where you have to maintain a good balance between productivity and novelty of your work (i guess). However, sometimes i feel that i lose my interest to improve my experimental data and losing freedom of thinking about the creativity of the whole work. Sometimes, i also feel that i am running too fast that i dont even care about the trees on the street. Where is the freedom in PhD? How can we learn to be an independent researcher? Hope to have it after the PhD!!!

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Frerik van Beijnum Frerik van Beijnum 26 January 2012

Assessing research

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Posted in Ethics, Getting published, Research and education

Being a PhD student for almost three years now, a challenge I keep on running into is assessing the research projects I have done. What I mean by assessing is: judging what is new and interesting about the research. During my Master’s I thought science is all about discovering new physics. But new physics is hard to define. In optics, one may say that all physics is already in Maxwell’s equations. However, sometimes the system at hand is too complicated to solve Maxwell’s equations, in other cases it only provides complicated mathematics.

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Otto Muskens Otto Muskens 19 May 2010

Getting scooped

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Posted in PhD life

scooped 300x256 Getting scooped

Over the last 6 months I have been checking regularly the journals to see if anyone has published something in the direction of our research project. This morning, when I was just going online to check some references, the article hit me right between the eyes. There it was, my idea, the result looking exactly as I had expected it to be. Only the names of the authors are different; a leading US research group has apparently pursued the same concept and has already obtained the result we have been looking for during the last months.

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Ad Lagendijk Ad Lagendijk 16 December 2009

Five-million dollar question

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Posted in Tips

The career path in the academic world is tough. After a demanding undergraduate period, you will enter graduate school and another period of at least four years of hard work lies ahead. After acquiring your PhD you will have to work as a postdoc for a number of years.

In all those years other people tell you what to do or what to study. Your own input, as far as research subject goes, is marginal. For the majority of young scientists the final goal is to become a principal Investigator themselves, or at least to work in a group where their influence on the research direction is substantial.

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