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Survival Strategies for Graduate Research

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Survival Strategies for Graduate Research Fran Shaver and Bill Reimer Concordia University Workshop 1 Graduate Research Excursions in Sociology & Anthropology – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Survival Strategies for Graduate Research


1
Survival Strategies for Graduate Research
  • Fran Shaver and Bill Reimer
  • Concordia University
  • Workshop 1 Graduate Research
  • Excursions in Sociology Anthropology
  • 6th Annual Conference
  • SAGSA, Concordia University
  • March 24, 2007

2
Options
  • Developing completing a research topic
  • Planning, implementing your graduate career
  • Finding, integrating, participating in research
    projects

End
3
Developing / Completing Research Topics
  • Bill Reimer
  • March 24, 2007
  • http//reimer.concordia.ca

4
Start with YOUR interest
  • A passion
  • Environment, cars, clothes, war, money
  • A frustration
  • Jobs, a friend, a disease, a course
  • An enduring question
  • Love, peace, poverty, prejudice
  • An impending challenge
  • Graduation, travel, marriage, rents

5
Brainstorming the Issues
  • Repress the critic
  • Write down your thoughts
  • Start a research log
  • Leave room for future organization
  • Work with others
  • Work toward questions

6
Reorganizing the Issues
  • Nesting the questions
  • Look for small steps to answering the big
    questions
  • Revise where necessary
  • How can we revitalize rural Canada?
  • How can we increase employment?
  • How get better access to services?
  • How far is the nearest doctor?
  • Who has the greatest need for medical services?
  • How is population changing?
  • What are the patterns of in-migration and
    out-migration to and from rural Canada?
  • Who makes the decisions about the future of rural
    Canada?
  • Whose interests are served by those decisions?

7
Think strategically
  • In order to answer the big question, what little
    questions do I have to answer?
  • Which little questions can I answer by March?
  • Which little questions are most critical to
    answer?

8
Think for Yourself
  • Avoid rhetorical questions
  • Choose questions meaningful to YOU
  • Will it help you decide your career?
  • Will it help you choose a strategy for righting a
    wrong?
  • Will it help a friend?
  • Will it help you avoid a problem?
  • Will it contribute to answering your big
    questions?

9
Answer the Question
  • Doesnt have to be right
  • Helps clarify the question
  • Helps clarify strategies for answering it
  • Clarifies biases

10
Biases are acceptable Now
  • Provide the motivation for research
  • Inspire new insights
  • Focus attention
  • BUT They must be considered as part of your
    research design

11
Being wrong is acceptable
  • We learn more from being wrong than we do from
    being right
  • Being right is maybe,
  • Being wrong is for sure
  • We Support, we dont Prove

12
Developing / Completing Research Topics
  • Bill Reimer
  • Teaching / Tips tools
  • http//reimer.concordia.ca

Return
End
13
Planning your graduate career
  • Key Skills Strategies
  • Fran Shaver and Bill Reimer
  • Concordia University

14
Key Skills
  • Raising the right questions
  • Answering those questions
  • Getting the information
  • Critically analyzing information
  • Communicating

15
Raising the right questions
  • Use the literature / find out how others asked
    the questions
  • Explore a variety of frameworks
  • How to build rural capacity?
  • Economists capacity to generate jobs
  • Sociologists capacity to work together
  • Psychologists capacity to learn
  • Most research ? better questions

16
Answering those questions
  • Research design methodology
  • Explore a wide variety of options
  • Options real choices
  • Different types of questions require different
    approaches
  • Analytic, normative, empirical

17
Getting the information
  • Learn many approaches / techniques
  • Interviewing
  • Observing
  • Document analysis
  • Library
  • Internet
  • Census
  • Surveys

18
Critical analysis
  • Fundamental to learning
  • Learn a wide range of tools
  • Qualitative vs quantitative a false dichotomy
  • Critical skills vital
  • Marketable feature of your training

19
Communicating
  • Multiple venues
  • Written
  • Academic
  • Contracts (public private)
  • Popular
  • Oral multimedia
  • Commentary
  • Policy development

20
Key Strategies
  • Work with others
  • Explore your environment
  • Expand your options
  • Apply your knowledge

21
Work with others
  • Reading circles
  • Brainstorming
  • Thesis support groups
  • Ask if you have a question

22
Explore your environment
  • Who is working on similar topics
  • Where is it being done
  • Check out professors writings

23
Expand your options
  • Maintain your curiosity
  • Explore new approaches
  • Explore new tools
  • Explore new methods

24
Apply your knowledge
  • To your research
  • To your personal situation
  • Showing interest ? positive response
  • Working together is more productive

25
Planning your graduate career
  • Fran Shaver and Bill Reimer
  • Teaching / Tips Tools
  • http//reimer.concordia.ca

Return
End
26
Participating in Research Projects
  • Fran Shaver and Bill Reimer
  • March 24, 2007
  • http//reimer.concordia.ca

27
Research your environment
  • Using web department materials
  • Identify faculty interests, publications,
    research projects
  • Read their publications websites
  • Speak to your colleagues

28
Meet the professor
  • Indicate your interests status
  • Listen
  • Offer assistance
  • Request permission to meet team

29
Find your angle
  • Relate your interests to faculty interests
  • Be flexible
  • Be imaginative
  • Theoretical links?
  • Methodological links skills?
  • Experiential links?
  • Strategic links?
  • Prepare an appropriate CV

30
Meet the team
  • Volunteer
  • Be candid about your comfort level
  • Decide

31
Be professional
  • Do your research
  • Prepare clear materials
  • Meet dates, times, and deadlines
  • Contact early if problems arise
  • Be clear about your wishes

32
Participating in research projects
  • Fran Shaver and Bill Reimer
  • Teaching / Tips Tools
  • http//reimer.concordia.ca

Return
End
33
Survival Strategies for Graduate Research
  • Fran Shaver and Bill Reimer
  • Concordia University
  • Teaching / Tips Tools
  • http//reimer.concordia.ca
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