First and foremost, one should be motivated, passionate, and curious about your research topic – do it for science, not tenure! No one ever became a successful scientist with the sole premise of being awarded the Nobel Prize. Remember that plans rarely work out the way you thought they would. According to laureate Aaron Ciechanover, the key to success is: “Do something you are passionate about, something that you love, and your instincts tell you, you are good at! Then success is inevitable.”
Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.
Pascal's Research Story
Pascal's Research Story
Pascal Navelle says...
"What inspires me most is my passion for research. I have a natural curiosity of always asking ‘why’?"
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How did you get started in research/what inspired you?
After working as a clinician for several years, I noticed my impact on service users was limited to just a few. Thus, upon a thorough reflection, I was inspired to progress into public health research, where I felt I would have a broader impact on society.
What inspires me most is my passion for research. I have a natural curiosity of always asking ‘why’? This is the only way I could take responsibility for the content I would offer to the research community in general.
Also, I find research work fascinating as it provides a clear pathway to contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the disciplinary sector I am dedicated to. The importance of research should go beyond conceiving theoretical works that would only be found in a physical location such as a library, instead making an impact in real-life multidisciplinary environments.
What do you enjoy about research?
What I enjoy about research is that it allows me to pursue my interests, learn something new, hone my problem-solving skills and challenge myself in several unique ways. Working on a faculty-initiated research project enables me to work closely with a mentor, usually a faculty member, and other experienced researchers. Through self-initiated public health research projects, I can work towards creating services that are relevant to the community’s interests and needs and make a real contribution to knowledge.
What training and support have you found most valuable in your career?
There are many training and support systems I found most valuable during my career. Researchers usually embark on increasingly diverse careers where collaboration, networking and interdisciplinarity have become more important. Critical reading, academic writing and critical analysis are some valuable training and support required of a researcher. Transferable skills from other professional skills (e.g., effective communication and problem-solving abilities) have helped me operate more effectively in different work environments.
Which people/organisations did you get in touch with to help you?
Starting a research career can be daunting but exciting. The challenge of getting the needed support to achieve my dream came true when I enrolled at university for a research degree. I had the opportunity of getting mentorship and some academic resources to enhance my knowledge. I connected with and contacted very experienced researchers in the field of public health who supported my interest in growing as a research professional. Through the people I met, I have had the opportunity to work on exciting but substantial research projects that have had a massive impact on the public health community.
Pascal Navelle's top 3 tips
Secondly, be prepared for a challenging career. Research is ever-changing. Be prepared for the change that research comes with by enhancing your problem-solving skills, to enhance the fun aspect of research. By problem-solving skills I mean handling difficult situations and overcoming complex business challenges, which involve breaking a problem down into its parts, thinking critically about each element, analysing the information you find and using that information to form an effective solution. Having strong problem-solving skills will help make you an asset in your research practice and help you advance your research career.
Finally, be proactive, network and connect with like-minded professionals more. Sometimes, the key to getting to places is not what you know but who you know. We can learn a lot from talking to peers and senior colleagues. Attending symposiums, seminars, and conferences is a great way to meet people who share common interests with you but also have different experiences.
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