Welcome to the “The Research Iceberg” aka a guide to academic resilience.
This is an initiative to promote the dialogue between senior scholars and junior researchers on the human experience of research.
Why “research iceberg”?
Icebergs and research have something in common:
they have a visible tip, but most of their "body" is well hidden.
When something doesn't work in research, it's easy for the researcher to feel (in the best case) inadequate. There's evidence that this is unfortunately a widespread phenomenon, especially among younger researchers. In the fall of 2019 I decided to try to do my part and I began to interview scholars in Economics, with an ambitious goal: exposing and normalising the experience of "failures" in academic research, one story at a time.
While being a data enthusiast, I strongly believe that data with stories can have a greater impact. Borrowing others' words: "when a story catches our attention and engages us, we are more likely to absorb the message and meaning within it than if the same message was presented simply in facts and figures."
So far, this initiative has been an incredible journey.
I had the luck of getting to know the experiences of many inspiring researchers, from many countries around the world, with different backgrounds, years of experience, and projects in their waste bin.
With their help, I aim to create "a guide to academic resilience", a platform to document the diversity of paths and the rollercoasters that anyone can meet in the process of finding joy in academic research.
No matter whether you are about to retire or an early-stage researcher:
If you would like to share your experience, don't hesitate to drop me an email!
This initiative has greatly benefited from comments, feedback and suggestions of many. If you can think of anything to improve it, or something you want to help with, feel free to write me. You can also just write a line to offer moral support, I guarantee it always helps (I still have to borrow some courage to cold-email BIG names in the profession, and I am still star-struck when they write me back!)