The ABCs Of Doing Research
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Politics and Activism

The ABCs Of Doing Research

Stuff I wish I knew before pursuing undergrad research.

The ABCs Of Doing Research
Black & White Business Commerce

Hey guys!

I wanted to take the time as an undergraduate researcher to tell you some things. The research world can be fairly promising, especially for Engineers, Physicist, Doctors, and even Psychologist. It is great in an academic and corporate settings for both undergrads, graduates, and professionals. However, lots of times you may do stuff you don't want to or experience some unexpected things. I wanted to take some time to clarify about that as well as inform potential researchers on what to expect.

One of the things to expect is that you may have to do projects and tasks you may not like to do. Sure, research offers a lot of creative freedom, but not as much as you realize. Sometimes you would need to interview many people and get people to fill out surveys to garnish observational data. You can be an engineer or developer which this isn't so relevant to, but you will still have to do it. Always do what your mentors, professors, and supervisors tell you to do when researching. Make sure to state some concerns but in a respectful manner, and there are times where you may need to agree even if you don't feel it is what is best.

Another aspect I want to talk to you about is the complexity of the legality of the research. Non-Disclosure is fairly important both to you and to third parties or the firm and university you are working under. You want to take credit for your work but also don't want to disclose all the important aspects of your research or stuff the company you are working for does. Sometimes the complexity of the research can be so much that you might have to state you are working for a private equity firm rather than the full name of the company you are working for. Though this is usually not the case for most students.

Many contracts can range from 10 to 40 pages, and if you are introducing a new concept it can be as much as 400 pages or more. Make sure if the contract is too long, to go over it and potentially have even a lawyer or a legal friend help you. Sometimes you wonder if they paid more for the person to write the contract than they are paying you. Usually, most companies in the beginning keep contracts short and simple, but the longer you do research, the less transparency and the more specific they get. You will come to a point where you need to make sure you know all the standards, especially when dealing with larger research projects. The longer you are working in research, the more projects with a legal complexity to it you may be assigned. Always be careful.

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