I had a really interesting chat last night with a friend who is an academic researcher. She’s got funding for a very cushy ethnographic research project and I couldn’t help noticing the differences between her world and mine:
1) She suggested her own topic (within her specialist area) that she knew she’d find interesting and that hasn’t ever been researched before
2) She has six months (with no other work commitments) in which to complete the project
3) Its an entirely ethnographic approach, involving attending at least five events that are on my personal wish list
4) At the end of all this, her ‘outcomes’ are to get a couple of articles published and speak at a conference.
I think most of us would be trying to fit a project like this in alongside our normal role.
So next time you find yourself wondering whether you can somehow fund and find the time to do a proactive research piece, or are doing your eleventy billienth focus group with ‘heavy’ consumers of yellow fats, spare a thought for the poor, overworked academics out there!