Investigating the meaning of doing research.


(Image: Nicholas Green)

Multiple factors shape the experience of being a researcher in 2020. Some of them come from the set of beliefs and values of the academic world - where local idiosyncrasies endlessly engage with the supra-national language of papers, journals, and conferences. Other factors are directly related to how your academic institution deals with specific challenges - whether cultural or organizational. Starting from a micro level, the team you work with, your peers, and your supervisor can have a substantial impact in determining how you will operate and develop as a researcher.

Figure redesigned from: Javaid, Ahson & Javed, Amna & Kohda, Youji. (2019). Exploring the Role of Boundary Spanning towards Service Ecosystem Expansion: A Case of Careem in Pakistan. Sustainability. 11. 3996. 10.3390/su11153996.

At a mezzo level, the way your institution handles delicate matters such as the distribution of funding, or the management of mental health and wellbeing of the community, can condition your ability to manage failure and stress (even more during a pandemic year). At a macro level, the way society is constructed, the national cultural representations and the welfare model play a crucial if elusive role in influencing how an organization will decide to deal with a specific situation. In this issue of Method Pliant, we seamlessly move across these scales in conversation with: Ben Meuleman, statistician and post-doc representative at CISA; Cristina Soriano, Doctoral coordinator at CISA; Maria Törnroos, the freshly-appointed psychologist for doctoral students at Aalto University; and Matteo Tarantino assistant professor at the Università Cattolica in Milan and lecturer at the University of Geneva.