Securing grant funding, preparing conference presentations and publishing in relevant journals
In an effort to share the knowledge and insights of accomplished academics with our community, our team continues to connect with highly successful and inspiring researchers. This month, we had the fortune of connecting with Dr. Derek Besner, Professor of Cognition and Perception at the University of Waterloo (Waterloo, Canada). Dr. Besner offered his thoughts on securing adequate funding for research projects, preparing for a conference presentation, and choosing the best journals for your research.
At some point in your academic career you will need to seek funding to support your research. As most researchers are aware, landing a sizeable grant is not a walk in the park. When asked what advice he would give young professors trying to secure funding, Dr. Besner responded:
“Aside from the obvious point that one should have good ideas linked to existing literature, it is important to have a record of senior author publications during graduate school. In other words, research and publication should be a priority in graduate school. No publication record? No grant.”
Additionally, Dr. Besner stated that “institutions often provide help with grant writing and preparing a budget.” His advice on this matter is to “Take that help. Ask senior colleagues to take a look at your application and comment on it.”
Now fast forward several months—your research is now complete and you have something to show for your hard work. You submit your findings to an academic conference, hoping to get the chance to share your research with the world. Conference presentations, however, are on a whole different level than research updates in the lab, and you want to make an impact. In this situation, Dr. Besner emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of your home base.
“Practice giving the talk in your home lab or brown bag; solicit and listen to critical feedback.” Positive feedback at this stage boosts confidence, while negative feedback and criticism will be less painful in your home base than on stage in front of hundreds of conference attendees.
With all of the hard work you have put into designing, implementing and writing about your research project, you want to ensure that your work gets recognized. Dr. Besner—who has authored dozens of publications in the field of Cognition and Perception—offers a simple piece of advice when identifying which journals are a good fit for your work.
“See whether work by people [you] respect is being published there.” He then added, “I would want the journal to be read by the people in my field. So, I would be looking for journals where the top people in my field are publishing.”
We would like to thank Dr. Besner for taking the time for this interview. Dr. Besner is in no way associated with Journal Prep nor does he endorse the use of its services.For additional expert tips on preparing research manuscripts, visit: www.journalprep.com/101-tips.php
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