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What’s to like? (and what’s not?) - Part 5

Most people have some part of their job that they really like, getting out of bed when the alarm sounds probably depends on it. Inevitably there are also parts that are a bit, well… rubbish. We at the ICECream thought the same might be true for researchers, seeing as most of them are probably people too. This is the What’s to like? (and what’s not?) series!!

So we contacted two researchers each, at 5 different career stages, and asked them to name; the 5 best bits, and the 5 worst bits about their job. We wondered whether researchers would all see things similarly, or differently, we also wondered if views change over the career path. Each week we’ll put up the lists from two researchers at similar stages of their career.

If it all the cards fall into place you might just find yourself in the middle of a successful research career. Admittedly, not everyone that starts out as a researcher makes it to the top, but what is it like if you actually do? The ICECReam has been fortunate enough to have a couple of the world leaders to give us their thoughts.

Maurits van Tulder is Professor of Health Technology Assessment at the EMGO+ Institute, and the VU University Amsterdam, and Prof Chris Maher is Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney and Director of the Musculoskeletal division at the George Institute, Sydney.

Maurits van Tulder

5 best things

  1. Meeting interesting people with different backgrounds, beliefs and ideas and at different stages of their careers

  2. Travelling around the world; seeing other countries and cultures

  3. Variety in tasks: research, teaching, management, administration, supervision

  4. Collaboration with people from all over the world

  5. Working with students; young, energetic, enthusiastic, talented and ambitious

5 worst things

  1. Keeping a reasonable workload and amount of work hours

  2. Keeping up to date with methodological and statistical improvements/innovations

  3. Keeping up to date with the literature

  4. Continuous struggle for external funding

  5. Handling the 100+ email each day

Chris Maher

5 best things

  1. I mainly get to do what I choose to do. Not even POTUS can claim this.

  2. I get to work with some amazing people.

  3. I can make an important difference to the world.

  4. I see my students and postdocs become world leading researchers.

  5. I look forward to a day at work.

5 worst things

  1. Running out of research funds and needing to let good staff go.

  2. Being required to complete cumbersome and clunky reports that no-one reads.

  3. The amount of time wasted on unsuccessful funding bids.

  4. Finding a nice way to say to people that their grant, manuscript, research idea is crap.

  5. When it gets way too busy and things get out of control.

#whatstolike