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Develop a Vision for your Research

Articulating a vision for your research program helps you build faith to keep going when it gets tough.

When I started in research, I had no definite plan or vision. I just went with whatever my mentor recommended. I was like a chameleon, morphing into whatever research project was set before me. I didn't want to be picky; I just wanted to succeed. But the more I worked at disparate research projects that didn't speak to me, the worse I felt with each rejection. Surprisingly, I also felt bad about the successes. Because this work what not what I really wanted to do, each success had me digging deeper into a hole I did not want to occupy. Eventually, I settled down to ask myself, "what do I really want to do? What population do I really want to contribute to? What projects will give me a sense of purpose?" In essence, I started with my "why." And from my why came the ability to articulate a vision for my research program. It was only then that I began to develop research projects that resonated with me. The resulting energy helped me ride the highs of success and the lows of rejection without missing a beat.

In Season 2 Episode 6, we explore how to craft a vision for your research program. We discuss strategies to discover your vision, align it with your personal goals, and lay out a clear plan to publications and funding applications. Specifically, we cover the following:

  1. Discover your vision: The importance of recognizing what resonates with you and curating projects aligned with your interests.

  2. The significance of personal vision: The challenges of seeking external validation and the necessity of defining your vision beyond the expectations of others.

  3. Create a vision presentation: Creating a presentation to articulate the vision, providing clarity and inspiring others who may want to join your research program.

  4. Develop a strategic plan based on your vision: Develop a strategic plan for publications and funding that align with your vision.

  5. Eliminate vision killers: Stay away from individuals who may not fully support your vision. Selectively share aspects of your work to minimize negativity.

This week, even if you feel as if you don't currently own the direction of your research program, create a presentation to share the overarching vision for your research program. Find a supportive friend and share the vision. Then pay attention to what inspires you about the vision.

Casting vision is about building faith in yourself and others to see the desired end result especially when today's investment feels impossible. Instead of imagining the impossible, what if you dared to imagine the millions of people who will be impacted once your work succeeds. How much would it inspire you to keep going?

🎙️ News you can use:

We will be opening up enrollments for the next cohort of the Clinician Researcher Academy. Clinician Researcher Academy is your gateway to creating the research career you actually want. Interested? Sign up to join the waitlist here. Once the application portal opens, you will be the first to hear about it. Spoiler alert, it is going to be super awesome!

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