(22) Magic element: ACADEMIA

“The Story of the Magic 3 and the Earth” is prepared to introduce you to more types of Researchers, because Researchers are not only in academic circles (namely, at the university). There are many Researchers in business for example, and in all sorts of organisations (e.g. lobbying organisations, think tanks, international organisations), as well as in different fields (e.g. electricity, food industry). So, we are many and we are different and I would like to invite you further to get to know us better:)

In this post, I will briefly describe how Research works in: Academia (the birthplace of all PhDs).

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Research in academia stands for Research done at the university and has a long history. Briefly, it has been formally introduced in Germany as university’s main activity, apart from teaching. In a nutshell, Research in academia is advancing based on: 1) research itself – on knowledge creation, finding the unknown, proving old theories in a new perspective, improving existing knowledge, etc.; 2) publication of the research outcomes.

Once the knowledge has been revealed/improved/discovered, it is laid carefully in the form of an academic paper or scientific article. An academic paper does not simply gets to be written, the word about its existence needs to be spread (otherwise, how would other Researchers/scientists will ever find out what their peers in the area are doing) and so it goes into the publishing funnel, called a scientific journal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Figure 1. Scientific publishing cycle. publish_cycle2Academic Research is happening most of the time within a Research position, someone’s got to do the job 😉 This can be a Research assistant, a doctorate/PhD student, a Post-doctorate Researcher or a Professor.

Here, we have: an Early-Stage Researcher (a PhD) 

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Ibrahima Sory Kaba, PhD fellow, UNU-MERIT & School of Governance, Maastricht University Photo credit: http://www.manorlux.com
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Antoine P. Simons, Maastricht University                                  Photo credit: http://www.manorlux.com

and an Experienced Researcher (a Post-Doc).

They are both doing academic Research. Except that Ibrahima for now is a PhD student or fellow and writes his first academic papers, whereas Antoine has already finished his PhD and therefore already wrote many academic papers that later on where published in academic journals. [*Both, myself (Irina Burlacu, graduated ’14, aka Researchista) and Ibrahima are proud fellow students of School of Governance of the United Nations University-MERIT, Maastricht University. A glimpse of our school in the words of Ibrahima can be found here]. 

There could be many obstacles that Researchers could deal with when it comes to publishing their Research outcomes. One example that might be interesting for everyone is that mass-media does not always put an academic study in its relevant context, nicely explained in this video. Ideally, this is definitely not the intention of Researchers, but sometimes Researchers could fall into this trap.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Figure 2. Publication trap.   10426294_856189461107085_7644619948690190199_nAbove all, Research in academia is probably the most ‘innocent’ and impartial type of Research that exists out there, because it does not (with exceptions) defend the interests of corporations or of political parties, because it is there to serve the interest of the people for the sake of helping humanity to progress, to change people’s behaviour and advance the knowledge. This is why… when you have to vote for someone for example, and you are not certain for whom (e.g. should you vote for leaving the EU or not?) or you have to approve some crazy decision that will affect the lives of other people than yourself and your family, always wonder: what would a Researcher say or do? Or, even better, talk to someone at the university. They might not have all the answers, but they will always be there, offering their time and intellectual advice, for free, in the most humble and humane manner (from my experience). They take a lot of time to think on topics that are of your concern, that not any other industry or form, might do…

In my story, Academia is associated with air, because it is everywhere… and it is abstract, yet so necessary. Unlike water (policy) and fire (business) it is there laying for all us for ‘free’ (relatively), innocently and apolitically, at least, that’s how I prefer to think about.

With love for Research,                                                                                   signature

 

 

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