2018 in retrospect: Some of the researcher community's biggest moments in 2018

2018 in retrospect: Some of the researcher community's biggest moments in 2018

It’s that time of the year again – those last couple of hours of the year during which we’re partially looking back on the year gone by and partially wondering what the New Year has in store for us.

If I’m being honest, then I’d have to admit that I’m still gushing with holiday season cheer and hopelessly trying to recover from all the scrumptious food and sweets I’ve been eating. And if you’re in a similar position, then you’re probably not in the mood to think about making any New Year resolutions. But I’m hoping to change your mind by the end of this special year-end article.

I personally love this time of the year because of all the optimistic anticipation it carries. Regardless of how the previous year was for me, I know that I can make new resolutions and alter my approach towards things. But what I love most about the end of the year is that it also makes me think deeply about my achievements, failures, and everything I was fortunate enough to learn during the year. These are the details that help me clearly see what I’ve managed to already accomplish and help me decide what I’d like to do further. Don’t you agree?

I’m sure that you – the Editage Insights researcher community – have to face several obstacles and challenges on a daily basis. And I also know how easy it is for you to forget about your special achievements and accomplishments as you go about your busy schedules. But I couldn’t let that happen!

So this year, we (the Editage Insights team) decided to ask you to reflect on the year gone by and share with us your ‘2018 Academic Highlight’—that special moment or experience that stood out in your academic journey this year! And we were overwhelmed by the amazing highlights that you shared with us. Take it from me – all of you have had a very busy, productive year! Take a look at some of the wonderful achievements of the Editage Insights community in the year 2018!

It's raining publications!

Some of our community members shared that they had been able to get their first paper accepted and published in the year 2018. And that’s not all, while some of you managed to reach double-digits with your publications, still others published papers with family members! Isn’t that amazing? 

“The greatest moment for me during the year 2018 was when I got my first publication on a modified way in reconstructing the anterior cruciate ligament. I really thought that it would never become a reality, but it finally happened"Ehab Elgiar

“My academic highlight was getting to publish three journal articles in a three-month period this year. You can imagine what that felt like for a young researcher like me.” - Abuusalahudin Chirwa

“This year, I went a step forward. I have been asked by a journal to write a review about a topic that falls within my field of interest. It was unbelievable for me at first, and I did it with a lot of excitement. The article is now under review and will be available in the first trimester of 2019.”
- Komla Sena Amouzou

 

ECRchat

It was great to see some of the early career researchers in our community share their academic highlights with us - from deciding on a research topic and completing a Master’s degree, to winning awards as young scientists – all of their accomplishments are equally amazing!

“I will finish writing my final exam tomorrow; out of the 17 courses I had this semester. It was a pain but I know I am going to boost my GPA, and then get on with my research in order to complete my Bachelor’s degree. I am so excited!” - Khama Kelvin

“My highlight was winning the TWAS Abdool Karim award for young women scientists already making an impact in the field of biological sciences in limited-resource settings.”
- Barbara Burmen

“My academic highlight of 2018 was submitting my thesis and having a very positive viva despite being asked to make major revisions!” - Najah A
 

PhD Milestones

It’s time to talk about those Editage Insights community members who have made significant progress along their PhD journeys. Whether they have recently been selected as PhD candidates, completed a given amount of time within their PhD journeys, passed their viva or successfully earned their PhDs – each one of these highlights is fantastic! 

“My biggest achievement was wearing that red doctoral robe. Looking back, all the late nights felt worthwhile once my thesis validation was read.”Lindall Adams 


Hobnobbing at conferences!

It was great to see how many of our community members got the opportunity to present their work at academic conferences throughout 2018. It’s safe to say that we have several science communicators in our midst. How exciting!

“My academic highlight was when my paper was accepted for presentation at a conference. It felt like I had been conceiving the idea for months and now I was finally bringing it out to others. Although the paper is not yet formally out for publication, I’ve looked at that experience as the first of all my firsts.”Dr. Imelda Angeles
 

Next stop: Postdoctoral research

Some of you also shared that you’ve moved onto the challenges of postdoctoral life after successfully completing your PhD. I can’t wait to see what 2019 will have in store for you!

Hopping aboard the tenure track train!

I was delighted to see that some of our community members had successfully managed to secure tenured faculty positions. I couldn’t be happier for you!

Exotic fieldwork, anyone?

Take a look at some of the fantastic fieldwork and lab-work your fellow community members have been doing in the past year. And don’t even get me started on their places of work. From Madagascar to Nepal – talk about working in exotic destinations! 

Putting the team in teamwork!

It was heart-warming to see our community members talk about the brilliant people they work with as being the highlight of their year. From graduate students and colleagues to supervisors and mentors, each of these highlights involved either helping others or working together and this really brought out the community feeling for me!

“I won the election as the first WASCAL alumni president in West Africa. WASCAL is comprised of over 258 climate scientists across ten universities in West Africa. So, to be the first elected President is one of the hallmarks of 2018 for me.”Dr. Vincent Ojeh 
 

Who says you can have only one academic highlight?

I was personally amazed to see that many of our community members had not one but several impressive academic highlights to share. They also took the time to share milestones that are relatively personal and close to their hearts. Take a look at some of their terrific wins!

“I am happy to share with you my academic achievements in the year 2018. First of all, I started my PhD at UiTM Malaysia. I also presented my paper in Washington at John Hopkins University at a conference organized by RAIS. The interesting part is that my presentation was considered to be one of the best. So the organizers made me the editor of the proceedings of the conference. The journal is online. I'm hoping for more such achievements in 2019 as well.” - Shazia Nasir

“This year, I graduated with a PhD and immediately joined a reputed medical research institute as a postdoctoral research fellow. I never knew how passionate I was about science when I started my full-time PhD, being a mom to my 2-year-old son. Now, when I look back on my entire PhD journey, it overwhelms me with happiness and pride, because I had always been interested in teaching and wanted to become a teacher or a lecturer. However, due to several reasons, I landed up in a completely different field called proteomics research, in Taiwan – a land in which the language was unknown to me. I started my PhD with confusion and loads of questions in my mind. But I perceived every struggle as a challenge and after I succeeded through it, I feel that this experience has ultimately strengthened my research skills. When I started meeting the challenges research brings through the PhD process head-on, I came to understand my real passion for science. I love my research and it has now become a part of my life. I am very happy to share that two of my research publications have been published this year. But, overall, the biggest achievement for me is my transformation from PhD student-Mommy to Dr. Mommy and knowing that my son is feeling very proud and saying, "My mommy is a scientist." Rashmi Akula

“This has been a year full of highlights. One of my graduate students received an invitation to make a presentation about her work on multi-drug resistant (MDR) plasmids in salmonella at the American Society for Microbiology, MICROBE 2018 general meeting. Another one of my graduate student’s work was recognized with a press release at MICROBE 2018. She isolated a uropathogenic E. coli ST131 epidemic strain, by encoding a CTX-M-15 Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) from a stream in our local watershed. In addition to this, my technician published a first author paper on the development of an assay for determining the susceptibility of salmonella to biocides, which is also my one-hundredth publication. And we also received a large grant, funded by a collaborator at another university. Very good year indeed!” -  Jonathan Frye

“My 2018 Academic Highlight is getting certified as a Certified Licensing Professional, a step forward to being recognized as a seasoned licensing professional!” Pooja Bhatia

“I have a couple of highlights for 2018. 1) I published my 5th article (4 in 2018 and 1 in 2017). 2) I was invited to be an SME (Subject Matter Expert), a Patient Advisory Committee member, and Patient Advocate for CMS/IPRO End-Stage Renal Disease Network of the Ohio River Valley for 2018.”Dr. Brenda Williams 

“I would like to start by talking about last November when I had the opportunity to do my first paper presentation at a national academic conference. Then in January 2018, I published another article in a scientific journal - that was my fifth one and I'm the corresponding author in two of these papers. And lastly, I was able to come up with a research topic and proposal that was accepted by a university (you don't want to know how long I have been on that- since 2015). Thanks for making me reflect on this achievement, I had never thought of them as something to be proud of.” - Adejoke Bayowa

“I am so pleased at having tried 2 different teaching methodologies. Things went very well and exceeded my expectations.” - Hassan Fedawy

So there you have it - the Editage Insights researcher community sharing their academic highlights of 2018. What did you think of these highlights? Don't these amazing accomplishments make you feel energized and determined to make your own plans to achieve new heights this year? So go ahead, and spend the last few hours of 2018 setting your New Year's resolutions for 2019. Don't think about the magnitude of the resolution, as long as it's important to you. And if you're having trouble making concrete plans, then just look back on your own year. I'm sure that will help you make plans for 2019. 

Finally, on behalf of the entire Editage Insights team, I'd like to wish you a happy and peaceful new year in advance!

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