Feel alone? Join a group that supports your research journey
A researcher’s journey is like driving all alone down a long, dark, and winding tunnel on a rough and bumpy road: each time you take a turn, you hope to emerge into the light, only to realize that there’s yet another long dark curve ahead of you! Don’t you wish there was someone with you, someone who would share this challenging experience and be there with you all the time, talking, reassuring, guiding, and at times, perhaps even laughing together despite the bumps and lurches and darkness and uncertainty?
Having worked closely with researchers for over 6 years, I have felt their pain: their self-confidence shaken and battered by repeated failures and rejections, their stress and anxiety peaking as they work for long hours during the week, even on weekends, their motivation dropping to an all-time low as they feel they are not worthy enough or what they are doing is not good enough, and their frustration rising when they are unable to connect and openly share their academic journey with their family and close friends.
As a researcher, you must be familiar with these feelings and experiences. Anxiety, depression, self-doubt, failure, rejection, inadequacy, insecurity, struggle, fatigue, insomnia – often it may appear as though these are the realms you have to trudge through all alone!
Haven’t you wished you had someone to share your journey with, to vent or talk to? Someone who could gently reassure you, share their own stories and experiences, and offer guidance. Time and again, in emails, questions, and stories from researchers, I’ve seen this pain and helplessness, this longing for a safe place where they could talk and be understood.
And then I had that Eureka moment, when I realized that even though I alone could not do much to alleviate your pain, I could reach out to others! Others like you, who share the same journey, the same challenges, and the same need for understanding!
Researcher Voice – your voice, your group, your support system
And so, earlier this month, along with a few colleagues, I started Researcher Voice, a support group for researchers on Facebook. I wanted to set up a private group that only includes researchers who are interested in connecting with others like them and sharing their experiences with them. I also wanted to make sure that this group is hosted on a platform that everyone is already familiar with.
This is how the Researcher Voice Facebook group came about. Today, this is a strong group with researchers from different parts of the world.
By bringing many researchers like you together, by giving you a private space where you feel safe, warm, and comfortable, where you can share your stories and be understood, where you can learn and feel motivated from others’ experiences, where you can cheer each other on through the dark bumpy tunnel, where you can feel reassured knowing that you are not alone!
I love the conversations we have on this group. Researchers openly talk about their concerns and experiences and make their voices heard. The group was launched at a difficult time, when the world was shaken by COVID-19 and life changed overnight for everyone. I am amazed at the way in which researchers are connecting on the group, expressing concern for each other in these challenging times, and sharing their personal struggles and cheering each other – this is truly heartwarming.
Here’s a sneak peek into some of the wonderful things that are happening in the group!
People are eager to share their experience and knowledge with others:
They are talking to each other about the challenges in the research journey:
They are concerned about each other’s safety and well-being:
Cheering each other on the way:
…..And having a bit of fun too!