It's time to hear from the Editage Insights community!
November, being our anniversary month, is always a special and exciting time for all of us at Editage Insights. And since we turned 5 this year, it makes everything even more special! On this huge milestone of our 5th anniversary, we’d like to express our gratitude to you, the Editage Insights community. You’ve been a part of each one of our milestones over the past five years and we really appreciate your support. Thank you for the unconditional trust and faith you have put in us to guide you.
We’ve had several great conversations with you! And each one of these interactions made us realize just how much you have to say, and how unique your academic journeys are. We learned that the Editage Insights researcher community is bursting with experiences and stories to share! But you lacked an appropriate platform to air your thoughts. That’s when we decided to launch our Researcher Chronicles section!
What does this section include?
After the first couple of conversations with you, it became clear to us that every academic journey is paved by a unique set of experiences. We also felt that for a global community that spends most of their time writing, researchers rarely take the time to pen down their thoughts about their own experiences. This got us thinking – Just how many researchers are out there waiting to share their unique stories? Can we somehow help them tell their stories?
There was only one way to find out – Trying! And that’s what we did. We started reaching out to researchers everywhere, encouraging them to share the stories and experiences from their academic journeys that stood out for them. And we were overwhelmed by the phenomenal response! It was simply heart-warming to see researchers and other academics, from across the globe, open up to us and share some of the most memorable moments from their research and publication journeys.
We are ever grateful to these researchers for sharing their stories with the larger researcher community and inspiring others with their experiences. Here, we’d like to introduce you to these amazing individuals, acknowledge their contributions and thank them for giving us the opportunity to tell their stories.
- Amanda Coletti
PhD student in Communications, University of Connecticut
“Saturday morning is usually accompanied by the first wave of anxiety of the day. All of the work-related thoughts that I pushed back on Friday night come back with a vengeance.”
Ever found yourself at the office on a weekend, complaining about having to work when all you wanted was a good break? If yes, then you’ll definitely be able to relate to Amanda’s story. Here, she takes us through the hustle and bustle of what an average weekend looks like for her as a PhD student.
Read Amanda’s story here
- Amanda L. Glaze
Assistant Professor of Middle Grades & Secondary Science Education, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
“Taking care of myself has made me more focused when I do work, made me a better manager of my time, and given me new purpose in what I am doing.”
We’re sure you’re familiar with the tremendous effort that goes into achieving the slightest semblance of balance between your home and work lives. But do you really ever manage to get some “me time” is all the chaos? In this story, Amanda shares her own struggle with self-care across her academic journey and appeals to other academic professionals to strike a healthy work-life balance.
Read Amanda’s story here
- Anjana Karumathil
“Today, 15 years later, I’m back to school, this time for good. It’s now time for me to give others what I was fortunate enough to get.”
The academic journeys of two researchers are seldom alike. We‘re sure you’ll agree that most researchers have to overcome several challenges and roadblocks before they’re finally able to carve out a unique space for themselves in academia; and Anjana’s story is a testament to this fact. In this story, she talks about her return to school after 15 years of employment in a corporate set-up.
Read Anjana’s story here
- Dr. Ben Britton
Senior Lecturer and Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow at Imperial College, London
“As an academic, I split my time between three major activities: research, teaching, and administration (service). Trying to keep these balanced and striving to excel – across the board – is a bit tricky at times. I’ll confess that some bits of my life are going reasonably well, but the pressure often keeps me awake at night.”
In two of the most relatable narratives we’ve ever come across, Dr. Britton talks about how, as an academic, he often finds it difficult to let go of a problem until he has managed to solve it, sometimes even at the cost of his own mental health. He also shares some of the internal and external pressures he faces, on a daily basis, as an early career researcher.
Read Dr. Britton’s story here
- Bitter Professor
Prominent Twitter personality
“I created the Bitter Professor (@AcerbicAcademic) on Twitter as an anonymous and safe outlet for my sarcasm. It seemed that I had struck a chord! There are a LOT of people in academia who feel isolated, powerless, and weighed down by an uncaring bureaucracy. Anonymous accounts like @AcerbicAcademic allow us to connect and voice our concerns.”
If you’ve read our article on the 27 most hilarious academics on Twitter, we’re sure you remember Bitter Professor. In this story, the Bitter Professor unravels the story behind his Twitter persona and talks about how it is important to acknowledge the difference between a Twitter persona and a real-life identity.
Read the Bitter Professor’s story here
- Clarinda Cerejo
MSc, ELS, Editor-in-Chief, Editage Insights
“It gradually became clear that while I was drawn to research, I wasn’t cut out for the life of a researcher. So I entered the field of science communication as an academic editor, helping non-native English-speaking researchers get their work published in international English-language journals.”
Surely, you are all familiar with our Editor-in-Chief, Clarinda! In this story, she shares her rather unconventional journey through biotechnology and music to her current position in scholarly publishing.
Read Clarinda’s story here
- College Professor
Popular Twitter persona
“Yes, @ReadTheSyllabus really is a co-authored account. Like a good research project with multiple authors, it reflects an ongoing collaboration that has a mixed voice.”
Another Twitter persona that you probably remember from our list of 27 hilarious academics on Twitter is College Professor. But did you know that this Twitter handle is actually run by a group of professors? In this story, the academics behind the College Professor Twitter persona share their account of how they started their prolific Twitter profile and the several discoveries they made along their journey.
Read the College Professor’s story here
- Elodie Ekoka
PhD student at the Wits Research Institute for Malaria, University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), and guest author for Editage Insights
“Although the people around me would remind me that my achievements showed that I had what it takes to be a researcher, I wasn’t convinced. In short, I lacked self-confidence. I know that I am not the only victim of this feeling.”
Though three insightful stories, Elodie shares some of the important lessons she learned along her PhD journey. She talks about her struggles with Imposter syndrome, and also stresses the significance of creating one’s own unique path in research.
Read Elodie’s story here
- Enitome Bafor
Bpharm, Reproductive Health/Enthopharmacology Research Group, Department of Pharmacology and Taxicology, University of Benin, Nigeria
“Raising a family and winding through my MSc program was no easy task. I had to take a break each time I got pregnant. I concluded my MSc, with distinction, eventually, and proceeded to take my research questions beyond the shores of my country where I felt I could get some answers. I had my three children with me.”
Chasing one’s research and publication dreams while also being a parent is definitely not an easy situation to be in. Naturally, several parents in academia struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. In this story, Enitome paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to pursue a passion for research while raising three children.
Read Enitome’s story here
- Imelda Angeles
Faculty Member at University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
“When I got to the event, I was surprised that speakers would be given only 10 minutes to present and, my gosh, I had prepared 20 plus slides! A revision frenzy followed and I sent about four versions of revisions to the organizers. I had serious doubts about whether I would be able to present my talk within the revised time frame!”
Regardless of how much you know about your research project, delivering this information to an audience of qualified strangers within your field can be quite daunting. If you agree with this, then you’ll surely be able to relate to Imelda’s story. Here, she shares her experiences at her first academic conference presentation and how she saved it from turning into a disaster.
Read Imelda’s story here.
- Jackie Howells
PhD Student in pathobiology, Brown University
“Looking back on my very short career so far in science I have realized that above all, one key to success is mentorship. I have been extraordinarily lucky to have fantastic mentorship throughout my studies and lab work which has also translated into my non-professional life.”
Have you ever been overwhelmed with gratitude for a senior colleague who has advised you across your academic career, while always keeping your best interests at heart? Then you’ll surely like Jackie’s story. Here, she talks about how fantastic mentorship along her academic journey has impacted her goals and values academically as well as ethically and personally.
Read Jackie’s story here
- Lorie Owens
Adjunct Instructor of English, Ohio University, Zanesville
“No one prepared me for the worst possible outcome of a dissertation defense: Failure. Yet, after waiting outside in the hallway for over 90 minutes, I was certain of it. My advisor summoned me back into the room with a wave of the arm as he shook his head and glibly said, “You’re going to have to do it again.”
After several conversations with the Editage Insights researcher community, we have come to see that a researcher’s age says nothing about the stage at which he/she currently is in his/her academic journey. And Lorie’s story is a perfect example of this! In this story, she talks about how she got her PhD at the age of 55, despite having to overcome several challenges, including a failed dissertation defense.
Read Lorie’s story here
- Nadia Ben Amer
PhD in English Language Teaching
“If you are a researcher, there is nothing else more intimidating than writing to a journal editor. But I knew that I had to do it. I had to approach journal editors asking them if my paper was suitable for consideration by their journal.”
Ever been scared about writing to a journal editor? Well, you’re not alone. In this story, Nadia talks about how much she dreaded sending a pre-submission inquiry to a journal. She also talks about overcoming this fear and how her newfound confidence opened doors to several new opportunities.
Read Nadia’s story here
- Pooja Bhatia
Intellectual Property Consultant
“Overall, I get to work in various areas and I am content with my decision, I get best of both worlds — research and management. Even though I love research, choosing a non-traditional option was the best career move for me.”
Sometimes, your research path forces you to take unexpected turns and make unexpected changes. But what happens if you find yourself choosing a non-traditional career path? Maybe Pooja’s story can give you some perspective. Here, she talks about how she made a switch from academic research to intellectual property management.
Read Pooja’s story here
- Preeti Raghunath
Researcher looking to carve a niche in the area of communication and media
“The best decision I made during my PhD was to seize the research moment!”
Ever feel like you need to seize the day on a particular opportunity or you might lose your window? Then you’ll surely relate to Preeti’s story. Here, she talks about how she didn’t wait to publish a journal article during her research but chose to make the most of the opportunities at hand instead.
Read Preeti’s story here
- Professor Jaded
Popular Twitter personality
“I became an academic because I possess an obsessive curiosity about life that almost pushes me to the brink of instability and, at times, depression. Learning acts like a drug to my soul. It is like an addiction that I cannot break.”
Remember prominent Twitter personality Professor Jaded? In this story, he talks about how his Twitter persona came to be and shares why academia is the only path he could ever follow.
Read Professor Jaded’s story here
- Rose Ferreira
Passionate science communicator, public speaker, and education advocate
“No matter how hard I tried to give up the idea, I just couldn’t forget about becoming a scientist. It kept me going.”
In this extremely touching narrative, Rose talks about how her passion for science led her to reconcile with some extremely tough situations and pursue her dream of becoming a scientist no matter how big the hardship and how treacherous the path.
Read Rose’s story here
- Shimin Du
Senior Engineer, Aerospace Science and technology Group, Beijing
“I need to publish papers not to improve my reputation as a researcher, but for leaving a mark on research in my field.”
Have you ever considered the impact your work will have on the generation of researchers to come? If you have, then you’ll love this story by Shimin Du. Here, he talks about the ups and downs of his journey as a researcher and also expresses his wish to leave a legacy for and inspire young researchers.
Read Shimin’s story here
- Sikander Shirazi
Visiting Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, University of Karachi, Pakistan
“When I first enrolled as a university student 8 years ago, my early life was confused because I was already dealing with severe depression and anxiety. In fact, I was undergoing psychotherapy on account of a traumatic childhood experience.”
By itself, an academic career is filled with several challenges. But imagine having to navigate an academic journey while also struggling with anxiety and depression. This is Sikander’s Shirazi’s story. Here, he talks about some of the most difficult phases of his life as a researcher.
Read Sikander’s story here
- Tim Hunt
“If you stick to a very narrow path, then you’ll probably simply conform to what other people already know, whereas the purpose of research is to try and discover something new that nobody knows.”
In this excerpt from an interview, Tim talks about rejection and how he missed an important step in his research and went on to make a major discovery after that.
Read Tim Hunt’s story here
Second-year immunology graduate student working in the Ramirez- Alvarado lab, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
“Apparently, I felt that managing mental illness wasn’t difficult enough and I came out publicly in October of 2017 after a few years of contemplation about my gender identity. I decided to come out at my graduate school as well.”
In this emotional story, TL talks about their struggle with anxiety and depression while navigating their way through grad school. They also open up about their wearying experience coming out as a trans non-binary PhD student and the challenges they faced in the process.
Read TL’s story here
- Witty Academic Librarian
Popular Twitter bug
“Impostor syndrome has affected me deeply, but only when I wasn’t able or willing to talk about it.”
Yet another Twitter personality who you probably remember from our list of 27 hilarious academics on Twitter is Witty Academic Librarian. Through four interesting stories, she shares some of her experiences and milestones across her academic journey. For instance, she talks about her social life after graduating and how she dealt with imposter syndrome.
Read the Witty Academic Librarian’s story here
- Yunita Awang
Universiti Teknologi MARA, Terenganu, Malaysia
“Sadness! Frustration! The urge to give up! These were the mixed feelings I had when I was trying to deal with the idea of being rejected…but that did not stop me from going further.”
Rejection is part and parcel of an academic career. What matters is how you deal with the rejection and manage to bounce back from it. This is a learning that comes across very clearly through Yunita’s story. In this story, she talks about her journal rejection experience and about how every researcher should be prepared to deal with such a situation.
Read Yunita’s story here
- Zabta Khan Shinwari
Secretary-General of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and Chair of the Biotechnology Department of the Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan.
“I completed my education under these conditions but I do remember that I had the crazy idea of becoming a scientist to overcome all of these hardships and lead a better life.”
In this story, Professor Shinwari shares the challenges he faced in his academic journey – right from growing up in a small house with a big family of 9 children to his struggles as a researcher in Japan.
Read Professor Shinwari’s story here
So what did you think of the stories we have received so far? Were you able to identify with any? Do you have a favorite? Tell us in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!
There’s more! We’ll be sharing many more stories with you in the coming months. And we hope that we can keep building upon this global researcher community. Would you like to be a part of this ever-growing community? All you have to do is pen down a memorable experience from your academic journey and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing your stories soon!