A good story: trying to connect the dots
posted by: acarr
So, throughout the years of me being in the Li lab (including my years as a research technician), I have worked with several undergraduate students. Every semester, I am training one to three students to do a routine protocol, or having them assist me in my project.
John has a similar role…but the difference is that he is in lab the whole day. (Most of the undergraduates only come in for 2-4 hours at a time before they dash off…). Similarly, I have to also tell the whole story of what we are doing, why, methods, etc…
This is good for me because it helps me to articulate my project better. If I can explain it well, then I know what I am doing and why. If not, then I need to re-evaluate. One of the things my committee told me a couple months ago was that I needed to work on telling my story, and connecting the pieces together. I have the data and methods, but what is the real aim of my research? how do these methods connect? is my data contributing to the same aim?, etc. More than likely, I will have to present my research in early september, and I am practicing my storytelling skills. I am going into my sixth year of graduate school, but I am still always working on this.
Hopefully, by the end of the summer John will have a good understanding of the basis for the project, results and conclusions. This will be one way I know I have improved in telling others about my science.