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Three Qualities of a Good Researcher

Posted on December 3, 2007

Enthusiasm, perseverance, and staying informed are three vital characteristics of a successful researcher, says Ihsan M. Salloum (bio).


I think ultimately people probably would do best what they like. And so even though this is not scientific advice, but I think that probably people should follow their heart, where they feel they really love that area, because research is such a tremendous enterprise and people can look at so many things. So you need to have your heart into what you are doing, and then persist.

Persistence, persistence, persistence, because I never get anything done the first time. People say no all the time; in academia you get a lot of rejection. You submit a grant, they reject it; you submit a publication, paper, they reject it. Rejection is part of the job, and really try to learn from this rejection and persist. Persistence is a major second step.

And third is try to be informed and see what’s happening around and try to shape what you are getting into, ideas that you think you want to do. I think research is very interesting and is always challenging. You are always asking yourself things and really trying to compete with yourself if you get to that point. If people are able to get satisfaction from that, I think they will be okay.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher at the 2007 International Conference on Bipolar Disorder in Pittsburgh, PA.


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