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Persistence and Patience with Narrative Research

Posted on February 16, 2006

Barbara H. Fiese (bio) suggests that new professors make their departments aware of the nature of their research.

 

Well, you need to be persistent and you need to be patient. Doing either narrative research or family-based research takes a lot of time. Sometimes it's a long time between the moment that you collect the data until you can really get into it and analyze it. I think that's one of the big challenges for a young assistant professor, because the pressures are so great to be able to turn things around quickly.

Make sure your publication record is good, and you've got to do this in five or six years. If you do longitudinal research, you can't wait until you get all of the results in. As a young assistant professor that's on the clock, it is probably a good idea to think about a couple of different projects you can have going at the same time.

And some of them may be survey based, some of them may be things that you can get done a little bit quicker, and then also be invested in things that take a little bit longer. And the other part is make sure that the members of your department, the people who are making the tenure decisions, understand the nature of your research so that they don't expect that you're doing a lot of survey research. And understand that good quality research like this takes time. And most people do, but just make sure they're aware of it.

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Excerpted from interview with researcher in April 2005.

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