When they launch their independent research programs at universities or other institutions that offer some degree of investigative autonomy, new scientists and engineers often have little knowledge about how their research careers may evolve over time. In the September 2017 AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Advice for Emerging Researchers on Research Program Development: A Personal Case Study,” Christopher W. Jones of the Georgia Institute of Technology summarizes the beginning phase of his research career and provides an array of recommendations for emerging researchers.
Jones covers the first 20 years of the development of his research program, which applies new materials to applications in catalysis and separations. He breaks down the case study into three phases:
- the search for a position
- launching the laboratory
- development of research themes.
A new researcher faces a key challenge during the first phase (the search for a position): develop a compelling and unique theme for the research program. Jones advises that for a new program to have the greatest impact, it should not be an incremental extension of prior PhD or postdoctoral...
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