Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem
Egyetemi Doktorandusz Képviselet

What makes a ”good researcher”?

Kurzus leírása

Do renowned researchers owe their success to the fact that they are simply more “talented” than others, or is there some other “secret” involved? What exactly is the nature of their special “talent”? Can that “talent” be learned? Are you, as a potential researcher, struggling with the question whether you are “talented” enough to build a successful and fulfilling career in research? What kinds of competencies are required in that regard from a researcher by the various research institutions or industrial research sites? Should you choose the industry or academia for your research career? Does the university provide you with the right kind and right amount of knowledge so that you can “make it” in the “real world”? If not, in what ways should you improve yourself? What is (or should be) the true merit of a PhD degree (besides its ego-boosting effect that you can put “Dr.” in front of your name) when you start your work in the world, especially in the industry? Do the universities fully realize what skills should be mostly developed during a PhD program? Do the research facilities fully realize what they can or should expect from such PhD programs? What skills are needed to be demonstrated in a job interview? Although these questions, and many related ones, are of utmost importance at an individual as well as an institutional level, they are typically not addressed with sufficient conscientiousness, and are poorly understood by all involved parties, i.e. students, supervisors, research institutes and industrial R&D facilities, etc. Furthermore, the topic is surrounded by many misguided stereotypes and myths, especially about what it means to be “talented” as a researcher, which can have rather negative practical consequences.

In this admittedly somewhat off-the-wall, and perhaps even provocative presentation I will discuss these issues on the basis of having gained quite a lot of experience as a researcher as well as a manager of a research unit in both a heavy-duty pharmaceutical industrial research environment, and also in a university setting. Based on this experience, I will argue that while technical expertise and a sufficient degree of “smartness” are of course important qualities, the “talent” that really matters in the long run is dominated by skills that will be referred to as “attitude competencies”. I will mention a number of such skills, including the attitude-driven ability to avoid the “mental traps” that can easily affect even the smartest and most experienced scientific minds.1 In all, the messages to be conveyed will probably be surprising, but hopefully also inspiring with a positive outlook on the “secret” of being a “good researcher”.

1. Cs. Szántay, Jr, (Ed), Anthropic Awareness: the human aspects of scientific thinking in NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. New York: Elsevier, 2015.

Kurzus kimenete

A seminar will shedlighton the nature and cause of the Mental Traps that weliveby, and helps to identify and avoid them…
A seminar will help students to develop a more conscientious, more critical, more meticulous, and more daring scientific (and “everyday”) thinking.
The seminar intends to work as a personal development program, in which the students receive a new perspective on what it takes to become successful as a researcher.
The students will gain an understanding of the skills that affect a person’s performance beyond technical knowledge and intellectual capabilities.
They will gain an insight into life into the pharma industry.
They will get some hints as to what competencies matter most in job interviews.

Prof. Szántay Csaba, egyetemi magántanár, BME - Vegyészmérnöki és Biomérnöki Kar
Kurzuskód: PHDLA2012
Ideje: 2023.11.08. 14:15 - 16:00
Helyszín: BME Z épület 10. emelet MNB tér
Mely doktori iskola részére: összes
Résztvevők ajánlott száma: 10-40 persons
Kiknek ajánljuk: PhD and DLA students