Not ashamed to admit…

Being senior student in master program we discussed several times the topic of being researcher (What is the role of research in my world? ,Research: before and after, My favourite researcher and others). Thus, we have realized that even though we are not actual researcher now, we are on the way of learning of being a competent researcher. We past definite stages of learning to conduct research. First of all, we had to choose the topic. Remember, without any topic of interest in the field of education we went through all the topics, tried to find what seemed for us interesting and uploaded our outlines. Then, we began writing literature review part. I really lacked for the literature searching skills. So many articles were read and some of which became inappropriate to the aim of the research study. However, only finding or reading appropriate articles were not enough. To analyze the articles, to join sub topics under one general topic and give your own critical view throughout the review are another challenges that we are still facing and have to overcome. But now, the issue of gathering data will be discussed here. Yes-yes, it means we achieved the half of the way and now on the stage of data collection.  And this stage is not without its challenges.

In general, data collection means recruit participants of the study to get data from them. Of course, there are studies without involvement of human being, such as document analysis, but it is not my case. Thus, due to the fact that my participants are teachers, recruiting them required to go to schools and talk with the school principals and administration. I realized that not every school is looking forward to welcome me as a researcher. Frightening talks from previous cohort that some research sites even do not let researcher in to talk with principals made me afraid to go to the sites. But no way I scheduled a day and went to the school. So after waiting about 40 minutes for the principal, I even did not have the chance to tell about my research study. The principal invited me to his/her (cannot disclose the gender, ethics) office, and immediately refused me saying that many researchers conducted their research in this school, let there are other 90 schools to be researched too. The principal added that they do not have time to bother with me. Considering that I am pretty sociable person with good communicative skills I swallowed my tongue for such answer. I expected that the principals can refuse me in case if my research seems for them controversial or sensitive but not refusal without even listening to me. To be honest, this visit to school demotivated me a bit. I thought that perhaps conducting research is not mine and time to give up. See, only one school, only first refusal could make me to have second thoughts. But then, having had time to think, I built up enough courage to go to other schools and finally could receive desirable permissions.

As a freshman in research let me share some useful tips to overcome challenges on the research site:

  • Be ready to severe rejections
  • Don’t give up after the first rejection
  • Prepare all supportive papers such as abstracts, outlines to show your seriousness
  • Try to show your motivation and willingness to conduct research particularly in this site

May be it seems that it is weird to share my fail about data collection, but I believe that it is very essential to know such kind of stories for emerging researchers. Nothing is perfect, no one is perfect. Awareness of such stories will let you know that anything can happen and you should be ready for any obstacles.

If you have any stories, feel free to share.




8 thoughts on “Not ashamed to admit…

  1. I was very nervous when I went to see my academic advisor. He asked me: “what would you like to research? “
    I was not sure. Whatever you would like me to do, sir. I am ready and will do whatever you say.
    Then he asked me: would you like to be a researcher or a research assistant?
    I have never forgotten this question!!


  2. Thank you for raising this burning issue. We are now at probably the most challenging and most important level of our studies, as the outcomes and findings of our papers will be based on the data we collect at our research sites. I, personally, become demotivated when people having heard that I came to do research ask about what I would like to explore and when I tell them the purpose of my study, I can see the dissapointment on their faces as they expect me to say that I am going to find the cure of HIV or something like this, something which is major and significant. It makes me think that maybe I chose the wrong topic, but then I calm myself down as I am deeply interested in my topic.


  3. Very uplifting final post, and timely too, as you are all facing your first big challenge of thesis data collection this week! (5/5)


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