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It is OK to borrow a brain

Contrary to popular (student) belief it is actually the A grade students who knock on my door every week asking for help or advice. Nothing illustrates this better than the assignment I have just marked…

Towards the end of the second year we allocate students a dissertation research topic/title and supervisor and they have to submit a research project proposal on a grant application-esque form.

Predictably, the students did very well in writing an appropriate background to their field of study but most had seemingly struggled alone to write an outline of their planned methods.  How can you propose to do a project in someone’s lab without first talking to them about it?  How can you propose to write a systematic literature review when you do not understand what a systematic review actually entails? Despite being encouraged, and badgered!, to seek early advice and explanation from their supervisors many students ultimately left it too late and struggled.

“Research may be done alone, but it is never done in isolation.” – who said this?

Students, come and borrow my brain next time!

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