Creating An Outstanding Research Team
Plenty of postgraduate research requires teams of researchers. Often the case study is too large, or there is too much quantitative research to carry out, preventing the individual from doing the work on her/his own. However, there are often difficulties that arise as a result of working in research teams. Miscommunication, overlapping research, and disassociation between studies are some of the problems that occur when a research team works together. Creating a strong research team requires hard work and discipline among team members, but there are other ways of ensuring that the research team functions well.
Studies by a number of professors have revealed that an emotional element is required within a research team to ensure effective and strong research. That means that an intellectual interest in the research is not the only stimulus that drives a research team forward. All the team members have to be involved emotionally. A team with members who all have a strong emotional connection to their work will always perform better than a research team driven by intellectual capacity alone.
What is the best way of stoking an emotional attachment to one’s research? Social interaction. This means that research teams are less likely to conduct great research if they are not physically working together. Social interaction, learning together, respecting each other’s work and assisting each other where necessary is what is needed to make a great research team. Furthermore, team research requires that the team members enjoy each other’s company.
How can you manage an effective research team at the Vaal University of Technology (and elsewhere)?
- Make sure that the research team meets regularly, and the meetings are only moderately structured. The open-ended meetings can function as a forum where team members assist each other with difficulties and chat socially about their work.
- Make sure that the research team meets each other socially at least once a month. Get away from the research topic, and learn more about your team. Social events like braais or teambuilding exercises will help in this regard.
- Accept constructive criticism and advice from team members. This way you can assist them during their research work, especially if your research topic is interdisciplinary.
By ensuring that there is an emotional investment on the part of all researchers you can rest assured that the research team will conduct great work.
If you would like to study your postgraduate research degree at the Vaal University of Technology, then make sure you contact us whenever you have the opportunity. Take a look at our research focus areas to see whether you can make a contribution to one of our many ongoing research divisions.