Embracing these exceptional times

Scientists during lockdown

These are anxious times for us all, but especially those on the front line health services and people that are most vulnerable to the new coronavirus. Whilst in lockdown, researchers might have significant time away from their typical work environment. This blogpost explores ways that researchers can use their lockdown time well; to move forward or reassess aspects of their career from home.

Remember you are a hero

Scientists are the heroes of our times. Give yourself a pat on the back for helping the world become a better place. Whether you are studying the origins of life or new materials for athletes; your research is contributing towards a better planet and better quality of life for all. Not many professionals can say that.

What is going to be your next contribution to a better world? Perhaps this is a time to reconsider or reinforce the role of your expert knowledge and niche skillset in the world.

Learn something new

Here at Nature Masterclasses and Nature Research Academies, we are continuously developing our courses and workshops to empower researchers towards flourishing in their careers. Now is a great opportunity to take an online course. Explore our Nature Masterclasses portfolio of courses such as our free course on conducting peer review. Our parent company, Springer Nature, also has a range of tutorials available for authors on writing and publishing.

Write something opinionated

Scientists rarely get the opportunity to express their subjective opinions within the scientific community in writing. We are so used to being objective and stating our analyses based on fact and confidence levels. But your opinion is also of value to your scientific community and the wider public, regardless of whether you are a PhD student or tenured professor. Why not take this time to consider writing an opinion article or commentary in a journal? In what aspects of the scientific world would you like your voice to be heard? Consider writing to an editor with a proposed piece of writing.

Time to reflect

These exceptional times could be a good opportunity for you to reflect on your previous work. Why not look back at some or all of your previous projects; assessing which ones made you the most proud and which ones were the most successful. Take time to appreciate the hard work you have put in to your work over the years. For the less successful projects; do they have a common factor that could be avoided in the future?

We all get bogged down in our day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Whether it is lab work, teaching or writing, we rarely have time to be creative or take a step back and look to the bigger picture. Give yourself time to out your foot on the break and consider where you are heading. Ask yourself whether you are dictating the direction of your studies as you had initially planned and where you want to see yourself in the future. Is now a time to steer a new direction?

Things to do during lockdown