Where Research Begins: Choosing a Research Project That Matters to You (and the World)

Graduate school flies by quicker than many realize, and the decisions you make in the beginning have an outsized impact on your entire career trajectory. This is especially true when it comes to research. For grad students who take time to understand the stakes of their chosen research project—not just “what” their thesis or dissertation is about, but “why” this topic is so personally important to them—your research and writing flows more naturally, you are better able to “pivot” when you hit research roadblocks, your grant and fellowship applications prove more compelling, your presentations and job talks are more magnetic, a sense of purpose and belonging carries you through tough times and doldrums, you meet your intellectual “fellow travelers” far faster, and your time-to-completion is shorter (with positive implications for both you and your department). Simply put, there is an immense value to knowing who you are as a scholar, both pragmatically and personally.

Join Stanford professor Thomas Mullaney and University of British Columbia professor Christopher Rea about the most common pitfalls faced by graduate researchers, and how they can overcome them with an eye toward building a career that is personally meaningful to them. Drawing on their new book, Where Research Begins: Choosing a Research Project That Matters to You (and the World) (University of Chicago Press, 2022), Mullaney and Rea will share practical tips for making key decisions about which research projects to choose, how to make them your own, and how to communicate the significance of your research to potential employers.

To engage with our speakers and access closed captions, visit: https://gradfutures.princeton.edu/Forum/Virtual

About the GradFUTURES 2022 Forum

With dozens of engaging keynote speakers, skill-building workshops, and networking sessions, the GradFUTURES Forum is free and open to all graduate students, graduate alumni, post-docs, faculty, and administrators at Princeton and beyond!

The Forum highlights the diverse career options within and beyond the academy, emphasizes inspirational stories and practical, data-driven advice, and facilitates connections and community.

This multi-day professional development conference was established in 2020 and brings together graduate students, graduate alumni, thought leaders, authors, and industry experts from across the country and around the globe. In 2021, there were more than 3,600 attendees, 60+ speakers from across academia and industry, and 30+ sessions. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

To learn more, visit: https://gradfutures.princeton.edu/Forum
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