Posted in Recap, Support and healthy working

Recap: Ask #ECRchat Anything, 31 January 2013

This chat was hosted by Katie Wheat, a postdoctoral researcher in cognitive neuroscience at Maastricht University. She can be found on Twitter as @KL_Wheat, and blogs at Life After Thesis. Here is her recap of the chat.

For the second chat of 2013 we deviated from the usual format to bring you the first ever “Ask #ECRchat Anything”. Instead of the usual single topic and structured questions, we turned the chat on its head and let you loose to ask (or tell) whatever was on your mind. This resulted in a chat that was frantic, exciting, and at times a little hectic, but also produced interesting questions and insightful answers. I like to refer to it as ‘speed-mentoring’!

For a fuller recap of the chat, you can view the Storify, but to give you a taste of the questions and advice, Hazel started out by asking what makes people stay in academic research. This question prompting a flurry of passionate answers ranging from the intellectual stimulation, to flexibility of working, the variety, a passion for the particular topic of research, and many more. We followed on with discussions about funding, mentoring, re-entering research after a break, public engagement, professional development, balancing priorities of funders, and more.

I was pleased that people also took up the invitation to share their tips and advice, even if it wasn’t related to a specific question. For example, Prof. Pat Thomson reminded us that we should be long-term ambitious by thinking about what we would like or have achieved or be known for by the end of our career.

It would be impossible to cover all of the discussions in this blog post or in the Storify, so if you want to re-live the full chat you can download a PDF of the chat here, #ECRchat_tweets_2013_01_31.pdf.

It was a pleasure chatting with you all as usual. If you enjoyed the “Ask #ECRchat Anything” be sure to let us know so we can schedule another one for the future. If you want to have a more detailed discussion of any of the topics that came up, also let us know so we can add them to the topics list. You can contact me and Hazel via the @ECRchat Twitter account or by e-mail (or comment below).


The next live #ECRchat will be on 14th February 2013, hosted by Charlotte Mathieson, discussing the challenges of interdisciplinarity. UK chat time 10:00-11:00 (GMT), Europe chat time 11:00-12:00 (CET), Australia chat time 21:00-22:00 (EDST).



Postdoc in psychology and cognitive neuroscience, researching visual word recognition. Likes MEG, TMS, fMRI, reading, waffles, and motorbiking.

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