Having a weekly plan

Critical to sticking to a project plan and setting your research pace is knowing what needs to get done day by day.

An example of a weekly plan: Split tasks across days and projects then fill in a basic description of what needs to get done.

A weekly plan can include any level of detail that is appropriate, but the plan must leave space for errors and distractions. A good plan will likely lead to a single completed task in an overall project, as well as preparation for the next week’s main task and smaller administrative requirements. This pace of work will likely provide enough time to deal with unforeseen setbacks and produce concrete results.

Consider sitting down on a Friday afternoon with other Lab mates, assisting each other in reviewing the week’s progress and in preparing for the next week’s work.




Being precise

In many fields we can get away with using a wide range of words that are semantically close to each other, we rely on others getting ‘the vibe of the thing’ as we communicate. In professional science however, words need to mean the exact thing that they describe. As a result in scientific communication at every level we are required to be precise with our language.

On a simple level we see precision supported when valuable space in a paper or presentation time is taken to explain an acronym, initialism, abbreviation or vague label (think ‘molecular dynamics’).

However this simple precision only comes from an advanced appreciation for the field. We can only be precise if we spend the time to understand our science to such a level that we see the vast differences between semantically close words and use precision accordingly.


Target Journal criteria

Papers are easier to write and prepare for it there’s a clear criteria to work towards. 

  • Keep a list of target journals for the project, one each of high /medium /low impact. 
  • Follow these journals and analyse the core articles they publish. Keep in mind the style of writing and results. 
  • Build a paper criteria. The criteria will have graded steps between requirements for rising levels of impact. 
  • Review the project’s progress against this criteria. 
  • Decide what work needs to be done and what level of impact will be acceptable. 

Keep a list of target journals for publication

analyse style and type of results presented