Scientific activity. Low start

    What should ideally begin the scientific activity of a young and inquisitive person?

    The post is inspired by a question about the essence of graduate school.

    Ideally, the career of a young scientist should begin at the university. Of course, one can cite geeks who prove Fermat’s theorems at primary school age, but as a rule, in science, for some reason they “do not live out” to solid results. Although anything is possible. Nevertheless, in accordance with the laws of dialectics, science moves both by masses of people and by ingenious singles at the same time. Until relatively recently (the industrial revolution of the 19th century), science was moved mainly by single fanatics, but only the formation of science as a separate type of professional activity of man ensured humanity the rapid progress that we are now observing. Below are the first steps that are useful to take if you are interested in engaging in scientific activities.

    So, usually students for the most part begin to actively seek work from the 2nd - 3rd year, because a couple of sessions are already behind us, the priorities in learning are slowly becoming more or less clear, such as “going to labs is a must, you can“ score ”at lectures, practical ones every other time, we will do the course in a month (at best), and then two weeks before the delivery, "etc. That is, the person has adapted and realized that there are opportunities to find time to do things besides studying.

    If the issue of material survival is not very acute, i.e. roughly speaking - there are enough scholarships for beer, and dad and mom will dress and feed, you can spend your time a little more far-sighted than just working at a company (and even more so - than hanging out) - try your hand at science. Again, I repeat that all of the recommendations below are advisable only if a person is really interested in picking something new and not standard. In Soviet times, the informal definition of science was “satisfaction of personal curiosity at the state expense” .

    If such an aspiration is present, then the first serious step should be taken:
    Find a supervisor at a universityor outside (for example, in the institutes of the Academy of Sciences) and try to delve into the problem that HP and its team solve (if any, of course).

    There is one caveat. 2nd and 3rd year students are still not very familiar with the teachers of their graduating department - usually they have 2-3 specials by this time. subject, the rest - general education. Therefore, to find a scientific adviser to a person who is poorly aware of what is difficult for science and why. Sometimes an announcement is made on the stream that the professor or associate professor is inviting interested students to collaborate on such and such topics. Sometimes a similar announcement can be found on the bulletin board of the department. This is an ideal case.
    In practice, this happens quite rarely. Therefore, you have to take the initiative.

    The steps algorithm may be as follows:
    1. We specify (in case we don’t know yet) which department is graduating in your specialty. In principle, you can look for HP in other departments, but it is better to first try on your own, and only then beyond.
    2. We look at the bulletin board of the department. If there is no necessary information there, then we look at the composition of the department — which professors and which associate professors are available at the department. Next, you can either go directly to a specific person (calculating it according to the schedule - it’s not a problem) or first go to the teacher from your department, who has already led or is leading something. In the second case, you just need to ask him what kind of scientific work is being conducted at the department and which of its composition attracts students to work. If you have everything in order with academic performance, then you can ask the teacher to recommend you to a particular professor or associate professor as someone interested in scientific work. Maybe this will give a result, maybe not, but you will get some information.
    3. If the conversation with the teacher did not lead to a meeting with potential NR, then we look for contacts among senior students (- forums, dorms, just go to a streaming audience and catch someone) and conduct an investigation - we specify which professor or assistant professor is special in his subject. If answers like: “demanding bastard, but knows his business,” then you can go directly to the very namerek and take the bull by the horns. If the answers are “a dofinist, he himself does not know, but does not require it,” then I personally don’t see the point of being a graduate student at such an HP. Knowing the name and surname of the professor, you can search for his works in the internet - see the subject, at least. In principle, everything is visible on the Internet in the palm of your hand, but for a deeper analysis of the information you need to have experience in scientific work, which you do not have yet.
    4. Approach the selected professor / associate professor with approximately the following text: “Good afternoon, Ivan Petrovich. I am a student of the 2nd (3rd year) of a certain specialty. I am interested in science (scientific activity) and I would like to clarify whether you need students to work on any topic. When can I meet with you and talk about this in more detail? ”
      Either Ivan Petrovich will say immediately“ No, he is not interested ”(which is unlikely), or he will set the time for the conversation.
      If he answers “No, he’s not interested”, then you can not immediately give up, but ask if he will tell you which of his colleagues is actively working with students in the department. In this case, paragraph 4 will have to be repeated.
    5. At the meeting itself, the main questions that Ivan Petrovich will most likely ask are:
      a) Why do you need this young man / girl?
      b) What do you know how (or what were your successes in special subjects)?
      c) What about the English language?

    • Why do you need this - you must decide for yourself. The list of reasons why people go to graduate school I gave in the article , as well as readers in the comments to it.
      I recommend saying as is - they say there is interest, but there is no certainty that this is your calling, I want to try, than regret about the lost opportunities. You can also say that I want to become a general - that is, a professor - "like, I like this title" :). In the end, the courier from the film of the same name Karen Shakhnazarov was a very nice hero precisely because of his non-standard straightforwardness :).
    • What you can do is not the worst. Of course, it is better to be able to do something within the framework of your specialty, but you can refer to school (physical education, if there was one), olympiads (if there were one). But even if there was nothing, it’s also not scary, usually the majority of graduate students do not shine with anything special.
      May be interested in the average score. Although he is also not an indicator - the beginning of studies is often not blurry (subjects are not interesting, the situation is new, etc.) - then the student is leveled and even ahead of some ardent excellent students.
    • With English - this is more significant. Most scientific publications are in English. I advise you to learn it. If possible - sign up for courses. As a rule, school knowledge (unless a special school is in English) and university knowledge is not enough.

    Further, most likely, there will be some “incubation period” within which you will be given the task to independently study something and deal with something. Half of those who want to fall off at this stage. Those who have done something move on to the next level - working in closer contact with HP.

    Yes, I almost forgot, unlike your friends working in companies and having their own money for beer, no one will pay you anything at your university for your efforts. On the face, complete charity on your part :).

    Now the main question: what does scientific work in a university give?
    1. You can feel the science from the inside and decide whether it is interesting or not. It may be interesting with science in general, but not interesting with the subject. Then you can decide on your interests earlier and find the HP that works on this topic. If there is no interest in science, then you can not waste time on magistracy and graduate school - go to work for the company immediately after the diploma (or even earlier).
    2. You will learn some things by profession before your classmates. Therefore, some special. subjects for you will not cause problems in exams, and moreover, if you really have a normal job with your professor / associate professor, then he can, within the department, put in a word and exam / test for you even from other teachers (not to mention already about their own) turn into a formality.
    3. You gain experience writing your first publications, as do the publications themselves.
    4. You have the opportunity to write and defend not a graduation project, but a scientific work. It may be true that this rule is not implemented at all universities, but it is worth asking about it. A scientific work differs from a diploma in that you fill out all your research results for the previous 2-3 courses in the form of a single work (very similar to a master's work) and report it to the state. commission instead of a diploma. Details need to be clarified at your department.
    5. You receive a recommendation for admission to graduate school / magistracy.
    6. You get the opportunity to participate in scientific projects (including for salaries) even before graduation.
    7. A non-cash start in science (that is, a period in which you still do not know anything and you are not included in any projects / grants) falls on relatively carefree student time. The material side of the issue is still not so worrying, while living on one post-graduate scholarship without replenishment from the outside is much harder.
    8. And, finally, the most important thing - YOU WIN TIME .
      If you start working in the 3rd year, then by the 3rd year of graduate school to get a finished dissertation at the exit and defend it is much more likely than starting a graduate school after a university to start all over again.
      As a result, getting a candidate degree at 25 is much more pleasant than at 28-30. As well as the chances of a solid career - and not only in science, but also in firms, state. enterprises, etc.

    Life examples are available. One of my colleagues (Vitya, hello :)), starting to study science in the 3rd year of university, was one of the rare examples of a graduate student at a certain academic scientific institution, who presented and defended his dissertation before graduating from graduate school. In less than a year, the R&D center of a large Korean company with a worldwide reputation took him to the vacancy of the head of the development team. In a sense, this is also an ideal option to pursue a career.
    We will talk about realities in the following posts.

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