Want to be a researcher, follow these 6 tips

A research degree is ideal if you are looking to pursue your studies at a higher and more detailed level. It can lead to a career in industry, government or academia, and you can become an expert and leader in your field. Here are some generic research skills that will help you achieve your goals.

Project Management
Project management essentially means good planning. You will have to define your research in terms of achievable aims, the time and resources needed to do this. You will have to provide a step by step plan of how you intend to carry this out. This stage of your research must be completed in order to get external funding, so without this skill your research project will not even get off the ground. If you are currently working on someone else's project as an assistant, try to learn as much as possible from them about the details of planning and running a project.

Dare to fail
Research is about finding new insights. You cannot do that without taking risks. You need to dare to fail. Most senior researchers would be able to write a book about failing. Document your failures. What did you try, and why, and what went wrong? Next time, you will avoid that path.

Handling Data
Depending on your field the sorts of results you get from your project will vary widely. It could be results from experiments within a laboratory, statistical evidence gathered from work in the field or qualitative material gleaned from interviews or from research in an archive or library. Whatever sort of results you get, you need to be able to handle large amounts of data efficiently and effectively.

IT skills
Closely linked with point 4 is the necessity of developing IT skills. It is unlikely you will be running your own research project without being fairly IT literate, but there are always new methods or packages to learn about, so don't stop! For example, are there any data collection or storage packages that would help your research that you are unfamiliar with? What about analytical tools for working with large amounts of data? Perhaps you need something bespoke and experimental for your project that you could help to design.

Spend more time on the questions than on the answers
This is a common mistake among junior researchers: To quickly pick a problem, and then spend all too much time finding answers to that very problem, not seeing how full the world is of other more pertinent problems.

Team leading/managing
Being good at working with others is a difficult skill to achieve especially in the academic world when we are used to working with a large degree of autonomy. However a research project often requires the assistance of others: colleagues at your institution and elsewhere, administrative staff and possibly people in the private sector as well.