How flexible should you be in your research?
This is one of those questions that I suspect many researchers never (or rarely) ask themselves; often, one can simply progress incrementally through a research career, going where the interesting work is. And that's fine, but I for one think tthat there are benefits to be gained from some strategic thinking in this area.
What I mean by flexible is how willing should you be to move on to new projects, areas of research and entirely new subjects.
By being flexible, there are a number of advantages.
- You can follow the latest hot topics
- Your interests may develop over time
- The interdisciplinary effect (wider skill-set, acting as a vector to transfer ideas from one subject to another)
- You'll need to build up new domain-specific knowledge
- You'll need to build new collaboration networks
- You'll need to build a reputation in th new subject area