A major component of the Brackenridge Fellowship is learning how to describe our research to individuals studying outside our field. This is meant to teach us how to cater our projects to audiences. This is a great skill to have, but it can be quite challenging to learn how to stray away from the laboratory lingo into language that anyone can understand. The fellowship cohorts are interdisciplinary groups built into our weekly seminar.
My cohort times is a combination of passionate students conducting research in cardiac health, art studies, computer science, and so much more. It is fascinating for me to hear the amazing projects that my talented peers are working on. Like many students, most of the research that I read and hear about is in my own field. It is extremely refreshing to hear and learn about the spectrum of what research can look like.
At our last meeting, we met with our cohorts and talked about the methodology for our projects. Some students had the traditional research approach in a lab and very specific steps while others has a method that involves spending hours in archives or libraries to find the literature for their specific topic. A few of my peers were also researching human subjects, but some were researching animals or depending on the past documentation for their data.
Through my experiences so far with my cohort, I have learned that there is no one correct way to approach a problem. Research is conducted in a variety amount of ways and through a spectrum of disciplines. Not only have I been able to expand my perspective on what research is or can be, but I have also gained a greater respect for the research in other fields and the multiple approaches they take to research and answer their own curiosities. The way I speak and conduct my research is more efficient because I am inspired by my peers and I am learning how to explain my research to people who are not studying in my field.