If you are a communication student, you have probably heard about this area’ s research field, but there are great chances that you still have a lot of questions about this subject. Many people get confused when they hear the word “science” related to communication, but you are about to discover this universe.
Interested in becoming a researcher? Want to get to know more about this world? You are at the right place. In an interview for Her Campus at Cásper Líbero, Michelle Prazeres da Cunha – teacher in the journalism program, vice-coordinator of undergraduate courses, and coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Center of Research, all at Cásper Líbero University -, showed the routine of a researcher, clarified doubts and gave reasons as to why you should start in the scientific field.
The beginning of the path
Prazeres‘s entrance into the research world started at college, during the research methodology classes, where she had to craft her research project. “That was when I started to fall in love with this universe”, the teacher told.
Her beginning in the journalism world was like everybody else’s. “We want to study journalism to change the world, I wanted to write about soccer too. I had no idea of how the research world was”. The process was organic. Before immersing in research, Prazeres explored other areas until she came across this field again: “I never imagined it as a profession, I went to work at the newspaper staff, I did an internship… I went to the ‘labor market’, as if doing research was not part of the labor market”.
Soon she realized she could conciliate what she liked to do with the graduate course “after a while, I started working with the civil society organizations, with NGOs and this field is close to the research’ s”.
A new way to see the world
Many people believe that research is only for those who want to be scientists or professors, but the Interdisciplinary Center of Research’ s coordinator asserts that “the research is a way of being in the world that you observe, systematize and classify” and reveals that it is like to wear lens: “after you put them on, the way you look at the world gets transformed, you start looking for patterns, trying to find shadows”. In other words, the experiences enabled by the research are useful for every career.
This is an immersive activity, “you need to arrange your routine, otherwise you will not be able to make it move forward”, Prazeres points out. When researching something that you are attracted to, it gets tougher to divide these duties. “I am a researcher of technologies because they mobilize me, they are fascinating, I love it, I live it. I research the social acceleration of time because I live it in my life”.
For this reason, it is necessary to set aside some time for your project, like trying “to set aside some moments of the week, so I have that time to immerse, read or write an article, do annotations, read a book, try to sign up to a congress”, she exemplifies, and adds: “I always take with me something where I can write on if I have an insight”. However, it does not mean you need to produce at all costs “It is important to have some flexibility too, this is not a mathematical task, sometimes you are not inspired”.
Why should the students do scientific initiation?
The process we call, in Brazil, “Scientific Initiation” is when we start doing research already in the undergraduate course. “Here, at Cásper, you have one year to develop a research project, with a professor of the graduate course’s support. You will be part of a study group and will present your project at a scientific event”.
“I am passionate about research. I think it enables us to look at life from an aware, observant and curious perspective”, said Prazeres, “when we initiate in this area, we sharpen our look on what happens around us, we become able to realize that a situation is more complex than it looks like”.
For her, “It does not matter if it is initiation or Ph.D., it is a collaboration space. This kind of knowledge you will not learn with a teacher passing the discipline to you in the classroom”.
To start, everybody needs a subject. And this choice process can happen in several ways, according to Prazeres. “The most successful choices I have ever accompanied, based on my experiences, are research objects that were part of people’s life and mobilized them”. But the selection can be different: “when you start the research process, your advisor will give you initial lectures and, maybe, you will suddenly bring it into your life. Perhaps you will be attracted to a big theme and will also bring it to your life or you will transform your perception of reality into a research subject”.
The research groups and advisor are very important during this journey: “the research groups and the advisors work a little like agents in the entrance of the communication world, by the themes, methods and then you follow your path”.
Think of the initiation as a beginning. If you love it, continue with it, and you never get out of topics to dive into. And, if you do not like it, “think of all this learning that the research brought into your life”, the teacher explains.