The trials and Tribulations of Conducting Your Own Research Part II

The last time I spoke about my research study, it was somewhere in the middle stages. I was still recruiting participants. And believe it or not, they were hard to find in a city as multicultural as the one I live in. Doing one’s research study was intense. I was led to believe this would be a 4-month process. Thank God for my supervisor who helped me see reality. It turned out to be a whole academic year. I ended up recruiting ten participants for a one-on-one interview each, after revising my study. I couldn’t have done these interviews without my research assistants. One of them dutifully transcripted the interviews. The other one sat in on interviews and took notes. We loosely assessed data from time to time. It was great to have two other heads listening in on this to provide their perspectives. After that, I spent pretty much the entire summer trying to get my money for the study. Each time I thought that was the last I would deal with finance, they wanted a new form..sigh. This was particularly hard when you’re trying to get paid for the work you’ve done – and pay others for the work they’ve done. During the study, I bought lots of books on comics research and graphic novels.The good news about winning a research grant to study comic readers is that it covers the cost of your graphic novels. But it came with a ton of work. Each time I came to the cashier at the bookstore with a fresh round of comics, I was tired. Then I realized, “Hey this is awesome! I get paid to buy comics.” Then of course, come summer time I had to chase the finance department to reimburse me. In the end, I’m grateful. Most people who conduct their own research in PhDs have to pay out of pocket so I’m not going to complain. The only problem is how much this has kept me from comps. I now have to code my research. It feels like this just doesn’t end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *