It’s All Relevant According to Einstein… or Was It Relative?

One of Einstein‘s many theories is that a light beam always appears to have the same speed, no matter how fast you are moving relative to it. This theory is also one of the foundations of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. So why the Mini Einstein Bobble Head? Because of the Night at the Museum 2 movie, of course! Have a peek at the trailer and come back.

OK, the last letter in our F.I.N.E.R. mnemonic – a convenient way to remember what makes a good research question – is R. We covered E for Ethical last time and today we will go over R for Relevant – not relative (pay attention now!).

So, you are now a junior researcher with a newly minted pocked protector and have decided to step back a minute and assess your research question using F.I.N.E.R. Among the 5 characteristics we have discussed this last one is an important one. Let’s go back to F is for Feasible where we were thinking of a way to survey your friend’s about going camping at the end of the semester to celebrate the start of summer. The results of your survey will provide you with important information. Not only will they influence your decision to have the event or not, but they will also allow for promotion of the event as being “really popular” (important to many participants) and for better planning (important to the organizing committee). The results of the survey are “relevant”.

Make sure the results of your study will contribute to research knowledge and influence change in your field. Maybe a mentor can help shed some light on it if you are unsure. The broader the relevance of your results the better. This touches on “knowledge translation” and we will chat about that later on in our blog.
That’s it for FINER! Practice it a little this week-end and let me know how it goes.
See you in the blogosphere,
Pascal Tyrrell