Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Research & Managing Research - reply


Could you talk about the difference between doing research and managing research ?


The question you raised cannot be answered without defining

a. what research means to you and the objectives of the projects you are involved in.

b. your personal position in the project and how much is your personal involvement.

Are you just a scientifically qualified individual given an assignment, a member of a research team, leader of a research team, head of an organization that needs to do research, head of an institution responsible for promoting and funding research without being personally involved in the nitty gritty of the research activities.

What you have to do depends on where you stand. I have held and experienced most of the positions described above, starting as

1. a research student,

2. a staff doing routine work and trouble shooting,

3 a head of department with its responsibilities to provide services to our hospitals

4. Chairman of SISIR helping Singapore to develop through its industries,

5. Founder Chairman of Singapore Science Council to promote R & D activities and

S & T manpower development.

6. CEO of companies where research is required to expand or stay relevant.

7. As an individual working on projects of personal interest.

Research has given me lots of joy but also not without some pain. I like to encourage people to do research and share with them what can be in store for them. I have tasted some of the “pies in the sky”. They are nice and enjoyable rewards but the ride to get there can be bumpy. Research can give many of us lots of pleasure and joy. However it is not the “koh yeoh” ( Chinese herbal medicinal plaster) that some people try to sell as something that can heal all ills. Some of the passed and the coming articles in my blog are written to encourage more people to do research in spite of the difficulties. This is what we need for Singapore. Take them for whatever they are worth to you.

Lee Kum Tatt

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have the idea that there are two categories of research positions (but I am not sure if it is right). People in the first position do the "hands-on" stuff (whatever the type of research it is, e.g. basic, strategic, applied etc). People in the second position are generally the more senior staff who lead projects or manages the company.

What are the differences in the challenges in two categories? What are the differences between the kind of skills required for each category?