During this time of remote work, many graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are considering how to best allocate their time that would have otherwise been spent working on-site in a lab. The good news is there are many ways to make both research and personal development progress while working remotely. Below is a list of suggested options along with some specific links to online resources.
Data Analysis and Plotting
Many researchers find it difficult to set aside time to do data analysis and plotting, preferring instead to carry out further experiments and studies. Now is a good time to go back and focus on prior data to ensure it has been thoroughly analyzed.
Prepare a Manuscript
Now is a good time to draft a manuscript that you have been putting off. Identify possible journals, understand the scope and topical nature of each, and look through the formatting requirements.
Many software programs have free tutorials that you can use to increase your proficiency. Examples are Matlab, Labview, Microsoft Office, Adobe, etc. Tutorials can often be found in the software program itself or online.
Search for recent or key papers in your field that you have not had time to read. This will help build your base knowledge in the field and ensure you have a current understanding of the most recent reports.
Thesis and Dissertation Preparation
Even though you may not yet be at the writing stages of your Thesis or Dissertation, now may be a good time to establish a dialogue with your faculty advisor and discuss the potential scope and content. You may also consider writing some of the introductory portions and ensuring a strong knowledge of the prior work.
Professional Development and Preparations
Now is a good time to revise and update your CV. You may also consider online resources to improve your basic skill sets using many of the resources listed later in this document. Consider looking through funding agencies and their funding opportunities to become familiar with research funding and what is required in order to prepare a proposal. Become familiar with the societies that are common for your field.
Research Data Management Resources
Data Management Short Course for Scientists
ESIP (Earth Science Information Partners) in cooperation with NOAA and the Data Conservancy have compiled the resources for this course.
Data Management Training Clearinghouse
A registry for online learning resources focusing on research data management.
DataONE Education Modules
Provides several lessons in PowerPoint format available for download that can be incorporated into teaching materials. Also available are webinars and screencast tutorials.
Data Science Methodology
A free, five-hour-long class from IBM to learn how to ensure that the data used in problem-solving is relevant and properly manipulated to address the question at hand.
Disciplinary RDM Training
Lists Research Data Management materials specific to five areas (performing arts, archeology, and social anthropology, health studies, psychology, and geosciences, social sciences, and clinical psychology). Other courses are listed as well.
ICPSR Data Management and Curation
An international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations and provides training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community. This site provides information specifically on Data Management and Curation. There is also a Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving
MANTRA: Research Data Management Training
A free online course for those who manage digital data as part of their research project managed by the University of Edinburgh. Modules include data protection, rights, and access; sharing and licensing; and metadata and curation.
NISO Research Data Management
The National Information Standards Organization has a primer to cover the basics of research data management.
AAAS Communications Toolkit
Use the American Association for the Advancement of Science Communications (AAAS) Toolkit to improve your communication skills as a scientist and better engage with the public.
CITI Research Ethics Training
The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program is an organization that provides online research ethics education to all members of the research community. Provided at no cost to researchers, this training includes courses with options for different disciplines.
A non-profit created by Harvard and MIT offering MOOCs and interactive online classes on a variety of subjects. EdX courses can be audited free (a verified certificate can be purchased for a small fee).
ETD+ Virtual Workshop Series
Set of free introductory training resources on crucial data curation and digital longevity techniques for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) and affiliated files. Designed for training graduate students on how to manage research for theses and dissertations, but the curriculum can be used by anyone involved in the research. Topics include copyright, data organization, file formats, metadata, storage, and version control.
An online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Explore over 12,000 courses and 5,000 video tutorials from industry experts and leaders. LinkedIn Learning is available for free to all UCF students, faculty, and staff.
MIT Open Courseware
An open and free, web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content in a wide variety of topics.
Learn to help your PI and other investigators update their current and pending funding documents by reviewing: Sample Applications, How to Determine Eligibility, How to Prepare Your Application, How to Plan Your Budget & Personnel, Additional Application Elements, Research with Special Considerations, and How to Submit an Application.
NPA Core Competencies
The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) has established six core competencies to offer guidance to individual postdoctoral scholars to help them seek out relevant training experiences. Also, see the NPA Core Competencies Resources Companion for a guide full of resources to help postdocs master each one of the core competencies.
UCF Graduate Grantsmanship Webcourse
This free Webcourse is open to all UCF affiliates and will equip users with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully obtain external research grant funding through five modules. Users who complete all five modules and corresponding quizzes will be able to download a printable completion certificate. UCF users can log into Webcourses at the link above.
UCF Libraries InfoLit Modules
Information literacy is a set of competencies that can assist individuals to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the information and make informed choices about selecting information sources. Module topics include: Conducting a Literature Review, Creating a Search Strategy, Focusing an Information Search, and more.
UCF Pathways to Success Program
Coordinated by the UCF College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research.
All Pathways to Success workshops will be held online for the time being. Students can register for Pathways to Success workshops their myUCF Student Center under Graduate Students then Pathways to Success. Postdocs and other UCF affiliates can email firstname.lastname@example.org for access.