One piece of advice I've gotten is to try to work in a different area from the thesis. "Don't keep squeezing and milking out one paper." I started reading papers in a different field but I don't know what the important, interesting questions are and what problems people haven't thought about yet and that can be answered by someone who is not an expert. How do I branch out in a new direction? For example, one idea would be to e-mail someone and ask directly.


1 Answer 1


It is very hard to do if you are working alone. But if you are employed, especially in a tenure track or equivalent position, you are probably surrounded by people who can help you. Find a colleague and start a conversation. Ask to collaborate with them.

Even better, and available lots of places, is to join a small "seminar" with a few faculty and some graduate students who are interested in an area.

Collaboration at a distance is possible these days, but you have to make contact and show that you have something to offer. Meeting people and having conversations at regional, national, or international conferences is a good way.

Your old advisor probably has ideas that go beyond the work you did as a student and they probably have a circle of collaborators in the field. Perhaps you can join that circle.

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