Advice to My Younger Self – 5 Tips for Early Career Researchers from Professor María Ángeles Esteban

PeerJ Communities Presents ‘Advice to My Younger Self – 5 Tips for Early Career Researchers’ an ongoing series to share advice and life lessons for Early Career Researchers from fellow researchers.

We invited María Ángeles Esteban, Professor of Cell Biology at Murcia University, to share her tips. María is the head of the research team “Immunobiology for Aquaculture,” working on fish species of interest for aquaculture, is the Director of the Department of Cell Biology & Histology at the University of Murcia. She is also one of only five Gold Contributors to PeerJ.


1. Walking into the lab, running a test and getting results is about as easy as it gets in relation to research. Other, more obscure facets are perhaps more important, such as planning new trials, obtaining funding, and reporting.

2. Without a good literature review, you will struggle to have innovative ideas. Don’t just look at journals or articles on your topic of interest, as you will lose a lot of perspective. It is much more enriching to go outside of that field and look at other areas nearby.

3. All the research effort that doesn’t result in objective evidence is a big waste of time and money, so try to avoid it.

4. When analyzing or presenting your results, you must be rigorous, objective, critical and humble.

5. Writing scientific results well may be the most difficult skill to develop. You must practice it more than others to improve as a scientist.

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This is an ongoing blog series so keep an eye on the PeerJ blog to see more advice from our Editorial and Advisory Board Members. If you would like to contribute to the series please do get in touch: communities@peerj.com