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5 Characteristics of a Successful Educational Researcher

  • Judgment
  • Persistence
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Creativity

Educational research can be challenging, so there are special characteristics that help researchers successfully analyze, process and solve problems. Having and honing these characteristics, such as judgment, persistence, creativity, communication and organization, will help with gaining knowledge, making discoveries and achieving peer approval.


A certain level of judgment competency is required when working in the world of research. Educational researchers who want to gain the best results must resolve the dilemma of asking for help when they encounter obstacles or taking the problem on themselves. This could result in mistakes, lost time or squandered resources. The validity of decisions and documentation must reflect sound judgement that will withstand peer critique as they reproduce studies and challenge theories. Educational researchers who possess this characteristic will have good judgment when it comes to ethical dilemmas.


Thomas Edison, a great researcher, once said that “genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration.” Persistence and hard work are the only ways to continually overcome the failure and setbacks that may occur because of limited funding, future roadblocks or poor research design. Failure is a normal and healthy part of the research process, so mistakes should be embraced as a learning opportunity. Persistence will eventually pay off in the forms of quality results and new knowledge, as well as a proven hypothesis or a solid synthesis.


This characteristic helps researchers develop and maintain effective teams and productive relationships. Educational researchers deal with detailed data and complex concepts, so they must ensure communication accuracy and efficiency for themselves and others. Educational researchers must often translate complicated information to audiences with limited technical backgrounds, so a concise and simplified style is best. Strong written skills will help educational researchers inform, persuade and teach shareholders. Modern researchers should also be familiar with social media and marketing concepts to promote their work and projects.


The difference between a robust report and an unsubstantiated essay is proactive organization. Well-developed organizational skills promote effective educational research, verifiable science and obtainable deadlines. Maintaining organized documentation is critical for analyzing data, presenting proposals, generating new ideas and reaching project milestones. Educational researchers who apply organizational skills to their daily tasks and schedules will improve their efficacy and work quality. Being familiar with online task management dashboards, Such as Microsoft Project, may help when working with international projects.


Intellectual creativity and originality are critical parts of the research process because plagiarism must be avoided and innovation must be championed. Creativity and originality empower educational researchers to transcend mainstream ideas and current conceptual limitations. Sometimes, the hardest part of the educational research process is finding a starting point. Good educational researchers apply their creativity to explore new discipline areas and discover topics of interest that haven’t been genuinely studied. Being organized and persistent will help communicate creative proposals and findings.

Another characteristic that will benefit educational researchers include humility because being open to criticism and avoiding perfectionism will increase useful feedback, avoid problems and maximize efficiency. Additionally, building a social network will allow educational researchers to interconnect diverse groups of people and resources.