David Tait

Profession: Radiation Therapist

Current position: Clinical Educator

Years qualified: 4 years

Research areas of interest: Head and neck, IMRT, dose reporting

Would you describe yourself as a ‘novice’ or ‘experienced’ researcher? Experienced

Research qualifications (include status: e.g. ongoing, year completed): M.R.T (Hons) 2011, B.Sc (Hons) Pharmacology 2009

What is your greatest research achievement?
I’m still early to the field of research but I am pleased to have achieved two Honours degrees and with having presented original research at ASMMIRT on three occasions.

Why and how did you get involved in research?
Research was strongly encouraged during my time at university and now I am working in the advanced and rapidly evolving field of radiation therapy I am excited to try and contribute to some important research.

How do you balance research/work/family life?
Again, I am still quite early to the research game so it has yet to impact greatly on my work or family life (although I do have some experience of how time-consuming and, on occasions, frustrating it can be).

How did you find a mentor/supervisor?
During my Honours projects I was lucky enough to be paired with supervisors that best aligned to my area of interest at the time. Looking back, I am incredibly grateful for all the time and effort my supervisors put in to my projects.

What was/is your supervisor/mentor’s best advice?
My supervisor told me that principles and practices in any science-based field should have a scientific basis wherever possible. Processes that are arbitrary or anecdotal in basis should be limited and are areas that should be investigated further.

What do you enjoy most about being involved in research?
Research challenges you to think creatively and critically while almost always working as part of a team. It is challenging but important and rewarding work.

What has been your biggest challenge or barrier to being involved in research?
In my experience, things in research always seem to take longer than anticipated. This has at times caused some stress, especially when deadlines were involved.

What one piece of advice would you give other researchers?
Be patient – things can take time.