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  • Destenie Nock

Build Your Research Brand in 4 Easy Steps

By: Dr. Destenie Nock

June 1, 2022

Sometimes it's not about what you know or who you know, but who knows you. A brand is essential for that.


When I started on the tenure track, one piece of advice given to me was the following: "To get tenure, others in your field to recognize you as the expert in XYZ." Essentially this person was telling me I need to build a research brand. To be a researcher that people come to for expertise in XYZ area, building your brand and your reputation are very important. It is about what you know, who you know, and who knows you. The brand really helps with that last part.

There are many ways to build your brand, and we will do a quick dive into some easy ways that can often be done in less than a few hours (some take just 10 minutes!)

1. Make your research easy to find. One way to do this is to get a Google Scholar Page. This is an easy way to keep people updated on your research papers, and to have them all in one place. Think of this as a virtual resume. My google scholar page is here.

2. Make a Website. Keep in mind that sometimes a free website works just as good as an expensive one. For example the website you are reading this blog on is a free version. That's right I have not paid Wix a thing for hosting this website and blog (sorry Wix). The most important thing is for people to be able to find you. If you search your name in google and nothing comes up, this is not a good thing for your brand.

3. Use social media to help spread your work to interested parties. I personally like to use Twitter and LinkedIn. To use Twitter to the fullest I recommend following people whose research you are interested in, and posting research updates or interesting research that you read. I have made many Twitter friends through liking and sharing research. But a cautionary tale - try to avoid falling into twitter arguments and trolls. If need be, block people that drag you down. Life is too short to fall into negativity (especially during the pandemic).

4. Be a person who delivers. One thing that is important for a brand is having value behind it. Thus, try not to commit to things unless you can deliver. One way to protect your sanity and your brand is to not overcommit and be clear about what you can deliver.

SMART goals are very important here. When someone asks you to get them something by the end of the week there is sometimes a freak out moment. Will they think less of you, if you cannot get it to them by their deadline. Normally if a deadline is open for discussion I will try to give myself 1.5x more time than I think I need to get it done. At a minimum give yourself an extra weekend.

This is because we are super duper terrible at recognizing how much time it actually take us to get things done. If I think I can get it done in two weeks then I will ask for 3 weeks. Then if someone says they really need it in two weeks, I am still in the clear. BUT if they say, yes you can have the three weeks, then I can work on it with less stress (leading to a better output), and I have the opportunity to deliver it early.

Thanks for reading! To get more updates follow me on Twitter @DestenieNock, or subscribe below.

If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Destenie Nock's research check out the recent publications below.

Recent publications:

1. Cong, S., Nock, D., Qiu, Y. L., & Xing, B. (2022). Unveiling hidden energy poverty using the energy equity gap. Nature communications, 13(1), 1-12. Link

Quick summary of paper: Developed a new energy poverty metric, the energy equity gap, is defined as the difference air conditioning turn on points between low and high-income groups. In our study region, we estimate the energy equity gap to be between 4.7 F and 7.5 F. This reveals a hidden form of energy poverty.

2. Sackey, C. V. H., Levin, T., & Nock, D. (2022). Latent demand for electricity in sub-Saharan Africa: a review. Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability. Link

Quick summary of paper: Reviewed electricity demand estimation and consumption literature to propose a framework for quantifying latent demand. In our study, we found that of the 56 papers reviewed only 3 (5%) of them incorporated latent demand in their projection of electricity demand in SSA.

3. Marcy, C., Goforth, T., Nock, D., & Brown, M. (2022). Comparison of temporal resolution selection approaches in energy systems models. Energy, 251, 123969. Link

Quick summary of the paper: This paper evaluates different approaches for selecting time segments in capacity expansion models across three methods: sequential, categorical, and clustering, across a wide range of time-segment quantities, for a total of 204 temporal profiles. To measure the performance of each profile's ability to accurately represent data, the root-mean-square-error of each profile's time segments are compared to the data's original hourly data. The temporal alignment across regions is also measured (i.e., how often windy days align across regions).

4. Lou, J., Qiu, Y., Ku, A. L., Nock, D., & Xing, B. (2021). Inequitable and heterogeneous impacts on electricity consumption from COVID-19 mitigation measures. iScience, 24(11). Link

Quick summary of paper: We provide robust empirical evidence of the degree to which COVID-19 mitigation measures, especially the mandates of school closure and limiting business operations, have impacted electricity consumption behavior in low-income and ethnic minority groups in the United States. We find that the mandates of school closures and limiting business operations increase residential electricity consumption by 4–5%, but reduce commercial electricity consumption by 5–8%.

Note about the Author: Dr. Destenie Nock is an Assistant Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. Her current research focuses on energy justice. Her research is computational in nature and involves creating mathematical models which simulate electricity systems and evaluates these systems in terms of their sustainability and equality. Her papers detailing the research she completed in energy justice, sustainability evaluation, and electricity modeling can be found here, and on her Google Scholar page. Fun fact: Dr. Nock likes to walk and travel to new places in her spare time.

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1 Comment

Leona Bush
Leona Bush
Feb 20

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