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PhD Talk

Education Podcasts

A podcast in which we discuss PhD life, research mechanics, and the tools for doing research.

A podcast in which we discuss PhD life, research mechanics, and the tools for doing research.




A podcast in which we discuss PhD life, research mechanics, and the tools for doing research.




Interview with Dr. Marta Porniece Kumar - Ep. 75

In today's episode, we interview Dr. Marta Porniece Kumar. Marta by training is a neuroscientist and currently in a wrap-up Postdoc phase at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research. During her doctoral and current postdoctoral research phase in a strategic partnership with industry she is excited to understand how hormones access the brain to control systemic metabolism and ultimately lay the foundation for development of brain-specific targets to treat obesity and diabetes. In this...


Supervision relationships - Ep. 74

In today's episode, we talk about supervision: both from the perspective of developing a good relationship as a PhD candidate with your supervisor, and from the perspective of being a good supervisor (as a PhD candidate) for master's students. We talk about the importance of setting clear expectations, and getting to know the working style of your supervisor so that you can work together optimally. We also look at realistic expectations for how and when to receive feedback, as well as...


Interview with Dr. Chrysan Mohammed - Ep. 73

In today's episode, we interview Dr. Chrysan Mohammed. Chrysan is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Medical Affairs and Scientific Evidence at Johnson and Johnson Vision Care in Jacksonville Fl. She obtained her PhD in Molecular Medicine from The University of Toledo, College of Medicine and Life Sciences. We learn about Chrysan's career path before the PhD, how she applied and got into a PhD program, her experience during the PhD as well as what the PhD program is like at The University of...


Preparing for data collection - Ep. 72

In today's episode, we learn about Sarah's preparation for the data collection of her PhD. We talk first about the research itself and the research question that the experiments will address. Then, we address the data collection methods that she will use, and the tools she will use for the data collection. We dive a bit deeper into the participant recruitment, which is of particular importance in Sarah's experiment. Then, we look into things to consider: data management, and ethics...


Interview with Harsha Sheelam - Ep. 71

In today's episode, we interview Harsha Sheelam, our first guest from India. Harsha is a PhD candidate, published author of children's books and juvenile fiction, business owner, social worker, and business graduate. She shares her story of how her career path developed and how she decided to go do her PhD, as well as the various topics she has been researching from her overall perspective of a marketing researcher. Looking at the various topics Harsha has researched, we learn more about...


Q&A: Qualitative analysis, computer programs, settling abroad - Ep. 70

In today's episode, we first do a general update on what we are working on, as well as what is going well and what we identify as our current struggles. Then, we answer the following questions that came in through Instagram and Twitter: We round off with the best books we've read so far in 2022, and what we have been listening to this year. References The dark side of transformational leadershipNvivoAtlasEp. 64: Moving internationally for the PhDAcademicTransfer website: Academic jobs &...


Interview with Zama Dlamini - Ep. 69

In today's episode, we interview Zama Dlamini. Zama is a PhD candidate at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa, working in the fields of gender and religion. She is also a mother of four and entered the PhD at a later stage in life. We learn about Zama's research, and how her background as a Lay minister informed her research topic, and her current work. We touch upon the PhD at her university, and the difference between the full-time and part-time program. Zama tells us about...


Preparing for your first conference - Ep. 68

As Sarah is preparing to attend and present at her first conference, she asks Eva for advice on how to prepare for the conference. We discuss what we can set as goals for presenting research at a conference, as well as what makes an excellent conference presentation. Eva recommends to spend sufficient time on the introduction and to think about the "take home" message. We then look at how Eva prepares for a conference, both in terms of the practical aspects as in terms of preparing the...


Interview with Martyne Farris - Ep. 67

In today's episode, we interview Martyne Farris, who is an instructor of anthropology and PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research combines anthropology, public policy, education, and linguistics to explore the barriers refugee women experience after they arrive in Canada. Both she and her husband are international PhD students in Canada, and they have a 1-year and 4-year old. We learn about Martyne's experience as an international student...


Literature review - Ep. 66

In today's episode, we learn from Sarah's experience in writing the literature review of her research proposal: how she found references, how she organized her reading, how she combined the concepts, and what she learned from the process. We then zoom out and discuss some of the common challenges students face when writing the literature review, the types of structures of the literature review that exist, and in which occasions we write literature reviews. References Ep. 38 From reading...


Interview with Saima Khan - Ep. 65

In today's episode, we interview Saima Khan. She is a PhD Scholar in Global Studies at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan; a teacher of Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy & Interdisciplinary Studies, GCU Lahore, Pakistan. Her areas of interest and research are multidisciplinary; including Postcolonial theories, Feminism in South Asia, Philosophy of education, Cultural History, Political Philosophy, Gender Empowerment, Global Studies, Human Rights and Muslim world, and Cultural...


Moving internationally for the PhD - Ep. 64

In today's episode, we talk about moving internationally for our studies. Sarah moved from Canada to the Netherlands for her Master's and is now doing her PhD in Belgium, and Eva moved from Belgium to the USA for her second Master's and then to the Netherlands for her PhD - so we both have experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly of moving internationally. We discuss the reasons for selecting a program abroad for studies, the differences in approaches to the PhD in North America as...


Interview with Ed Southall - Ep. 63

In today's episode, we interview Ed Southall, a maths curriculum designer at Oak National Academy and a teacher trainer at the University of Hudderfield in England, as well as doctoral candidate. We talk about Ed's doctoral journey, alongside his work - first in academia, and then outside of academia. We learn about his decision to quit his PhD, and then his decision to continue and his efforts to finish by June 2023. We also learn about his experience as an academic parent, and his...


Setting up a research question - Ep. 62

In today's episode, we discuss writing and defining the research question. We start from Sarah's experience in defining the research question for the proposal she worked on, and what she learned from this experience. We then discuss various topics related to the research question: how to be specific enough, how to tie the research question to the available methods, how to spot the gap in the literature, and some requirements for writing a good research question. Finally, we look at Eva's...


Interview with Dr. Jamiella Brooks - Ep. 61

In today's episode, we interview Dr. Jamiella Brooks , a Black mother-scholar, the first person in her immediate family to learn a new language and pursue a doctoral degree, who occupies the multiplicitous spaces of wife, daughter, and descendant. She has a PhD in Francophone Literature in 2018, and is now at the University of Pennsylvania, where she focuses on programming and support for equitable and inclusive teaching practices. She teaches alternating years in the Linguistics and French...


Q&A: becoming an editor, academic or industrial jobs, and productive writing - Ep. 60

In today's episode, we start off with a general update on what we are currently working on, what is going well, and what is not going well. We go into some side tangents on differences in supervision (and writing) of MSc students and PhD candidates, as well as which student writing requires most cognitive effort. We also discuss how we concentrate (or not) when difficult events such as the death of a loved one or the war in Ukraine consumer our headspace. Then, we delve into three listener...


Interview with Brianna Henson - Ep. 59

In today's episode, we interview Brianna Henson. Brianna works for Equus Workforce Solutions and is responsible for the operations and management of the Kentucky Career Centers within Greater Louisville, and is an EdD candidate at Liberty University. She is also the mom of of Audra (17 months), Ira (will be born in June), and step mom of Eli (11), and disabled veteran. In today's interview, you will learn more about Brianna's winding career path, as well as what it is like to do an EdD...


Interview with Rima Kaddoura - Ep. 58

In today's episode, we interview Rima Kaddoura. She is a PhD in Epidemiology candidate at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and mother a three-year-old boy. As a PhD candidate in Lebanon and academic mom, she has faced major difficulties: a revolution, economic collapse, deterioration of basic infrastructure, the Beirut blast, and COVID-19. We learn about Rima's career path, her research - and how her research has been affected by the recent events in her country. We also learn about...


Types of theses - Ep. 57

In this episode, we discuss the difference between a paper-based thesis and a long-book thesis. We look at some of the differences in expectations for the doctoral thesis internationally, and discuss the link between these differences between countries and how the doctoral trajectory is considered: as the time for junior researcher to work, or as an apprenticeship. We then discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the paper-based and the long-book thesis. Finally, we look at Eva's...


Writing a research proposal - Ep. 56

In today's episode, we focus on Sarah's experience writing a research proposal for the FWO. We learn about the requirements for applying to these funding opportunities, the different streams at which one can apply, and the procedures involved. Then, we move to Sarah's personal experience with writing a research proposal for the first time: what she learned from the experience, what she wished she'd known before, and what is coming next. In the second half of the episode, we look at other...