PhD Talk

PhD Talk

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


November 23, 2022 55 min

In today's episode, we interview Dr. Cathy Mazak. Cathy was a tenured, full professor when she founded a writing-focused professional development company for women and nonbinary academics. Cathy and her team are dedicated to changing the way that academics leverage writing and publication to create the careers and lives they want through courses and group coaching programs. We learn from her experience in how she pivoted from b...

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In today's episode, we talk about finding time for reading and writing throughout the PhD, and as a faculty member. We look at how we can stay up to date with the literature after finishing the literature review, and how to write regularly.

We share the strategies we use, and how these strategies may evolve over time.

- Ep. 54: Interview with Dr. Anna Clemens

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In today's episode, we interview Dr. Rasheda Weaver, who turned her dissertation into a business. Rasheda is one of the world’s leading experts on social and commercial entrepreneurship. She conducted the first large-scale empirical study on the social, economic, and legal activities of social enterprises in the United States and is the Founder of Weaver's Social Enterprise Directory, Inc. As a Professor, she has taught ent...

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In today's episode, we do a Q&A. We start with discussing what we currently are working on, what is going well, and what we are struggling with. 
Then, we address the following questions from readers:
- How can I select the right journal for my article?
- How do you handle recommendation letters, and what if the student is not good?
- Postdoctoral research
- How to develop technical writing?
- Will you start a podcast for MSc stu...

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October 26, 2022 53 min

In today's episode, Eva interviews Dr. Gayannée Kedia. Gaya is a researcher and teacher in psychology and neuroscience at the University of Graz, Austria. She owns degrees in biology and psychology and has worked for several universities in France, the UK, Germany, and Austria. Parallel to her academic activity, she works as a writing coach and scientific trainer. She is also the founder of, a blog aimed at ...

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In today's episode, we look at Sarah's expectations for the second year of her PhD, and what her main points of action and milestones will be. We look a bit further at the process of getting ethics approval at her university, and her plans for data collection. We also get an update on her proposal, and what getting this funding would mean for her for the rest of her PhD years.

We then look at the second year from a bit of a ...

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October 12, 2022 44 min

In this week's episode, we interview Malwina Gudowska.  Malwina is a Polish-Canadian writer and linguist based in London, UK. Her academic background includes a BA in International Relations, a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism and the Columbia Publishing Course. In 2018, she completed an MA in Linguistics at University College London and is now pursuing a PhD in Applied Linguistics at Birkbeck, University of London. Her resea...

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October 5, 2022 21 min

In today's episode, we talk about doctoral defenses. We start by looking at the differences between defenses in the Netherlands and Belgium, and then we zoom into the defenses we have attended (and, in Eva's case, her own defense experience). We look at the various functions defenses in their different formats have.

Then, we look at some findings from the research on effective methods to prepare for the defense, how Eva prep...

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September 28, 2022 38 min

In today's episode, we interview Dr. Nathan Henton. He completed his PhD in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication at the University of Memphis in the U.S. state of Tennessee in 2019 while teaching full-time at a small, private university in the state of Arkansas.  Nathan's teaching emphasis was first-year writing and linguistics, and his research focused on writing pedagogy and writing program evaluation. W  We lea...

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September 21, 2022 22 min

In today's episode, Eva catches up with Sarah as she is preparing to defend her proposal for funding for her research. We start with a recap of the proposed project and the steps in the process of obtaining the funding.

Then we look at how Sarah is preparing to defend her proposal: how she is preparing for her presentation and how she is preparing to answer questions. We learn about the practice defenses she has been using to p...

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September 14, 2022 45 min

In today's episode, we interview Dr. Heather Walker. She is a senior people scientist at Culture Amp, who recently switched from academia to industry. She has a PhD in disability studies from the university of Illinois at Chicago.

We learn about Heather's career path - from the PhD in Chicago via being an instructor at the University of Utah and a social scientist at the health system to her current position at Culture Amp. ...

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In today's episode we talk about teaching. We start from the practical aspect of teaching loads and the various contracts PhD candidates tend to have (and the role of teaching in these contracts), as well as the various teaching assignments that faculty members can get.

We learn about Sarah's experience and expectations with regard to teaching during her PhD and Eva's various teaching loads over the years.

Eva also share...

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In today's episode of the podcast, we interview Raghavi Viswanath. She is a PhD researcher at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence and also works as a senior research associate at the Public International Law and Policy Group in Amsterdam, a consultant for cultural rights collectives in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and a lecturer in human rights law at the University of East London, as well as a careers coach ...

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In today's episode, we do a Q&A session. Before diving into the questions, we give a general update on what we are working on currently, what is going well, and what we are struggling with.

Then, we answer a number of questions from our listeners. The first question deals with how to select a research problem. The second set of questions deals with writing the review of a paper - how to write a good review, what to include i...

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August 17, 2022 37 min

In today's episode, we look at how we prepare for an upcoming semester. Eva explains which tasks she usually carried out before each semester, in terms of getting all material ready for teaching and in terms of planning.

We dive further into the topic of reflection on progress, and how often we (would like to) do so. A monthly review may be over a time frame that is too short for the nature of research. But when we don't tea...

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August 10, 2022 36 min

In today's episode, we talk about holidays, taking time off, and boundaries around work. 

First, we look at the regulations different universities have around taking time off for their PhD candidates and faculty. 

Then, we discuss how we take time off and how we disconnect from work. 

Finally, we discuss how we set boundaries around work, some "rules" we have for ourselves with regard to boundaries, and how our boundaries ...

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In today's episode, we interview Dr. Martijn Molenaar. Martijn obtained his bachelors in Chemistry/Life Science in the Netherlands in 2006. After that, he worked in industry for a while as a lab technician, after which he moved to Utrecht University for a position as research technician. He fell in love with science and transitioned from technician to PhD candidate at Utrecht University. Martijn tells us about his experience an...

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July 20, 2022 33 min

In today's episode, we talk about how we plan our days, and how our summers may be different from the rest of the years.

We discuss when we decide what needs to be done when, the various levels of planning we use, and what a typical day or week looks like for us.

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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...
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July 6, 2022 46 min

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...

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