PhD Talk

Eva Lantsoght

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

Interview with Raghavi Viswanath - Ep. 81
Aug 31 2022
Interview with Raghavi Viswanath - Ep. 81
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 at the St. Anne's college in Oxford and  a moot court mentor.We learn about Raghavi's career path and PhD research, as well as what the PhD is like at her university and how far along the journey she currently is. Since she is also our first guest doing a PhD in law, we learn a bit more about the different doctoral degrees in law, and in particular the difference between the JD and PhD in law. We also look at the future prospects of those who select this doctoral journey, and what Raghavi has learned so far on her doctoral journey.We round off the episode learning about a day in the life of Raghavi, the impact of COVID-19 on her PhD and daily tasks, her best advice, and how she sets boundaries around workReferencesEUI University of East LondonOn the northbound gaze, see Mogobe Ramose, ‘“African Renaissance”: A Northbound Gaze’ (2000) 19:3 Politeia 47, at 47-61.On breaking form/genre/language conventions, see Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera (2nd ed., Aunt Lute Books, 1999). See also Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau and Marie Moise's Italian translation of Grada Kilombo's Plantation Memories for disrupting language conventions.  On the Irulars, the semi-nomadic community, see Thanaraj, ‘Jai Bhim Portrays The Injustices Faced By The Irular Tribe Of Tamil Nadu, But Who Are They?’, Adivasi Lives Matter, 19 November 2021On the need to visibly center collaborative praxis in academia, see this thread by Rohini Sen.  Some scholars are compiling a resource on caring as a research ethic/methodOn challenging Eurocentric epistemologies, see this interactive Walking Together guide put together to incorporate First Nations, Metis, and Inuit perspectives into the University of Alberta curriculumOn Global North scholars ceding space, see Dr. Ibram X Kendi's How to Be an Antiracist (One World, 2019). See also Dr. Tara Van Ho's scathing twitter thread  Scholars whose work on working against Eurocentric epistemologies, decolonizing curricula and academia which have really inspired me: Lotika Sarkar, Gayatri Spivak, Foluke Adebisi, and Clelia Rodriguez, amongst others.Devon Price  - Laziness does not exist
Interview with Dr. Martijn Molenaar - Ep. 77
Jul 27 2022
Interview with Dr. Martijn Molenaar - Ep. 77
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 and his perhaps unconventional career path.During his PhD, Martijn studied the role of lipids in liver health and disease. He studied how the fat-soluble vitamin A is stored in liver cells and also built a computational pipeline to analyze lipidomics data. Martijn tells us about his research, and how he followed his interest to go from bench-focused research to computational work.To further his interest in computational biology, Martijn did his postdoc at EMBL in Heidelberg (Germany) between June 2020 and June 2022. By chance, we interviewed Martijn on the final day of his postdoc. In the interview, he reflects on his experience during the postdocs and his next step, back in the Netherlands, where he will start as a project leader in data science research at an applied university.Martijn is also an academic parent. His son was born in summer 2019, so he navigated writing his PhD thesis and being a new parent. Moreover, he got the chance to work part-time (4 days a week) when his son was born. We talk about what it is like to work part-time to get an extra day a week to spend with your child, and how to manage the workload while being part-time.Finally, we round of the interview with Martijn's best advice for PhD students, what a day in the life looks like, how to set boundaries, and the impact of COVID-19 on his work and daily tasks.ReferencesFind Martijn on TwitterMartijn's publications Retinyl esters form lipid droplets independently of triacylglycerol and seipin:  biochemistry/cell biology of vitamin A storage in liverLION/web: a web-based ontology enrichment tool for lipidomic data analysis: a web-tool that we built to perform lipidomics analysisLipidontology websiteUtrecht university EMBL HeidelbergLipidomicsMolecular dynamics
Interview with Dr. Marta Porniece Kumar - Ep. 75
Jul 13 2022
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 episode, Marta tells us more about her PhD research, what it was like to do a PhD in partnership with industry, and what the structure of her PhD program looked like.Since 2018 she has been actively involved in Max Planck PhDNet network at different roles and working on several career related projects, e.g. raising sponsorship funds for N2 event in 2019, hosting online web-series talks with speakers and alumni of MPS, being founding member of Career Evolution web series, and leading the Career Development & Conference working group. At the end of her PhD she continued the momentum and brought her experience and network into Max Planck PostdocNet, where she now serves as a spokesperson. In the interview, Marta tells us about how they pivoted to very successful online events during COVI-19.Marta enjoys exploring new places and spaces through running, she regularly competes with her colleagues at the local running events. Lastly, she balances her research and voluntarily work with parenthood of two school-aged children and is currently working on solidifying the next steps in her career. We talk about her experience as an academic parent of primary-school-aged children, and the support she appreciated as a parent during her PhD.We round off the interview with the questions we ask all our interviewees about their best advice to PhD candidates, how to set boundaries to work, how COVID-19 impacted their work, and what a day in the life looks like.ReferencesFind Marta on LinkedInFind Marta on TwitterMax Planck Institute for Metabolism Research websiteMax Planck Institute for Metabolism Research on TwitterPhDNet on TwitterPhDNet on LinkedInMax Planck PhD Net Career Development & Conference working groupPhD Net websitePostdocNet on Twitter PostdocNet on LinkedINPostdocNet websiteLearn more about Marta's researchFamily trees of scientists in neuroscienceNovo Nordisk
Interview with Dr. Chrysan Mohammed - Ep. 73
Jun 29 2022
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 Toledo, and how she then landed her post-doctoral fellowship in exactly her field of interest. She also gives us insights into doing a lab-based PhD, and how she found the lab she wanted to work in. Finally, we look at how the skills she learned during her PhD are essential to her current work.At the end, we round off with the questions we ask all our interviewees: on the impact of COVID-19 on Chrysan's research and personal life, her best advice for PhD students, how she sets boundaries to work, and what a day in the life looked like for her during the PhD.ReferencesUniversity of ToledoA PON for All Seasons: Comparing Paraoxonase Enzyme Substrates, Activity and Action including the Role of PON3 in Health and DiseaseTargeted Disruption of Paraoxonase 3 in a Dahl Salt-Sensitive Rat Model of Chronic Kidney Disease Increases Renal Cortical Pro-Inflammatory EicosanoidsParaoxonase-3 Regulation of Cardiotonic Steroids Mediates Renal Injury and Dysfunction in a Dahl Salt Sensitive Model of Chronic Kidney DiseaseCirculating lactonase activity but not protein level of PON-1 predicts adverse outcomes in subjects with chronic kidney disease
Interview with Harsha Sheelam - Ep. 71
Jun 15 2022
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 the methods that she has used so far: action research, and quantitative methods. We also hear from her literature recommendations on qualitative methods. Then, we learn more about the structure of the PhD program at IFHE University in India, and how far Harsha is on her PhD journey.We also learn about Harsha's award-winning paper on superheroes, and what helped her achieve this success, and what she has learned so far on her PhD journey. We wrap up the interview by looking at Harsha's best advice for PhD students, the impact of COVID-19 on her PhD, how she sets boundaries to her work, and what a day in the life looks like for her.ReferencesEditorial ArticlesA Study on Marketing Strategies for Self-Published Authors through Online PlatformsA study on the market and competitor analysis for hospitality industry Cleaning chemicals usage for house keeping with special reference to hospitality industry: a study Rural Marketing Scenario in India -The Online Village Ahead | Harsha Sheelam (2020)Tutorial in CR: Process Theorization in Cultural Consumer Research by Giesler and ThompsonAlternative ways of seeking Knowledge in Consumer Research by Hudson and Ozanne
Interview with Zama Dlamini - Ep. 69
Jun 1 2022
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 her experience as an academic mother working on her PhD (during COVID-19).We round off with our questions on the best advice for PhD candidates, the impact of COVID-19, how to set boundaries, and what a day in the life looks like.ReferencesZama on LinkedInZama on TwitterZama's supervisorMercy Oduyoye - African theologistArticle about Mercy Oduyoye, the mother of African feminist theologyUjamaa NGO University of Kwazulu-Natal Feeling like an imposter - Ep. 26#1000wordsadayMadoda Sabelani!: Engaging Indigenous Music in the Fight Against Toxic Masculinities and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa: A Critical Discourse AnalysisFaith leaders prepare to become agents of transformation to bring an end to gender based violenceParenting children with learning challengesFeminist intersectionality and the matrix of domination in South Africa´Deliver us from patriarchy´: a gendered perspective of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa and implications for pastoral careGender-Based Violence, Twin Pandemic to COVID-19