PhD Talk

Eva Lantsoght

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

Interview with Dr. Cathy Mazak - Ep. 93
Nov 23 2022
Interview with Dr. Cathy Mazak - Ep. 93
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 being a tenured full professor to a business owner, as well as her focus in her business on empower academic womxn and the ways in which academia tends to thwart the progress of those of minorities.She has a PhD from Michigan State University and is the editor of several scholarly collections and the author of numerous textbooks and academic journal articles. In her work as a professor at The University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez she attracted external funding for her work in bilingualism and higher education and co-founded a research center. We learn from her experience in how she crafted her PhD research journey towards her position at The University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez and how she could get her dream job after her PhD.Her popular podcast, Academic Writing Amplified, teaches how to use writing to resist the racist, ableist, patriarchal culture of academia. She is the author of Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing - part manifesto and part writing advice book, and we get to hear Cathy's advice on how to decide which writing projects to take on.Finally, we learn about Cathy's experience as an academic mother of three and how she balanced academia and motherhood, as well as her best advice for PhD candidates, how she sets boundaries to work, how COVID-19 impacted her work, and what a day in the life looks like for her.ReferencesCathy Mazak's websiteMaking Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing Academic Writing AmplifiedNavigate - course for writingAmplify - pre-tenure programElevate - post-tenure programAcademic mission statement CalendlyAcuity
Interview with Dr. Rasheda Weaver - Ep. 91
Nov 9 2022
Interview with Dr. Rasheda Weaver - Ep. 91
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 entrepreneurship to over 1,000 students globally. She served as the first Assistant Professor for the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation that was established with a $15 million donation at Iona College in 2017, helping to build its teaching, research, and service foundation. We learn in the interview how she transitioned from her faculty position to her business, as well as how the skills she learned during her PhD helped her start a business. We also hear from her about the skills she acquired as an entrepreneur which she had not developed in academia. Dr. Weaver’s forthcoming textbook is entitled “Social Entrepreneurship: A Practical Introduction.” It is being considered a seminal work in the field of social entrepreneurship and will be published in January 2023. We talk about the book itself, her research and writing process, as well as finding a publishing deal.Rasheda is also an academic parent, and we talk about when her children were born during her research career and how she balance research and motherhood. We round off with her best advice for PhD candidates, setting boundaries to work, the impact of COVID-19, and what a day in the life looks like for her.ReferencesWeaver's Social Enterprise DirectoryRasheda's website5-day online bootcamp Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and InnovationSocial Entrepreneurship: A Practical Introduction.Raul Pacheco-VegaGet a life, PhDThe most powerful weapon on earth is a human soul on fireBusiness instagramPersonal instagramWinter always comes: Social enterprises in times of crisis. Introduction: Social entrepreneurship education special issue. Putting the commercial in social enterprise education: Employing the for-profit to nonprofit business model in the classroom. Facilitating business online: The utilization, benefits, and challenges of online social enterprise directories. The impact of COVID-19 on the social enterprise sector.
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