127 episodes

This is the podcast for you if you are currently doing a PhD; are working with PhD students; or just living with someone who is on a PhD journey.

The PhD Life Raft will focus on sharing insights and experiences around some common issues like anxiety, procrastination, precariousness, imposter syndrome, and work-life balance. We will talk to students, supervisors and experts in the field of wellbeing and mental health and share actionable tips and additional resources.

Doing a PhD is tough. The PhD Life Raft is here to help you get through.

The PhD Life Raft Podcast Dr Emma Brodzinski

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 33 Ratings

This is the podcast for you if you are currently doing a PhD; are working with PhD students; or just living with someone who is on a PhD journey.

The PhD Life Raft will focus on sharing insights and experiences around some common issues like anxiety, procrastination, precariousness, imposter syndrome, and work-life balance. We will talk to students, supervisors and experts in the field of wellbeing and mental health and share actionable tips and additional resources.

Doing a PhD is tough. The PhD Life Raft is here to help you get through.

    On Being a First Generation PhD Scholar with Nicole Patrie

    On Being a First Generation PhD Scholar with Nicole Patrie

    Nicole Patrie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Safety and Justice Studies at MacEwan University, and a PhD student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, specializing in Adult Education. Nicole has been involved in prison education at all levels: as a teacher, administrator, and now researcher, for over 15 years. Her research focus is on the role of education and learning in the criminal justice system. 
     
    In this episode Nicole shares her own journey as a first generation PhD scholar.
     
    We talk about a range of challenges from practical resources to self-confidence.  
     
    We discuss hidden support systems and the importance of accessing the help you need.  Nicole encourages us all to ‘pay it forward’.
     
    Nicole ends with an encouraging mantra that every PhD researcher needs to remember!
     
    Contact details: website, email, social media
    https://nicolepatrie.weebly.com/
    patrien2@macewan.ca
    @nicolepatrie.bsky.social 
    @patrie_nicole (twitter)
     
    For a transcript of this episode go to www.thephdliferaft.com




    If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft

    • 21 min
    Navigating US PhD Programmes as an International Scholar with Vicky Laina

    Navigating US PhD Programmes as an International Scholar with Vicky Laina

    Vicky Laina is a learning scientist with a focus on educational technologies in mathematics teaching and learning. She designs and studies learning experiences where the use of technology can support epistemic transparency and collaborative thinking amongst youth, with the goal of helping students reimagine what doing mathematics can look and feel like. Vicky has lived, worked and studied in 5 different countries and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria.  
     
    In this episode we explore the challenges and benefits of being an international PhD student.
     
    Vicky shares tips about the application process and funding options.
     
    She also opens up about the logistical problems of international study and how she navigated them.
     
    We reflect on the cultural differences that may impact on your work but also on how the experience of studying abroad can enrich your journey.
     
    You can make contact with Vicky here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vasilikilaina/
     
    For a transcript of this episode go to www.thephdliferaft.com




    If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft

    • 25 min
    Managing Your Supervisor with Gina Holmes

    Managing Your Supervisor with Gina Holmes

    Gina Holmes has worked both in industry and academia - with over two decades of experience in Higher Education.  As well as her own research experience  she has worked with dozens of doctoral candidates and hundreds (maybe more) of Master’s students, supporting them to complete theses they are proud of and which enable them to move on in their career.  
     
    In this episode we discuss the relationship between the PhD researcher and the supervisor/supervisory team.
     
    We explore the issues that may arise and how you might navigate them in a way that supports both your research process and your own mental health.
     
    Gina shares advice about managing supervision meetings as well as inviting reflection on how the relationship between researcher and supervisor may evolve during the PhD journey.
     
    You can find out more about Gina and her work at www.drginaholmes.com
    Follow Gina on facebook or LinkedIn:  www.facebook.com/drginaholmes  and www.linkedin.com/in/drginaholmes    
     
    For a transcript of this episode go to www.thephdliferaft.com




    If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft

    • 37 min
    PhDs and Substack with Wafaa Aldhfairi

    PhDs and Substack with Wafaa Aldhfairi

    Wafaa Aldhfairi is a PhD candidate at UNMC, specializing in pharmaceutical sciences with a master's degree in the field. She's also the creator of the "Pharma Weekly Digest," a newsletter that shares the latest pharmaceutical news, making industry updates accessible to all. 
     
    In this episode we discuss the PhD journey, research and how substack can contribute!
     
    Wafaa shares her experiences of how she has used substack both to inform and disseminate her PhD research.
     
    We talk about the challenges of curating a newsletter alongside the PhD as well as the benefits of regular writing deadlines!
     
    We open up into a consideration of how to contribute to the wider research conversation.
     
    You can find Wafaa’s substack here:  https://pharmaweeklydigest.substack.com/
     
    For a transcript of this episode go to www.thephdliferaft.com




    If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft

    • 24 min
    For PhDs Who Are Thinking of Leaving Academia with Naomi Tyrell

    For PhDs Who Are Thinking of Leaving Academia with Naomi Tyrell

     
    Naomi finished her PhD in 2006, worked part-time and then full-time in commercial research and then re-entered academia as a Research Fellow at University College Cork, Ireland. She gained permanency in 2010 at the University of Plymouth, UK, but then decided to leave academia (again!) and started her entrepreneurial journey in 2019. She now runs Research Your Way Ltd, which provides bespoke research, evaluation and impact services to social purpose organisations. 
     
    In this episode we explore ‘alt ac’ career paths for PhDs.
     
    Naomi encourages PhD holders to consider their skills and experience beyond academia, and suggests why their value may be higher in other sectors.
     
    She shares her personal journey and highlights some options for researchers who want to continue researching but work outside of a university setting.
     
    We end with a top tip on career planning.
     
    You can make contact with Naomi here:
     
    naomityrrell@researchyourway.com
    Career Development Newsletter (subscribepage.io)
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/altaccareersuk/
     
    For a transcript of this episode go to www.thephdliferaft.com




    If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft

    • 25 min
    Optimizing Dissemination: Paving the Way for PhD Success with Amal Abuzeinab

    Optimizing Dissemination: Paving the Way for PhD Success with Amal Abuzeinab

    Amal Abuzeinab, PhD is an architect, advisor, and academic at De Montfort University (DMU), School of Art, Design, and Architecture (ADA). Prior to joining academia, Amal practiced both in Sudan and UK.Amal is the Institute Head of Research Students – Institute of Architecture. Her leadership is guided and informed by the principles and practices of flourishing human from Positive Psychology. Amal supervises and examines Postgraduate researchers (PGRs) since 2016 focusing on Architecture, Built Environment, and related disciplines. She served as the Co-Faculty Head of Research Students (FHRS) for the Faculty of Arts, Design, and Humanities between 2017-2020. 
     
    In this episode Amal shares advice about disseminating your PhD findings.
     
    She offers a ‘laddered’ process which will help you to build your confidence in discussing your research.
     
    We also discuss how being strategic about your dissemination can help you to prepare for a successful viva.
     
    Amal finishes with a top tip from her perspective as a PhD examiner on how you can assure your examiners about the quality of your thesis.
     
     
     
    Amal has created a range of toolkits to enhance competence of both PGRs and supervisors - here are the links to two of them: 
     
    Links to open toolkits:  
    7 principles for PhD completion.pdf (edgehill.ac.uk)
    Checklist to write for publications.pdf (edgehill.ac.uk)




    For a transcript of this episode go to www.thephdliferaft.com
     
    If you would like to receive a useful weekly email from the PhD Life Raft you can sign up here for ‘Notes from the Life Raft’: https://mailchi.mp/f2dce91955c6/notes-from-the-life-raft

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

JammieDodger22 ,

Absolutely is the life raft you need but didn’t know you needed!

Thank you so much for speaking to all these kind and generous people and for bringing their - and your - words and wisdom to us. This cuts through the incessant negative chatter of my inner critic. Dr Emma has saved my (mental) bacon!
I have shared this podcast with my doctoral colleagues and peers, and recommend to all on their academic journey.

S7W ,

A most excellent and supportive podcast

I’m in the planning stages of PG life. And to come across the brilliant episode with Dr Chris Megson while contemplating a supervisor has been reason to follow it. Great work Dr Emma Brodzinski 👏🏼

Niblina ,

Mature students FTW!

Really enjoyed the episode with Elisa Webb. So refreshing to hear a mature student - and the first in her family to go to uni - talking so passionately and practically about doing a phd. Loved her pie chart tip, and encouragement to just think for 30 mins a day. I found it really inspirational. Thank you!

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