#045: Max Planck Alumni Association group discussion

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#45 - MPAA Berlin group discussion.png

In this episode, Tina Persson talks with a group of alumnae from the Max Planck Society about the benefits of a network to build your career during and after the PhD.


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#041: Gizeh Perez Tenorio Story

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Gizeh Perez Tenorio is an Associate Lecturer  within experimental oncology and Online Facilitator in the Open Networked Learning courseat Linköping University. She also collaborates with Didacticum as PBL tutor where her key interest lies in incorporating technology to some of her courses, to support her colleagues in enhancing their digital literacy. 


Research is not a race – unless it is against a disease.

– Dr Gizeh Perez Tenorio, Associate Lecturer at Linköping University

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#039: Alex Rutherford Story

#039: Alex Rutherford Story

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Alex_Rutherford2edAlex Rutherford is a freelance data scientist and entrepreneur with a PhD in Physics from the University College London. He has subsequently undertaken post-doctoral work in complexity science and computational social science using computational techniques to understand why ethnic violence breaks out, how large groups of people can work together remotely and how constitutional reform takes place. His work has been published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences and has been covered in the New York Times and Nature among others. 

Alex worked as a data scientist for the United Nations in New York for several years applying computational techniques such as natural language processing and network analysis to aid and inform the development and humanitarian work of UN agencies and NGOs. This has included field work in Mexico, Jordan and Brazil, collaborations with numerous blue chip companies, presence at high level UN events and a handshake from Ban Ki Moon. Alex has lived and studied in Coventry, London, Damascus, Boston, Dubai, New York and Silicon Valley and speaks passable Spanish and Arabic. 

More recently, Alex is the founder of Data Apparel, an organisation selling custom, ethical clothing that uses the power of data and visualisation to promote empathy and debate among global citizens. He is an active Twitter user and blogger. More information and contact details can be found at alexrutherford.org.

The problem that I eventually settled on [for my PhD] fit a few different criteria that were important for me: 1) something involving computers; 2) something that had some real world applicability; 3) be in a big city with the opportunity to stay grounded.

– Dr Alex Rutherford, data scientist and founder at DataApparel

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#037: Yorick Peterse and Maria Eichel on Mental Health of PhD Candidates

#037: Yorick Peterse and Maria Eichel on Mental Health of PhD Candidates

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20170902_214903Welcome to a special episode of PhD Career stories. Our guests today are Yorick Peterse and Maria Eichel, whom we met at this year’s Max Planck Symposium for Alumni and Early Career Researchers (#MPSAECR) in Berlin, Germany. At this symposium, Maria and Yorick conducted a workshop on Mental Health and also wrote an article about it on the blog of the Max Planck PhDnet entitled The Mental Health of PhD Candidates.

Today, Maria and Yorick will tell us how “normal” it is to encounter mental health challenges during a PhD, which sounds rightfully alarming. There are numerous preventive and coping measures that can ease the situation. Some of these lie in your own hands, some are – and should be – offered to you by the research institution.

Reading suggestions

M Lisa, (Nov 2017) […] for better Graduate Student Mental Health. Academic Mental Health Collective

P Yorick, (Oct 2017) The Mental Health of PhD Candidates. Max Planck PhDnet

A Teresa, (Oct 2017) When the going gets tough, let me counsel you to seek counselling. phdlife.warwick.ac.uk

P Kate, (July 2017) Is it still taboo to take a mental health sick day? BBC News

L Katja et al, (May 2017) Work organization and mental health problems in PhD students. Research Policy 46(4) 868-879, doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2017.02.008

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#035: Prateek Mahalwar Story

#035: Prateek Mahalwar Story

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Dr Prateek Mahalwar

Prateek Mahalwar is originally from India and completed his PhD under the supervision of Nobel laureate Prof. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany. During this time, he studied the cellular mechanism of pigment pattern formation in zebrafish. Beside his PhD research, he was involved in several initiatives with Max Planck Society (MPG) stakeholders as the spokesperson and deputy spokesperson of the Max Planck PhDnet in 2015 and 2014 respectively. He has represented the MPG at several internal and external initiatives like Opencon (a global open science initiative), Early Career Researchers (ECR) advisory board member at eLife, science policy meetings with Science Europe and Open Access Ambassadors program at MPG.
Prateek also has an entrepreneurial mind and co-founded two start-ups in parallel to his PhD studies. Currently, he is working as Strategy Manager – Life Sciences at Ernst & Young in Frankfurt, where his tasks include advising biotechnology, pharma and MedTech companies on investment, product commercialisation and digitisation topics.

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