Doctor it!

The podcast of PhD candidates in the humanities and the social sciences at the University of Vienna

At the University of Vienna, keen and excellent doctoral candidates work on fascinating projects that are relevant to society at large. To let a wider audience at and beyond the University of Vienna know about the doctoral research projects in the humanities and social sciences and to establish a space for the discussion of topics that matter to doctoral candidates, the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies (DSHCS) and the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences (ViDSS) have encouraged and supported doctoral candidates to establish a joint podcast.


Episode 4 – The Western Balkans: Challenges to European Integration

For the semester’s final episode of “Doctor it!”, we have done a showcase of what researchers at the Vienna Doctoral Schools are interested in. In this episode, Bernd Christoph Ströhm hosts an expert interview about the Western Balkans with his research colleague Mario Holzner, Executive Director of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies. Listen in when they dive into the region’s past, explain the current constitutional crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina and discuss Russia’s and China’s influence on the region. Learn about the alternatives that existed to the breakup of Yugoslavia and why a boarding pass tells us a lot about the present situation of the Western Balkans.

This episode was written and produced by Bernd Christoph Ströhm, Maximilian Brockhaus, Martin Pokorny, Amara Ugbo and Rasmus Wardemann, edited by Martin Pokorny, and hosted by Bernd Christoph Ströhm. Special thanks go out to our guest, Mario Holzner.

Episode 3 – Science communication

In the third episode of “Doctor It!”, our host, Rasmus Wardemann, talks to Lonneke Delpeut from the Department of Egyptology and Byeongsun Ahn, doctoral candidate in Sociology, about science communication as an important part of our PhD-journey. Listen in when they discuss their changing expectations and practices of disseminating research within and outside of academia, the skills they have developed over the years and how Covid-19 has changed science communication. Our guests provide insights into how they managed to find a balance between reaching out to other academics and the wider public, all while dedicating themselves to their own research. Hear their stories about mummies and citizen participation, find out why Egyptology “torpedoed” into the 21st century and understand the struggle of explaining to your parents – and, eventually, yourself – what you are actually doing as a PhD student.

This episode was written and produced by Max Brockhaus, Rasmus Wardemann, Bernd Ströhm and Martin Pokorny, edited by Martin Pokorny, and hosted by Rasmus Wardemann. Special thanks go out to our guests, Lonneke Delpeut and Byeongsun Ahn.

Lonneke Delpeut (© ViDSS / DSHCS)

Byeongsun Ahn (© ViDSS / DSHCS)

Episode 2 – Didactics in practice

In a seminar room, whether physical or digital, PhD candidates navigate between student, researcher, and teacher. As first-time course instructors, they encounter two big questions in particular: How do you teach what you do? And what are your resources and tools to master this task?

In episode 2 of “Doctor it!”, we hear insights into this from PhD candidates Azade Kakavand from the Department of Communication and Cosimo Paravano from the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies. They share their experiences from “both sides of the desk”, sometimes sitting next to, sometimes vis-à-vis from students, peers and researchers with advanced expertise in research didactics. Listen in and hear their dialogue with our host Rasmus Wardemann, in which they address the myth of the “natural teacher” and share their teaching strategies in dealing with different group sizes and course types. Find out what difference an alumni-pen makes for Azade’s consciousness as someone in a position to impart academic knowledge and what Cosimo means by “teaching does not have to happen behind closed doors”!

Articles and podcasts mentioned in the episode:
“The Damaging Myth of the Natural Teacher”
“Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning”

This episode was written and produced by Angelika Hudler, Max Brockhaus, and Rasmus Wardemann, edited by Martin Pokorny, and hosted by Rasmus Wardemann. Special thanks go out to our guests, Cosimo and Azade.

Azade Kakavand (© ViDSS / DSHCS)

Cosimo Paravano (© ViDSS / DSHCS)

Episode 1 – Our way into academia

In the first Episode of “Doctor it!”, our host, Rasmus Wardemann, talks to the first-year doctoral candidates Julia Schulte-Werning from the Department of History and Quirin Rieder from the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology about their experiences of getting into a PhD programme. From trying to meet expectations to managing their research time, our guests give us first-hand insights into what it means to go into your first PhD year. Julia and Quirin share their personal journey to the projects and positions they presently work in and provide recommendations to everyone out there embarking on a similar path into doctoral research.

The background behind Rasmus’ aphorism “remember to forget”, glimpses into “PhD-FOMO”, and what objects embody Julia’s and Quirin’s concrete early experiences in their PhD programmes: find out about it by listening to Episode 1 of “Doctor it!”!

This episode was written and produced by Max Brockhaus and Angelika Hudler, edited by Martin Pokorny, and hosted by Rasmus Wardemann. Special thanks go out to our guests, Julia Schulte-Werning and Quirin Rieder.

Quirin Rieder (© ViDSS / DSHCS)

Julia Schulte-Werning (© ViDSS / DSHCS)


Welcome to Doctor it!, the podcast of PhD candidates in the humanities and the social sciences at the University of Vienna. This is the place for communication and discussion about issues surrounding us in the world of science. We address the Whats, the Whys and the Hows of our work and invite researchers from different disciplines to explore topics and ideas they and we deeply care about.