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PhD: Addicted to Research

By, and for, addictions PhD students everywhere

'PhD: addicted to research' is a podcast created by PhD students funded by the Society for the Study of Addiction and is for anyone doing a PhD or thinking about doing a PhD. We are all at different stages of our studies
Latest Episode4/4/2022

Mendelian Randomisation

Season 1, Ep. 19
In this episode, Chloe Burke and Saba Ishrat introduce you to the basics of Mendelian Randomisation. They talk about how and why Mendelian Randomisation is used in addiction research to look at causal relationships, as well as its limitations. They speak to two experts in the field. First, Dr Anya Topiwala talks about her experiences of using Mendelian Randomisation, including research assessing the relationship between drinking and telomere length. And second, to Dr Robyn Wootton who talks about using Mendelian Randomisation in studying the relationship between mental health and substance use. The second interview also covers the potential pitfalls of Mendelian Randomisation, and some practical tips to avoid them. Chloe and Saba have compiled a selection of open-access links below:Assessing and addressing collider bias in addiction research: the curious case of smoking and COVID-19. By Harry Tattan-Birch and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2020).Assessing causal relationships using genetic proxies for exposures: an introduction to Mendelian randomization. By Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2017).Mendelian randomisation for psychiatry: how does it work, and what can it tell us? By Robyn E. Wootton and colleagues. Published in Molecular Psychiatry (2022).Making sense of Mendelian randomisation and its use in health research: A short overview. By Sean Harrison and colleagues. Published by Public Health Wales NHS Trust & Bristol University.MR Dictionary. Published by University of Bristol. 
4/4/2022

Mendelian Randomisation

Season 1, Ep. 19
In this episode, Chloe Burke and Saba Ishrat introduce you to the basics of Mendelian Randomisation. They talk about how and why Mendelian Randomisation is used in addiction research to look at causal relationships, as well as its limitations. They speak to two experts in the field. First, Dr Anya Topiwala talks about her experiences of using Mendelian Randomisation, including research assessing the relationship between drinking and telomere length. And second, to Dr Robyn Wootton who talks about using Mendelian Randomisation in studying the relationship between mental health and substance use. The second interview also covers the potential pitfalls of Mendelian Randomisation, and some practical tips to avoid them. Chloe and Saba have compiled a selection of open-access links below:Assessing and addressing collider bias in addiction research: the curious case of smoking and COVID-19. By Harry Tattan-Birch and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2020).Assessing causal relationships using genetic proxies for exposures: an introduction to Mendelian randomization. By Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi and colleagues. Published in Addiction (2017).Mendelian randomisation for psychiatry: how does it work, and what can it tell us? By Robyn E. Wootton and colleagues. Published in Molecular Psychiatry (2022).Making sense of Mendelian randomisation and its use in health research: A short overview. By Sean Harrison and colleagues. Published by Public Health Wales NHS Trust & Bristol University.MR Dictionary. Published by University of Bristol. 
12/21/2021

From PhD to post-doc

Season 1, Ep. 17
Merve Mollaahmetoglu talks to Dr Carol-Ann Getty and Dr Basak Tas about the time immediately after your PhD. They discuss funding, how to look out for a permanent position and how to choose your post-doc university. They also talk about how competitive fellowships are and when you should start applying for them.“I’m in my final year and in the writing up process. but I can’t image doing that alongside writing up a fellowship or a grant application”They also cover the impact of the pandemic and how to look after yourself during and after your PhD.“There’s this idea in academia that, because we like what we do, we have to sacrifice our personal life for it…. Yes, you know you do also need to think about your personal life and that can be an important priority in terms of choosing what type of route or what career you do take in academia”At the end, Merve interviews Professor Sir John Strang about the SSA’s post-doc transitional scheme and about his own reflections on working in addictions.“It probably does involve having an approach to [an academic career] where you’re much more willing to listen and to look around you at how both the nature of the problem one’s talking about, but also societal responses might be changing. And I think you have to be prepared to change your own thinking and change the type of work that you do over time. Some people would find that unsettling and view it negatively. Personally, I think it’s what makes the addictions field or substance misuse field endlessly fascinating.”