Five things you didn’t know about Sibel Saya, host of Cheers with Peers.

Sibel Saya is the new host of PC4’s Cheers with Peers monthly podcast, aimed at Early Career Researchers (ECR).

As an ECR , Sibel is able to bring her own personal experiences to interviews with mid to senior researchers and consumers. Cheers with Peers is loosely based on the “5 things you didn’t know about’ premise. In this interview, we asked Sibel five things about her experience recording Cheers with Peers.

What did you learn about being a podcast host of your show for Early Career Researchers PC4’s Cheers with Peers?

That it’s harder than it sounds! It was tough to learn how to get the best out of your guests and to not be intimidated by being in a recording studio, which was a new experience for me.

What are the challenges faced by Early Career Researchers?

So many! Obviously, we all know it’s not an easy career path to embark upon and hopefully this makes some of the victories even sweeter. But there are certainly problems with lack of funding and positions for postdocs, the culture in academia of ‘publish or perish’ leading to the so-called ‘reproducibility crisis’, and finding a good mentor or sponsor to help you get where you want to be. We look at all these issues in the podcast and get some advice from senior researchers.

Why do you think it’s important for Early Career Researchers to listen to Cheers with Peers?

I think it’s really important for people to know that some of the tough experiences that they might have had as an ECR are usually not unique to them. We all come across the same challenges of getting funding, feeling that we don’t know everything that we should, and feeling apprehensive about what might come after our current PhD or postdoc. I find it comforting to know that’s the case and particularly to know that some of the senior researchers I interviewed also have had those experiences! More importantly, I think the podcast gives some practical advice for ECRs on how to navigate our chosen career path.

What was your favourite episode? Why?

My chat with Nikki Davis, a consumer who is on the Joint Consumer Advisory Group for PC4 was my favourite episode. She expressed so well the responsibility she feels as a consumer representative and how she, and other consumers, contribute to and strengthen the research projects they work on.

One of the Cheers with Peers questions is always – what podcast are you listening to – so what are you listening to now?

I’m currently listening to Serial Season 3. Some people may have heard of the previous seasons where they took 1 criminal case in the US and dissected it, but in this season, they embed themselves in one courthouse in Ohio and tell us about some of the criminal cases they come across. It’s a great exploration of the US justice system from the point of view of those who experience it daily.

Remember you can listen to Cheers with Peers on your favourite podcast players.