5 things you didn’t know about Jennifer McIntosh, host of Cheers with Peers

Cheers with Peers podcast. Host Jennifer McIntosh
Dr Jennifer McIntosh is the new host of PC4’s Cheers with Peers monthly podcast, aimed at Mid Career Researchers (MCR). As an MCR , Jennifer brings her own personal experiences to interviews with senior researchers. Cheers with Peers is loosely based on the ‘5 things you didn’t know about’ premise. In this interview, we asked Jennifer five things about her experience recording Cheers with Peers.

What are you learning about being a podcast host of your show for Mid Career Researchers PC4’s Cheers with Peers?

The podcasts give me a fabulous opportunity to sneakily ask all my favourite senior researchers all about their lives, research careers and how they got there! I also found that I am not as terrified of the media as I used to be and I am really enjoying the whole process.

What are the challenges faced by Mid Career Researchers?

Mid-career researchers are kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, keeping the momentum up seems to be important to get through the hurdle to the next step. Luck and mentorship are really helpful for keeping the momentum going. Most of the researchers have reached senior research status and all acknowledge it is getting harder to get to senior researcher as the money is becoming more scarce and more competitive. The clinician-academic is hard to balance but if they can, it helps by bringing clinically important issues to the research table, and providing a break from an otherwise intense academic life.

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

The podcast provides a lovely, chatty way of finding out how others have moved up the academic ladder. The conversation is inspiring because all the people we have interviewed are easy to relate to and they all offer important tips for how they got ahead. Common tips include: follow what you enjoy, don’t be afraid to approach senior academics you admire, take opportunities when they are offered to you, look for mentors/sponsors, and hope for a good dose of luck – being in the right place at the right time seems to be important.

What was your favourite episode currently (we’re only half way through the season)? Why?

That’s not fair! I am biased toward the fabulous women who continue to inspire me – how can I decide between Mei Krishnasamy, Elizabeth Murray, Lena Sanci and Lyndal Trevena? They are all gracious, clever and humble women who attribute their success to much more than their own brilliance!

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

One that I loved was All in the Mind with Lynne Malcolm. The particular episode I like is here. Because I am training for a big walk though I have switched to talking books for a while – ‘Normal People’ Sally Rooney, ‘The Passion’ Jeanette Winterson, ‘The Milkman’ Anna Burns.
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