Season Finale – Danni Reches – Part 2 – Work, Life, and Podcasting as a PhD Researcher

Welcome to this Papa PhD season finale, a special collab with the What Are You Going to Do With That podcast. Right now, if you go to their website you will find the interview I gave for their show! 

In this second part, Danni Reches talks about her life outside her research. During this conversation we had a great exchange about working versus volunteering and about the importance of non-research activities in terms of networking.

Danni Reches

Danni Reches is a PhD fellow and research associate at the Haifa Center for German and European Studies at the University of Haifa. She received her BA in Middle Eastern Studies from Leiden University in the Netherlands, during which she co-established a student society. As part of her BA, she spent a semester at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on an exchange program. Danni also holds a BA certificate in Peace & Conflict Studies and an MA degree in Diplomacy, a specialization in International Relations, from the University of Haifa.

Her PhD dissertation focuses on policy and perceptions of immigrants from the Middle East in Europe. In other research projects, Danni works on refugees and international law in the EU during crises, including the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ and the corona pandemic.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Having activities and projects outside your research is positive, but be careful not to overextend yourself
  • How conferences can add to your networking and to your research, besides the fun aspect
  • Working around your institution or department to supplement your stipend has hidden advantages
  • Volunteering vs being exploited as a graduate student
  • What organizing seminars can bring you as a graduate researcher

This episode’s pearls of wisdom:

“ I, in a way, learned that academia is about rejection. You will have to face rejection. But the positive thing about it, and what I’ve learned about it is that that’s ok. You just nead to find a way for yourself to deal with that, to not take all of that personnally. You not getting a scholarship, you not getting into a conference, or your article being dismissed, doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It doesn’t mean anything about you as a person.”

“ If there would be a university that would say ‘Ok – you are our PhD student and you’re getting a scholarship for doing the PhD, so now, we’re half way through the semester and we want to do a conference but we have no one to do it, so we want you to organize the conference for us – go and ot it – then I would be like “no, this was not part of the contract”. This is very easy to ask of someone in this position because they might be afraid to tell you ‘No’. It’s a lot of extra work that also takes away time to do sports and to do you research. And then I would say “No, this is not ok to ask, this is not a kind of volunteering that I could support”.”

Danni’s links: LinkedIn –; What To Do With That Podcast –; Twitter –; Instagram –

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Happy podcasting!

You might also like the following episodes:

Dana Murchison – Science Outreach:

Clarissa Wright – Publishing:

Falisha Karpati – Skills Development:

Kirsten Sanford – Science communication:

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