PhD Podcast Learning Module 2: Podcasting Content and Structure


To understand how to structure the content of your podcast.

Individual Activities:

Assess the Competition and Consider Themes:

Listening to other podcasting series can be a great source to understand what makes a good podcastget ideas on how to improve your own, and identify the unique perspective that your podcast will bring. 

  1. Listen to “Analyzing your Competition” LinkedIn Learning (2:42 min).
  2. Identify podcasts that currently discuss research at Yale. 
  3. Check out other podcasts about academic research, including these below to get you started:
    1. What makes us human: A podcast from the Cornell College of Arts & Sciences faculty covering many different topics. 
    2. Augmented humanity: A podcast focusing on intersections between technology and the humanities, with guests from many different fields, produced through the University of New Mexico’s public radio station.
    3. Research in action: Research in Action (RIA) is a podcast hosted by Oregan State University about topics and issues related to research in higher education featuring experts across disciplines.
    4. Pod academy:  An independent, not-for-profit platform for free podcasts on academic research, Pod Academy was set up by a group of academics, journalists and IT specialists and aims to inform public debate and uncover intriguing and challenging new ideas.

Naming the Podcast:

Choosing the name of your podcast is very important to convey the content and attract relevant audience. Read more about the best practices to name your podcast here.

Production Approach:

Listen to: “Mapping your Production” LinkedIn Learning (3:40 min).  Use these resources to learn more about the following podcast production elements: 

  1. Format:
    1. “The Benefits and Drawbacks of Audio Podcasting” LinkedIn Learning (3:38 min).
    2. “The Benefits and Drawbacks of Video Podcasting” LinkedIn Learning (4:40 min).
  2. Frequency Read more about how to weigh the pros and cons of different frequencies of podcast here.
  3. Episode length:  Read about some interesting statistics here. Read about pros and cons of various episode lengths here.

Team Activities:

Discuss the Competition:

  1. What you like most about your favorite podcasts?  What makes them engaging? What elements would you like to see in your podcast series? 
  2. Discuss the academic research-oriented podcasts you listened and some ideas/themes you could borrow or imitate. 

Large Group Activities:

Make Decisions About the Format:

Discuss and reach consensus on the following:

  1. The content theme of your podcast
    1. Can you identify a set of questions that your podcast will aim to answer? What other topics would be interesting to your audience in addition to the research itself? For example, possible ideas could include stories from graduate students about the challenges they had with the research process, and/or possible career paths that leverage this research.
    2. How does it fit into the landscape of existing podcasts at Yale?
    3. Who is its target audience?
  2. The name of your podcast.
  3. The format of your podcast – audio or video?
  4. The frequency of your podcast: keep in mind your academic work load and other commitments to ensure that the frequency of release is manageable. 
  5. The episode length – this might depend upon the frequency decided above.