SBIDER Podcast Hub

3 minute read


Genesis of the SBIDER Podcast Hub

In March 2022, myself and my colleague at SBIDER Laura Guzmán Rincón had an ambition. We wanted to develop a collection of podcast shows to broaden the forms of media The Zeeman Institute for Systems Biology & Infectious Disease Epidemiology Research (SBIDER) group could use to share with the public both scientific research and our experiences working in an academic research group.

These goals had arisen thanks to the RAMP (Rapid Assistance for Modelling the Pandemic) Outreach Innovation Awards funding call. We requested funds to purchase a podcast kit and supporting hardware, with a view that such capital expenditure would be an investment that can support engagement activities longer-term.

RAMP Outreach Innovation Award

RAMP Outreach Innovation Awards were granted to Early Career Researchers based in the UK in the field of infectious disease modelling to undertake projects with a significant outreach component. The projects had to include communication of infectious disease modelling concepts to the general public and/or the wider scientific community.

The outreach award encouraged a broad scope of outreach activities, with eligible activities including:

  • Develop and run training events for undergraduate students to deliver outreach talks or workshops in schools
  • Create and publicise online public lectures
  • Develop podcasts or websites
  • Construct activities for science exhibitions
  • Create citizen science projects
  • Make online science outreach videos.

Eight projects were awarded funding, with the SBIDER Podcast Hub being one of the eight successful applications. Updates from the funded projects are available via the INI Newton Gateway to Mathematics.

Our podcast series

With the support of our RAMP Outreach Innovation Award (UKRI Grant EP/V053507/1), as of November 2022 we have developed two podcast series, SBIDER presents and the SBIDER Careers Podcast.

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SBIDER presents

In SBIDER presents we interview researchers from SBIDER and its collaborators about their work in the biological and medical sciences. We also share recent news from the SBIDER group.

We endeavour to showcase how the research being conducted is achieving SBIDER’s aim of using mathematics to solve challenges in the biological and medical sciences, to better understand the biological world and often with the ultimate goal of controlling disease.

As of November 2022, we have released a trailer and three full episodes. Episodes of SBIDER presents are available on:

SBIDER Careers Podcast

What are the paths to a research career in epidemiology and infectious disease modelling? What are the day-to-day tasks? Who supports their research activities?

Targeted at those interested in research careers in epidemiology and mathematical modelling, the SBIDER Careers Podcast explores these questions by interviewing SBIDER researchers and research support staff who carry out important work that enables the research being conducted.

As of November 2022, we have released a trailer and five full episodes. Topics of conversation have so far ranged from postdoctoral research to project management to directing the research group.

Episodes of the SBIDER Careers Podcast are available on:

Future plans

In the short-term, to close out 2022 we have one episode planned for release per series in December.

In SBIDER presents, we will be speaking with Dr Simon Spencer about his research interest in fitting models to data and model comparison, with applications to epidemiology. The paper of focus will be a publication in the Annals of Applied Statistics titled “Integrating geostatistical maps and infectious disease transmission models using adaptive multiple importance sampling”.

For the SBIDER Careers Podcast, the next episode will feature a couple of SBIDER-affiliated PhD students and discuss PhD life as part of the Mathematics for Real-World Systems Centre for Doctoral Training.

As we venture into 2023, a potential expansion to our audio portfolio would be a series that features visitors to SBIDER (seminar speakers, research exchanges for example).