The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs


The Early to Mid-Career Researcher Subcommittee has developed a series of podcasts under the title “Thoughts of Substance” where you can hear from members from the committee interview professionals in the Drug and Alcohol Sector discussing research, ideas, and a range of other topics, across a range of disciplines, relevant for early career researchers in this field. Over the next few episodes, you hear from some of the previous winners of the APSAD Early Career Award discuss how their careers have evolved, and their current work. 

Episode 7 - (Feb 2021)

In this episode, Dr Christina Marel is joined by Dr Lauren Gardner and Dr Louise Thornton, who are from the Matilda Centre of Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney. Lauren and Louise’s research focuses on preventing chronic disease by targeting physical and mental health determinants among adolescents, and using technology to effectively improve people’s mental and physical health. Lauren and Louise also chat to Christina about what they get up to at work, how their careers have evolved, and ideas for where they might be headed.

Episode 6 - (Sept 2019)

In this episode, of thoughts of substance, Professor Suzanne Nielsen talks to Dr Briony Larance, winner of the 2017 APSAD ECR award. Briony shares her research journey from her first Research Assistant job in Brighton (UK) to being the Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Senior Research Fellow at the University of Wollongong. On the way completed an NHMRC early career research fellowship (2014-2018) examining the trajectories and health consequences of pharmaceutical opioid use. In this episode, we hear about how non-linear a research career can be, and hear an incredible tale of persistence with a paper that initially seemed like it would never get published, and ultimately has been her most cited paper.

Episode 5 - (May 2019)

In this episode, Associate Professor Suzanne Nielsen is joined by Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin, the winner of the APSAD early career award in 2009, and Co-Director of the Mental Health Hub of the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre in Brain and Mental Health. Professor Kay-Lambkin talks about her career highlights and how she has integrated career with family life while building successful collaborations across the country. She has some sage advice for Early Career Researchers navigating challenges such as lack of job security.

Episode 4 - (August 2018)
Dr Cassandra Wright speaks to Dr Michael Livingston who won the APSAD Early Career Award in 2010. Michael is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University in Melbourne. You’ll hear Michael talk about how networking, collaborations and working with the right people have been integral to his diverse and impressive career in alcohol research.
Episode 3 - (July 2018)
On this episode of Thoughts Of Substance, Dr Christina Marel is talking to the 2007 winner of the APSAD Early Career Award, Associate Professor Katherine Mills, about some of her career successes and challenges. Has it all been smooth sailing? What were some of the biggest obstacles she’s encountered along the way to becoming an independent researcher? 
Episode 2 - (December 2017)
Dr Amy Peacock is joined by Dr Sarah Larney, winner of the 2014 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD) Early Career Researcher Award. Dr Larney is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, conducting epidemiological research related to injecting drug use and related problems. In this episode, Dr Larney describes her career highs and lows, and offers tips for establishing international collaborations and building an academic social media presence.
Episode 1 - (August 2017)
On this episode, Dr Christina Marel is joined by Dr Suzanne Nielsen winner of the 2011 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD) Early Career Researcher Award. Suzanne currently works at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. In this episode, Suzanne shares their career path to date and talks about some of the challenges for Early Career Researchers and talks about her experience of finding her niche conducting research on dependence to codeine.
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