Research Activities

Completing your PhD means successfully putting into practice new skills whilst also overcoming hurdles that can slow your progress. The activities below are designed to help you find your way through this process.

Being with your PhD

Whether you strive for more, feeling indifferent, or struggling, Being with your PhD is a series of coaching-based workshops that aim to enhance your effectiveness in self-management and help you make the most of your PhD experience.

The workshops are designed for students from all stages of the PhD process.

While the challenges involved in doing a PhD are varied and reflect the diverse nature of the PhD experience there are common themes in self-management that interfere with you being at your best. For example, focus, motivation, procrastination, confidence, feeling overwhelmed, anxiety, fear of failure, perfectionism, goal setting, working with supervisors, isolation, career concerns and personal resilience.

Each workshop starts from your experience now, and through interactive and experimental exercises, engages in how to be more effective in addressing the particular challenges you face in your PhD, now and in the future. By asking different questions, exploring alternative perspectives, and by trying things out, you'll become more aware of what's possible for you, recognise choices you make, and build trust in yourself in moving forwards.

The overall aim of the workshops is to enhance your effectiveness in managing your PhD experience. More specifically attending the workshops you will:

  • learn how to tap into your potential, including developing strategies for managing interferences
  • become more aware of your patterns, recognise where there are choices you can make, and develop the increased confidence to make appropriate changes
  • engage in constructive conversations with your peers in ways that lead to creative possibilities for addressing the challenges you face
  • come away with reflections, tools and strategies and a commitment to put into practice what you have learnt.

There is no preparation for the workshops: you come with a sense of what you'd like to gain from the workshop and willing to engage in the exercises, drawing on particular issues you face in your PhD at the time.

The workshops are run by Will Medd who, both as a lecturer and professional life coach, has worked with hundreds of PhD students over the last 10 years, and is the co-author of Your PhD Coach (McGraw Hill). For more information see

Working with your PhD

Modules delivered under this theme focus more strongly on the academic side of completing your PhD. These sessions range from learning how to work with key statistical software, to how to effectively present your research in a conference paper or on a poster and how to write a PhD thesis.

These sessions are delivered by members of staff from across FST and by external trainers with experience of completing a PhD and disseminating their research. Whilst some are more practical sessions others require your input to make the session successful.

We want you to come out of these sessions having learned new skills and new approaches to help you interpret your data, with tips and techniques from fellow PhD students and with the confidence to go ahead and talk about your research and its value.

Time commitments

Most sessions last for between 2 and 3 hours. We hope that this gives you a chance to attend the sessions and to continue working on that experiment you've set up in the lab. Why not come along and share your PhD experience with your fellow students?

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