The Sane and Successful PhD Journey: A peer-directed workshop for sharing, strategy and support, June/July 2021

This is a brand new course for 2021.  Following the successful keynote talk about PhD student mental health and wellbeing at the DTP symposium held in December 2020,
and the positive feedback from attendees, the Student Reps have negotiated the following workshop to benefit all PGRs across the DTP, and this has been approved by the DTP management board.  This is particularly pertinent with the additional uncertainty and stress caused by the COVID lockdown situation.

Course description

The people who have the best answers for managing your PhD in the most joyful, peaceful, sane and successfully ways are probably the people you’re working alongside: your research friends, colleagues and peers.

This workshop will address common challenges faced by most doctoral researchers, such time management and productivity, professional/career development, work-life balance and wellbeing. The ‘toolkit’ or strategies and practices you’ll acquire in the session will mostly be generated and shared among yourselves, with guidance and support from the trainer, Jamie Khoo.

Join to connect with, and learn from, other White Rose BBSRC DTP researchers. Discover the joys and anxieties your fellow researchers are experiencing, share your own research loves and struggles, find community support and friendship among others who are on the same path, and learn diverse methods and tips from each other for responding to your research work and life with more ease, balance and clarity.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the session(s), participants should:

  • recognise the resources and support available from among their peers and the PGR community
  • have acquired, through exchange and sharing with other participants, a greater ‘toolkit’ of strategies for addressing common challenges in the PhD journey
  • have heard from peers about their everyday PhD experiences and how they have negotiated the unique stressors and pleasures of doing a PhD
  • have had the opportunity to discuss with peers their concerns and questions about doing a PhD
  • have had the opportunity to network and meet other PGRs across the DTP


The workshop will be delivered by PhD coach and trainer, Jamie Khoo.  Jamie has just completed her PhD at the University of York, where she also served as the University’s Postgraduate Researcher Student Liaison Officer (2019-2020), overseeing the peer-led ‘How to Thrive and Survive’ project. Jamie was also one of the original  committee members of the ‘Thrive and Survive’ initiative, and worked closely with project founder Sarah Masefield to design and deliver the first set of workshops in 2018. When she led the project in 2020, she moved and adapted the entire project online, to adhere to recent work-from-home guidelines, and ran 8 successful workshops throughout the year.

Who is it for?

This training is for PGRs in any year group across the DTP.  It is optional and it is therefore up to you as an individual PGR to decide if this will benefit you.

The intention is to have mixed year groups in each workshop.  We particularly wish to encourage final year students to take advantage of one of the workshops below before they leave.


The DTP management board has agreed to fund this so that every DTP PGR can attend, if they wish.  This will require a total of 4 workshops, with a maximum of 50 PGRs attending each workshop.  We have initially set dates for two workshops.  Depending on demand, we will set up a further one or two workshops later on.

Note: Each PGR will attend only one workshop.  (This is not a series of workshops).  We are offering the same workshop on multiple dates to give everyone who wishes to a chance to attend.  We are initially offering workshops on the 2 dates below.  We will assess the demand and decide if we need to run further workshops on other dates towards the end of this academic year or into the next academic year.  

Each workshop will last around 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

We will initially run workshops on the following dates:

 10:00 – 12:30 Monday 28th June 2021

14:00 – 16:00 Tuesday 27th July 2021.  


The workshop will be held on-line.

How to book

As mentioned above, we will assess the demand and decide if we need to run further workshops on other dates towards the end of this academic year or into the next academic year.  If you are interested in the idea of this workshop but cannot make the dates of either of the first two workshops, please do still register to help us with our future planning.  (There is an option for this on the booking form).

Click the following link to register your interest:

The deadline for booking is Friday 21st May 2021. 

Note: If you have not completed the form by this date, we will assume that you are not interested in attending a wellbeing workshop and we will undertake our planning on this basis.