Looking for tips, tricks and advice to finish your doctoral thesis on time and with high spirits? Baffled by how little information is out there about how to support PhD students to become independent researchers? As an ex-doctoral student now co-supervising five students, I feel your pain.

“A Happy PhD” is a blog where I distil what has worked for me, as well as recent research in doctoral education, psychology and many other fields. Join our mailing list, or follow the blog on Twitter, Facebook, or via RSS.

New to the blog? Start here.

Are you looking for…

Common problems and challenges in doing the PhD, from mental health (e.g., depression or anxiety) or productivity challenges, to writing or dropping out of your PhD.

Mental health and wellbeing tips and advice: common mental health symptoms in the PhD, tips to avoid dropping out of the doctorate, the importance of sleep, holidays or advice from positive psychology to keep yourself motivated during the PhD.

PhD productivity tips and advice: from the classic Pomodoro technique, to avoiding to-do list overwhelm, dealing with multiple projects and priorities, staying productive and motivated, how I manage my daily tasks or how I do my weekly reviews.

PhD-specific tools, like the CQOCE diagram to conceptualize your PhD, the NABC method to structure your research presentations, or the process I use to write scientific papers or make big career decisions.

Supervision tips and advice, about giving feedback on student papers, or supporting a sense of progress in your doctoral students.

Recent Posts

Quickie: A simple trick to get better answers to your open questions

read more

A Doctoral Consortium format for times of COVID

read more

Supporting different types of students to complete their PhD (Study report)

read more

What kind of doctoral student are you? Motivational profiles and completing the PhD (Study report)

read more

A Monday Mantra to face uncomfortable emotions (#2 productivity challenge sneak peek)

read more


Defusing task conflict in the PhD

The three most common productivity challenges of PhD students

PhD tool: Map out your PhD

Micro-breaks and two Monday Mantras to supercharge them

All Posts