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Date: 29 November 2019, 11:00 CET

Well-being of PhDs and Professionals in Doctoral Education

The well-being of PhDs is currently a major topic in doctoral education. The issue is normally dealt with as a question for the professionals who support those PhDs: what can universities do to create a supportive environment for doctoral candidates?

With this year's PRIDE webinar we want to broaden the focus on this question to discuss it from three different perspectives:

Professionals in doctoral education regularly find themselves in individual counselling situations with PhDs who are currently in difficult life situations (e.g. problems with supervisor, psychological stress due to high competitive pressure in the research group, problems with visa extension, etc.). Given that many of those professionals do not have a formal background in psychology or psychotherapy, how can they competently advise and respond in these situations?

At the same time, these difficult counselling situations are also a burden for the professionals themselves. How can they best deal with them? What concepts and tools can they put in place in order to support themselves?

Finally, to what extent can universities act as a preventative factor? What framework conditions can universities implement to improve the well-being of early-stage researchers? What are some of the best practices that institutions have put into place in these situations?

Our speaker

Dr Jane Creaton is a Reader in Higher Education at the University of Portsmouth. She is currently leading a project to promote the mental health and wellbeing of postgraduate researchers and, as the institutional Postgraduate Research Wellbeing Champion, she implements and monitors the strategy for promoting PGR wellbeing. She teaches on institution-wide development programmes for postgraduate research students and their supervisors and is currently supervising five doctoral students. She co-organised the First International Conference on Postgraduate Mental Health and Wellbeing in Brighton in May 2019 and is currently editing a special issue of Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education focussing on mental health and wellbeing for Spring 2021.


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