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Advice and Counselling Service

PhD Support Group

The PhD Support Groups are run by the Advice and Counselling Service and the Researcher Development team. They aim to provide a safeconfidential space in which doctoral students support each other with personal, emotional and relationship issues that affect their doctoral experience and progress.

Finally I can open up and talk about my problems that have been bothering me for a long time, but I didn't know how to deal with or how to talk about it with other people. And it feels nice to know it is not shameful to have these problems and it doesn't mean I am not good enough.
— PhD Support Group participant

Through sharing with others who have similar experiences you can gain a clearer perspective and identify more effective ways of managing the tension between personal and emotional issues and academic demands.

Some themes that could be explored in the Support Groups include:

  • isolation
  • finding it hard to maintain confidence or motivation
  • worries about career prospects
  • relationship with supervisors
  • how stress, anxiety or other worries can affect research progress.

The groups are facilitated by Ben Priest, Counsellor at the Advice and Counselling Service, and Dr Fryni Panayidou, Researcher Development Adviser for Postgraduate Research Students.

Groups will run in person in Advice and Counselling's Group Room, GC214, Graduate Centre, Mile End campus.

It was great to not feel alone. I felt like I could share my problems without judgement. I now feel confident that I will be successful in the PhD. Even if I didn't have a problem to share in a particular week it was useful to listen and help others.
— PhD Support Group participant

To sign up

Each support group will run at the Mile End campus for 8 weekly sessions on Thursdays from 11.00am to 12.30pm, with a maximum of 9 participants in each group. You are expected to attend all 8 sessions of your allocated group. You are also expected to attend an individual appointment with the facilitators before you join any group.

Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

The provisional dates of the groups are:

Group A: 6 October – 24 November 2022
Group B: 
12 January – 2 March 2023
Group C: 
16 March – 11 May 2023 (excluding 6 April)

If you would like to join a group please complete this short form. The facilitators will be in touch soon to arrange an appointment.


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