Yes, your PhD is challenging. Nothing wrong with that...
      But will you let it affect your happiness and mental health?

      If any of this sounds familiar:

        You're passionate about research. But you feel lonely and isolated in your PhD.
        You work a lot. But you feel you are not progressing fast enough.
        You do your best. But the results never feel good enough.
        You respect your PhD advisor. But he could do so much more for you.
        You wonder if pursuing your PhD actually makes sense. And how will your future look like?
        Your life is a constant race against time. You feel guilty for taking some time off.
        Your family and friends are proud of you. But nobody really understands what you are going through.

       ...then you've come to the right place!

      "I wish I was told before how lonely it would be to do a PhD. How being so deeply invested in a single topic which nobody around you knows, can be so isolating." 

      Mental health in academia is alarming!

      Recent study (Levecque et al., 2017) looked at over 3,600 PhD students in Europe and found that:
      - 89% of postgraduate students struggle in their PhD. - 50% of PhD students experience psychological distress. - 33% of them are at a high risk of developing common psychiatric disorders.
      Anxiety - Depression - Burnout - Emotional exhaustion

      Critically, the prevalence of psychological distress is much higher in PhD students compared to other highly educated individuals. Almost everyone in academia suffers.


      The most important causes for suffering in academia:

        Isolation and lack of social support
        Extremely high work demands resulting in Constant Stress
        Problems with supervisor
        Work-life (im)balance
        Uncertainty about professional future

      Mental health issues in academia have been discussed in:

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      This is what our members told us about their PhD:

      • 👉 Low self-esteem

        “During my PhD my confidence started to fall and now I just feel as if it won't work for me. I am not smart enough”

      • 👉 Overworking

        "I miss going out with friends and having fun.Now my world is limited to my desk, to my lab and my research. There is no time for anything else"

      • 👉 Negative relation with advisor

        "I have so many issues with my advisor, I feel so anxious every time I meet him"

      • 👉 Motivation problems

        “I am depressed because my research goes so slowly. I have no energy or motivation to pursue my experiments"

      • 👉 Impostor syndrome

        "So far I didn’t celebrate anything I have accomplished during my PhD. It just feels like OK, something is done and at least it is done”

      • 👉 Personal life problems

        "I obtained my PhD degree, but I lost my partner. I don't think it was worth it..."

      PhD Reality

      Regardless of our field of study, university, or our country, our PhD journey looks the same

      Whether you study physics or philosophy the requirements for PhD candidates in Europe are the same, i.e. reaching academic excellence and finishing PhD in time with the highest academic records (in the form of publications or patents).
      For all the PhD candidates, meeting these requirements results in very similar behaviors, emotions, and mental states. 
      We all work a lot, worry and stress about our progress, and feel lonely in our academic challenges. Going through the same things we understand each other very well!

      “A PhD is a journey. Nobody goes through it and remains the same. Use it as a stepping stone to a better you”

      Joy, PhD Student, University of YorkSurviving your PhD, Advice from PhD students for PhD students

      Creating a community for PhD students

      Hi, my name is Ewa and I'd like to share my story...Only a couple of years ago, I was in the same boat as you. 
      Underappreciated & stuckI was pursuing a PhD in psychology and I felt overwhelmed and stressed. I was always busy, I always tried to do an excellent job, but I was never satisfied with the results. 
      Some of my experiments weren’t working. Articles were getting rejected. And I spent tediously long hours at the university. I felt underappreciated. Stuck... 
      My advisor always expected me to do more. And I remember bursting into tears in front of my advisor when she said that my PhD might take a year longer…  So, I searched for help. But it was hard to find...
      Creating a communityEventually, there were other PhD students that came to the rescue. They listened to me and exactly understood my struggles, since they had themselves experienced it.
      So I started a small support group with PhD students from different universities. 
      Every Monday we started our week with a group call, a moment to chat, laugh and share our struggles. Besides that, we set goals for the week, shared resources, and supported each other. 
      These group calls became our safe space to discuss our academic challenges. 
      Over time, more people saw the value in it and wanted to join. 
      Highest distinctionsThanks to the support of my 'tribe', I stayed motivated, positive and clear with my goals. I noticed I was more efficient at work and balanced as a person. Besides that, it helped me to save time and it facilitated planning my post-doctorate future. 
      As a result, I finished my PhD within 3 years and 6 months with the highest distinctions and with great academic records. Also, a post-doctoral position was waiting for me.
      Throughout this PhD journey, I made great friends and developed a strong international network of PhD candidates. And most of all I enjoyed my post-graduate studies!
      For anyoneLooking back at my own struggles and seeing other PhD students still struggling today, I decided to step in and create a similar tribe for anyone who might need it. 
      This is how PhD Success Community was born.


      If you work in a large research group, the competitive academic environment can make your group mates your enemies.  It is important to have a group of supportive people that you can trust. PhD Success Community is exactly that!

      Claire, PhD student, University of Strasbourg, France

      Take responsibility for your own well-being! 

      Our doors are opening soon!Be the First One to know about it!

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      Stop struggling. Start enjoying!

      PhD Success Community will provide you with everything you need to help you succeed:


        Connect with PhD students from all over Europe.
        Learn and get help from other brilliant young researchers. 
        Share skills. Share ideas. Get constructive feedback.
        Make new friends. Grow your professional network.
        Enjoy the company of like-minded people who share your passion for research!


        The Phd Tribe is all about understanding. No more explaining your struggles.
        Share your challenges with people who ‘get you’. Feel lighter.
        Get support and encouragement whenever you need.
        Get good vibes and motivation when you feel low.
        Celebrate your success with people who acknowledge your efforts.


        You don’t need to figure everything out by yourself. Just ask.
        A real bank of knowledge that will save you time and energy. 
        Whether you need concrete methodological advice or insights on a difficult situation, the community is here to help you. 
        Place to ask questions with no shame or fears
        Possibility to learn and teach others

      “Thanks to PhD Success Community, I've met other PhD candidates. It is very reassuring to know that you're not the only one with worries and anxieties.”

      Yun, PhD student, Aston University, Birmingham, UK


      "I wish such group existed earlier. It would have saved me so much time looking for help."

      Maria, University of Porto, Portugal


      Who is behind PhD Success Community?

      My name is Ewa. I am the founder of PhD Success and PhD Success Community. I have spent over 8 years in academia studying memory and human behaviour. I am a certified psychologist and doctor of cognitive psychology. 
      By the way, the W in my name is not a typo, it is the Polish way of writing Eva ;-)
      My studies and academic work brought me to live in 5 different countries in Europe. So I know what it means to change cultures and integrate. 
      When I chose to study psychology, I already knew I like to help people and that this is my vocation. 
      After obtaining a masters degree in Psychology, I worked for 2 years with neurology patients in a hospital, which felt really good. However, after a couple of months, I started to miss university life.
      So, I found a PhD program on the other side of France, and I moved from the extreme East of France (Strasbourg) to extreme North (Lille) to do my PhD. 
      It was definitely challenging, but I was lucky to meet great people on my way as my PhD colleagues from whom I received valuable advice, tips and support from my PhD colleagues. All of this made the journey more joyous.
      During my PhD studies, I shared my knowledge to help other students in their earlier years of PhD. Even as a post-doc, my PhD student friends kept calling me to ask for advice. 
      No doubt the academic life is very challenging, but I believe TOGETHER we can do something about it!

      PhD Success Community is a dynamic group of inspiring and supportive PhD students.What can you expect?

      • A Dynamic Community 

        Exclusive access to our dedicated community of like-minded PhD students that you can turn to for answers, advice, feedback and inspiration.

      • Always Accessible

        Our virtual community is always easy to reach, whether you are at work, home or in commute. We have our own app! Our community stays away from the buzz of social media, so don't get distracted on FB while looking for information :) 

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        Regular masterminds (moderated by an experienced psychologist) designed to talk and work through the major challenges that threaten our PhD journey.  Think about procrastination, stress, overwhelm, and departmental politics.

      • Career Challenge

        How to create a meaningful, professional future is a major concern of PhD students. But not for our members! Every month we invite doctors who have successfully built their careers IN and OUTSIDE of academia. During Live Q&As you can ask any question

      • Productivity Boosts

        As PhD students, we often feel very slow with our work. The productivity boosts will help you set up realistic goals, monitor your progress, and acknowledge your accomplishments. We’ll help you manage your cognitive resources as well as your time in order to make you more efficient.

      • Topic Groups

        Who better to learn from than our brilliant members? We give you a chance
        to share your own skills in the topic groups.
        You can share and learn everything from how to do a literature review to steps involved in writing your thesis.

      • Expert Packs

        We give you all the information to succeed in your PhD. Expert packs are a series of short videos, done by experts on the key PhD topics such as work-life balance, structure in your research, methodology, PhD writing, grant writing, and many others. You can also propose the topic!In addition, all your questions will be answered in the live Q&As.

      • Individual support tailored to your needs

        As a member of PhD Success Community, you benefit from the expertise of Dr. Ewa Pluciennicka, experienced psychologist who went through the PhD journey herself. You may opt for individual sessions or add them along the way.Your demand to book a one-to-one session will be prioritised and escalated before others (and you’ll get a discount).

      • Social Events

        It’s not only serious stuff – we also love having fun! Every month we host a virtual social event to get to know each other better and make new friends in a chilled out atmosphere. It is an easy way to meet interesting people without stepping outside your house. Bring a glass of wine or beer and mingle with other PhD students from all over Europe! Fun time guaranteed!

      Have suggestions?

      This is the best part! PhD Success Community is YOUR community and YOU have the opportunity to shape it! Suggest future topics, which experts to feature, and what events to hold. Help create a space you love! We want to hear from you!!!


      “I love this group! I really feel there is a great connection and solidarity between the PhD candidates. And I learn so much!I definitely enjoy my PhD much more since I joined the community!"

      Kasia, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland

      Wanna join?

      The PhD Success Community is closed right now! Sign up to the Waitlist to find out when we open our doors!

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      We will contact you shortly.

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      100% Money Back Guarantee

      We understand — sometimes it’s just not a fit. Maybe it was us. Maybe you just weren't feeling it. Maybe the timing was just off. Whatever the reason, we’ll help you get on your way quickly and painlessly. We’re not going to hold 30 minute phone calls trying to convince you to stay.
      Here’s the deal: Cancel within the first 30 days of your subscription and we will refund the entirety of your payment.
      We’d like to know why you’re cancelling — Did we do something wrong? Did we smell funny?
      We’re always looking for ways we can improve. But if you’d rather not say, that’s fine, too.

      The Inner Circle

      The Inner Circle is our most special offer limited to only 12 people!In addition to the PhD Success Community experience, you'll get:

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        Individual Support

        Within the Inner Circle you get 4 individual one-to-one consultations of 60 minutes per month with Dr Ewa Pluciennicka, experienced psychologist and academician. It is always good to talk about your struggles with someone. But how much better it is if the person can truly understand you and provide you professional care.
        It is time devoted to YOU, only to YOU, your problems, your challenges and your fears. This is the time to express things you don’t want to share in a group, maybe not even with your friends and loved ones.Are you not feeling motivated? Facing problems with your supervisor? You don’t know how to deal with stress?Are you struggling with finding a balance between professional and personal life? Your partner doesn’t understand you? All these topics can be covered in the individual consultations.

      • Article illustration photo

        Productivity accelerator

        Staying productive and efficient at work is not easy. Productivity depends on intellectual capacities, mental states, and experience. It also depends on the tasks you do.  
        As a member of the Inner Circle, you will learn how YOUR memory, attention, and concentration work. What is the best working rhythm for you. What motivates you. What blocks you. What are your strengths and weaknesses. We will look together on your working habits and create a working strategy adapted to your needs that can boost your productivity up to extra by 75%

      • Article illustration photo


        The ability to network is an important habit, especially in the competitive environment such as academia. As one of the 12 members of Inner Circle you will receive tips and tricks on how to network successfully in the international high-level environments. Importantly, you will benefit from Dr. Pluciennicka's established network IN and OUTSIDE of academia and personal recommendation


      "I joined the INNER CIRCLE because I needed personnalised support. Ewa (Dr Ewa Pluciennicka) was such a great help. She helped me understand my strengths and re-gain my confidence. As a result the communication with supervisor got so much better. I don't feel stuck in my PhD anymore. Thank you!"

      Nadia, 3rd year PhD student, Humbold Universitât, Berlin, Germany

      Still not sure if the PhD Success Community is right for you?

      The PhD Success Community isn’t for everyone.So let's figure out if it’s a good fit before you join. 



        You are a PhD student in your 1st, 2nd, or… 6th year of your PhD studies, and you know what a PhD life is about.
        You are doing your PhD research in a European University. Regardless of your nationality, if you are pursuing a PhD at a European university, this tribe is for you.
        You believe in solidarity between PhD students and are happy to share your knowledge with other members.
        You want to meet like-minded PhD students to give as well as receive help, support, and advice.
        You know that you get as much as you put in, and are excited to get in, join our live events, and be active in the community (although we know you’re busy, so don’t feel like you have to join everything!)
        You want to learn long-term strategies to facilitate your PhD journey and know that there are no “instant/fast solutions” to any problem.
        You are an ambitious master student that aspires to start his PhD in following years and want to learn more about PhD programs.
        This group is not for you if you are a PhD student outside of Europe, even if you are from the European origin. It is due to different structure of PhD programmes outside of Europe.
        You believe in competition, and you want to prove to the world how smart you are and make sure you are “the best” of all.
        You are not willing to dedicate any time to the community. You just want to take valuable information and not give back.
        Your only reason to join the community is to extend your professional network (fast).
        You are looking for a miracle: fast-fix, easy solution to a problem you are currently facing in your PhD.

      “I wouldn’t have finally finished my PhD if it weren’t for the support of the PhD Success Community and who I met within it!”

      Kiran, Karolinska Instututet, Stockholm, Sweden

      Frequently Asked Questions

      • I’ve just started my PhD. Is the PhD Success Community right for me?

        Even if you have just started your PhD and don’t have any particular challenges related to your work or life in academia, that’s OK.
        High Vibe PhD Tribe can still be very beneficial for you. You can learn from other members, get information and advice, extend your personal and professional network, and more importantly, keep yourself from getting into challenging situations in the first place – by having the support at your fingertips.
      • I’m just about to finish my PhD. Would it be useful for me to join?

        The last part of your PhD – which involves putting all the information together, writing down your manuscript, and preparing your defense – is a very intense and challenging period. Having the support from the community, getting in touch with other members going though the same things, and getting tips and advice about this last stage of PhD will definitely be very useful and save you a lots of stress and time!
      • I am a post-doc, can I still join?

        You have already accomplished the hardest part – your PHD! You are one step ahead of the others, even if you are still struggling in academia.
        If you need support, please consider our individual sessions or contact us directly: moc.liamg%40sseccusdhpruoy

        If you would like to contribute to the community, share your knowledge, and help other PhD students, please contact us at: moc.liamg%40sseccusdhpruoy
      • English is not my mother tongue. Would I be able to manage?

        No worries about that. As long as you are able to express your ideas and understand others in English, it would be completely fine. This group is not about perfection and high demands, but about understanding and supporting each other!
      • How much time does it take?

        It is totally up to you! We know that all PhD students are very busy. So, we advise you to participate only in the activities that are the most valuable to you at this moment.  If you need to miss out on an interesting activity, you can watch it later as it would be recorded. You are welcome to contribute to the community as much as you can and whenever you can.
      • I am doing my PhD in a very specific field. Would the community be helpful for me? 

        We believe PhD struggles and frustrations are same for all PhD students, and we can help you with that. But if you are looking for precise answers related to the topic of your research, you might not find it within the community.
      • I am doing my PhD part-time – next to my work, travels, and family duties. Is this space for me?

        If you want to focus more on your PhD and get things done, and you need a supportive community around you for that, you are at the right place! The core values of our tribe are community, support, and advice.

      Any other questions?

      We’ve tried to cover as much as we can about the PhD Success Community and why we think you should join us!
      If we’ve missed something or you just want to say hi, email us right now: ue.sseccusdhp%40tcatnoc
      We'll get back to you very soon!

      Ready to join our Tribe?

      Enter your Name and Email address to Be The First to know when PhD Success Community opens up for New Members!

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      When I joined the PhD Success Community I was a bit skeptical. But very quickly I realized there was so much value in all the online meetings, masterminds and topic groups. It's definitely worth it!

      Alex, 4th year PhD student, Maastricht University, Netherlands