👉 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”
"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."
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.
“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”
"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"
"I have so many issues with my advisor, I feel so anxious every time I meet him"
“I am depressed because my research goes so slowly. I have no energy or motivation to pursue my experiments"
"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”
"I obtained my PhD degree, but I lost my partner. I don't think it was worth it..."
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”
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.
Our doors are opening soon!Be the First One to know about it!
Stop struggling. Start enjoying!
PhD Success Community will provide you with everything you need to help you succeed:
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!
Exclusive access to our dedicated community of like-minded PhD students that you can turn to for answers, advice, feedback and inspiration.
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 :)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
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!!!
The PhD Success Community is closed right now! Sign up to the Waitlist to find out when we open our doors!
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 is our most special offer limited to only 12 people!In addition to the PhD Success Community experience, you'll get:
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.
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%
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
The PhD Success Community isn’t for everyone.So let's figure out if it’s a good fit before you join.
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!