Mental health in predoctoral researchers


Recent studies suggest that PhD students suffer a mental health issues at alarming levels -around six times the level of the general population- issues which impact not only productivity and program outcomes but also the long-term well-being of the developing researcher.

Research centers have begun to address the issue, but it resists a simple policy solution. Indeed, the issue of mental health and well-being in PhD programs has the characteristics of a ‘wicked problem’. For example, it lacks a definitive solution, every problem is unique, it can be explained in a number of ways, and it tightly intertwined with a number of interconnected systems, also experiencing issues.

In light of these challenges, this workshop takes a collaborative, action-oriented approach to generate awareness and empower PhD students. Based on methods developed in psychology, organizational studies, and design thinking, it provides a means of understanding and addressing the challenges PhD students face in a way that allows for the variety of forms these are likely to take.

The learning objectives of the workshop are: to develop increased awareness of typical threats to well-being in carrying out PhD research and what to do about them, to train complex problem-solving skills, and to facilitate practical strategies for positively dealing with threats to well-being encountered in the PhD. Participants will gain increased awareness of the complexity of the issue and propose their own solution in a hands-on, supportive setting.

Scidf participants


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