Managing your Mental Health during your PhD

A Survival Guide

  • Book
  • © 2022


  • Provides tips and tricks on mental health management
  • Explores environmental factors that impact mental health
  • Examines the research culture we work in

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About this book

This book explores the PhD experience as never before and provides a “survival guide” for current and prospective PhD students. The book investigates why mental health issues are so common among the postgraduate population, going beyond the statistics, looking at lived experience of both the author and as well as current PhD students, who have found balancing mental wellness with the PhD endeavour challenging.

The author discusses tips and tricks she wished she had known at the start of her PhD process for managing mental health, such as managing imposter feelings, prioritising workload, and self-care strategies to help others throughout their own journey.

The book goes beyond typical mental health discussions (where the focus for improving mental health is placed on PhD students to become “more resilient”) and explores some of the often unspoken environmental factors that can impact mental health. These include the PhD student-supervisor relationship, the pressure to publish, and deep systemic problems in academia, such as racism, bullying and harassment.

Finally, the book is a call to action, providing tangible improvements from the author’s perspective that university institutions can make to ensure that academia is a place for all to thrive.

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Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Defining the Problem

  2. Seeking Help

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rugby, UK

    Zoë J. Ayres

About the author

Zoë Ayres (PhD) is an analytical scientist by background, with a PhD in electrochemical sensor development. After spending several years as a postdoctoral researcher in academia post-PhD, she now works in industry as a Senior Scientist. Additionally, Zoë is a mental health advocate, spurred on by experiencing mental illness herself during her PhD. Her advocacy work focuses on improving mental health in research settings, primarily focusing on PhD mental health. She raises awareness of the common issues PhD students face through various campaigns and initiatives, and can be found under the handle @zjayres on Twitter.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Managing your Mental Health during your PhD

  • Book Subtitle: A Survival Guide

  • Authors: Zoë J. Ayres

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Biomedical and Life Sciences, Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-14193-5Published: 15 September 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-14194-2Published: 14 September 2022

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIX, 199

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counseling, Biomedicine, general

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