The Best DOC workshops offer students a space to discuss the challenging and stressful aspects of the PhD and to provide support to their peers who are also facing similar issues. Students will gain more control over their negative emotions and improve their resilience in the PhD program.
Doing a PhD is a stimulating, but also a challenging and stressful experience, as pointed out in the growing body of literature on doctoral education. Many stress factors affect PhD students: elaboration of a research project, integration in a research lab and into various networks, relationships with the supervisor(s) and with peers, growing competition, quest for funding, the doctoral writing, solitude, lack of self-confidence, precariousness, uncertain future, etc.
It is perfectly normal to face obstacles during the “doctoral journey” and there seems to be an increasing awareness among academics of the need for a specific support during this long adventure. Various institutional initiatives flourish around the world and intervention programmes at schools and universities have shown their efficiency. The SPARK Resilience program, which aims to help people gain more control over their negative emotions and improve their resilience skills, has been adapted to address the specific needs of doctoral students in this series of workshops.
During the small group discussion sessions students will collaborate to improve engagement at work, self-motivation, personal growth and well-being; as well as develop techniques to reduce anxiety, unpleasant/negative emotions and depression.