Being a postgraduate researcher isn't just about producing a piece of academic work. It's about developing skills that will help you succeed in your chosen career.

University of York PhD researchers have developed this resource to help you get the most out of your PhD experience by sharing what they've learned along the way.

Here, you will find brief advice on what they wish they had known right from the start of their PhD journeys.

Call for Volunteers!

We’re on the lookout for researchers (current PhDs or postdocs at York) who would like to give some time to help support and encourage the growth of the research community at York.

If you would like to contribute to the vibrant research community we have here at York by acting as a panellist in a Thrive & Survive training session, please contact our Thrive & Survive Coordinator Zara via email: or Twitter.


Workshops 2022/23

Thriving and Surviving your PhD Journey
27th September 2022, 13:00-15:00, On Campus
Book your place via SkillsForge

Work/Life Balance
1st December 2022, 12:00-15:00, Online
Book your place via SkillsForge

Thriving and Surviving your PhD Journey
30th January 2023, 13:00-15:00, Online
Book your place via SkillsForge

Managing Research Obstacles: Staying on Track Your Way
31st May 2023, 13:00-15:00, Online
Book your place via SkillsForge

Post- PhD Pathways: What are my options?
28th June 2023, 13:00-15:00, Online
Book your place via SkillsForge

Thriving and Surviving the Summer as a Researcher
9th August 2023, 13:00-15:00, Online
Book your place via SkillsForge

For any enquiries, contact PhD Thrive and Survive Coordinator:

Your Thrive & Survive Coordinator

Hi! I’m Zara, your Thrive and Survive Coordinator. I’m a second-year PhD student in the English and Related Literature department. My research explores food studies, mysticism, and gendered embodiment in contemporary writing. I also work as a GTA, so I have a real sense of the context of current PGRs in terms of balancing teaching and research, and how this dual identity is a core part of our research lives. I’m a long-distance student, meaning I’m usually based in Derbyshire.

I came to York in 2017 when I started my Undergraduate degree in Literature here. I think it’s fair to say I fell in love with the place, so I decided to stay on as a postgrad for my Ma in Medical Histories and Humanities, and then now, for my doctorate.

Being a researcher can feel like a bit of a whirlwind – it can often feel like everyone else has it together while you’re just finding your feet. My main goal as Thrive and Survive Coordinator is to dispel this myth and to create a network of support and community initiative, not competition and comparison.

I’ll be running workshops throughout the academic year that will aim to punctuate your research with relevant support and advice on various topics, ranging from managing research obstacles, to maintaining stamina over the summer, and most importantly, staying healthy, happy, and connected.

You can contact me at, through my personal email, or via twitter @PhDSurvival to discuss all things thrive & survive.

About the project

How to thrive and survive in your PhD was founded and is run by current and recently graduated PhD students to share information and tips between year groups and across departments. It aims to build a postgraduate researcher community and promote wellbeing through peer-to-peer support.

For information on the founders of the project and feedback on the guide/workshops visit our acknowledgements page.