PHD candidates

Welcome to the exciting world of doctorate-hood!

You are no longer a consumer but rather a producer of knowledge. And this new academic profile requires a serious journey into your professional and personal development.

You might need to upgrade your skills to a higher level or search for your preferred way of dealing with setbacks, working with a supervisor or autonomous decision-making. At downsideup scholars, we specialize in training and coaching people on their way to become the best researchers they can be. Both collaborative and independent. And if there is one thing we have learned while training over 3.000 academics, it is that there is no ‘manual’ stating how to become the perfect researcher.

Therefore, we never teach how one ‘should’ behave as a member of the academic community. Our strength is that, through our extensive experience with researchers, we serve to guide academics in finding their own way.

The paradox: autonomy and collaboration

Many PhD candidates encounter it early in their research life: in their project they are dependent on others (supervisors, lab colleagues, sponsors, et cetera) while being pushed to become more autonomous. Your supervisor(s) will encourage you to move from ‘needing instructions from a superior’ to ‘making your own choices at work’ – so you’ll gradually start to own your projects.

Making your own choices

So how do you focus on your work and achieve deadlines when you are encouraged to also grab all kinds of distracting activities (e.g., guiding master students, giving presentations, providing courses, helping out colleagues)? How do you at one hand connect to the vision of your supervisor or department, but on the other hand shape your own research trajectory? Eventually you will stop seeing these as two opposing worlds: there are ways to get the best of both.

“How does this all apply to me?”

Many courses for academics have a hard time proving to be relevant for all participants, because the enormous variety in which questions are deemed relevant. What is interesting for one participant, might not be relevant for the rest. That is why we base our training and coaching on themes that are by definition relevant for all academics, and structure our courses in a way that provides participants with the opportunity to focus on the (sub)topics that are currently most relevant.

Things we do

We create and facilitate courses for PhD candidates and post-docs within three main themes: You, Your Work, and Others. On the next pages you can find a selection of courses that we regularly facilitate, but we are also used to creating courses or training sessions for specific needs. So do get in touch if you’re interested in a tailormade programme!