PhD Academy Coaching

The PhD Academy offers one-to-one coaching to help PhD students with a range of issues, from the general stresses that arise while completing a PhD to more specific challenges that a student may be confronting. Coaching is a confidential process that allows you to speak to someone from outside of your academic department.  Through one-to-one coaching, you will gain a different perspective on the challenges you face and discover new tools and techniques to tackle them. Coaching can be helpful in addressing a range of issues including:

Sustaining motivation throughout your PhD;

Developing effective time management techniques;

Overcoming roadblocks in thesis writing (including procrastination and writer’s block)

Combatting everyday stresses;

Managing presentation anxiety;

Cultivating a better work-life balance;

Enhancing professional relationships;

Building confidence and self-empowerment.

Coaching is available:

To take place in the PhD Academy or at alternative venues at the LSE;

Face to face or via skype;

For students who are out of the country on fieldwork or based at the LSE;

During term time and outside of term time; and

For registered students and students on an interruption of studies.

The normal expectation is that sessions will last for between 30mins to an hour depending on a student’s needs and that students will be provided with up to four one-to-one coaching sessions.  The coach will begin with a brief introductory session of around 30 minutes which gives the student an opportunity to get to know the coach and allows the coach to  determine if coaching is appropriate. Prior to the introductory session students will be asked to fill out a brief coaching questionnaire and send it to the coach in advance. This helps students identity the issues they'd like to work on and allows them to reflect on what they'd like to get out of the sessions. 

About our coaches

Dr Serena Sharma 

Serena has spent two decades in higher education. She has held academic positions at several top Universities including the London School of Economics, University of Oxford and King’s College London. In addition to her academic qualifications, Serena has studied wellbeing at the Centre for Mind, Body, Spirit Medicine and the Institute for Wellness Education.

She is the founder of AcademEase – an organisation dedicated to enhancing wellness in higher education. With her experience in both the academic and wellness fields, Serena is uniquely placed to help university students and staff overcome academic stress.  

We are pleased to announce that we have appointed another coach to work with our PhD students.

Dr Katarina Lezova

Katarina empowers students and researchers to maximise their potential and inspires them to achieve their goals. She has previous experience of being a researcher, teacher, mentor and coach in Higher Education and worked on research projects for commercial consultancies.

Drawing on her unique experience, she established Insolo Coaching to support people’s growth. Her interest in design thinking and growth mindset approach have shaped how she works. She has significant experience in coaching university students and researchers through their personal and professional development process while focusing on increasing their self-awareness and confidence.

For four years, she led a Personal and Professional Development Programme for students at Goldsmiths, University of London. Katarina has a PhD in Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London and Masters from Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria.

The PhD Academy also offers one to one coaching sessions on writing techniques and preparing for presentations.  Further information can be found on our

Events and Courses page