I've got good news:

You don't need to go this alone

The Thriving Researcher is an online mentoring community for UK PhD students with full and busy lives, which gives you systems and tools for sustainable and productive writing.

Hands in 2
Shows alarm clock with large leafed plant in pot


I get it: the more you’ve got going on, the less time you have to waste, so the focus here is on real-life stuff you can implement immediately.


We 💗 regular online writing retreats and on-demand resources that help students just like you find ease and flow in your academic work, amid the glorious messiness of everyday life.


It’s a tough, precarious,world out there...

… and if you’re planning on a research career, the truth is:
this  phase is likely to go on for years . 

Think marathon, not sprint. 

Working ever longer hours, on ever more projects, isn’t a sustainable foundation for your future as a researcher.


It’s time for a better way of working.

You need someone who understands this academic world and is always in your corner, and the support of a like-minded community around you.

You want to do your work without shortchanging 
yourself, your interests and your people.

But cut-and-paste productivity gurus, selling ‘solutions’ that require your to segment your work from your wider life aren’t going to help you.

While the path ahead seems straight and clear for everyone else, you’re stuck wondering if you’ll ever finish this project.

^^ The answer is YES, you will   

So, how about we draw a line under all that?

You don’t need to work more, you need to work smarter: you need planned and connected suite of systems and tools to support you, and you need to used them consistently.

Having the right systems and tools in your PhD resource kit  + a ‘we’re-in-it-together-and-here-for-you‘ community around you, can mean the difference between a fulfilling PhD experience, and complete burnout.

With a good PhD resource kit, you work from a place of ease and order: that’s good for your well-being, your work, and your people.

Social Squares

Because what’s the point of a ‘successful’ academic career,
if you lose everything that matters along the way?

Develop sustainable, supported, even enjoyable, systems and tools to scaffold your researcher life, and do better work with less stress

I had so much to do I didn’t know where to start, I was constantly fire-fighting: chapter deadlines flying past while I was sleep-deprived with a baby (and later toddler) - and supervisors with grown-up kids, just not really getting it.

I didn’t think I had the time to join a writing group, but now I know I didn’t have the time not to. I was glad to thank you and the group for your support and friendship in my PhD Acknowledgements’ -Anna

To illustrate conversation: Two women leaning in across a table talking to one another.

Access pro and peer expertise 

Because trying to go this alone is like doing a jigsaw without the picture on the lid


Develop your doing-the-work toolkit

Generic productivity advice just is going to add to your stress. You need the right tools for the job.

To illustrate 'writing': a photo over someones shoulder showing them with pen in hand and coffee in front of them.

Write more, with less stress, more often

Writing is how we think. If you don’t have time to write, you’re on a fast-track to burnout.

About The thriving researcher

Hello, friend

You need someone on your side who understands there are a lot of moving parts in your life, and your time is super-precious.

I get it.

More about me

Photo of Eleanor

Everywhere I looked, I saw one-size-fits-all productivity guides (and, let’s be honest, usually written by people living very different lives from ours), which always left researchers on their own to do the implementing – which is actually the hard part.

Adding new knowledge to the world isn’t for the faint of heart—and to succeed as a researcher means working out how to do the work and navigate the landscape without burning yourself out in the process—even if the data’s coming in, the words are flowing, and your papers are being published.

That’s exactly why I got into what I do.

Now, I offer mentoring for doctoral researchers—just like you—so you can move your work forward in a way that’s sustainable, supported, and even enjoyable.

Jump in, let's go ....

Get Academic Equilibrium, our weekly 5-minute read newsletter: pragmatic, realistic, and always with a practical tip you can implement in less than 30 mins. 

Get mid-week encouragement and practical tips!

The writing membership meets for a one full-day online writing retreat each month. You can pay-as-you go, or take out an annual subscription which also includes a monthly planning session for the upcoming month, and a casual book club. 

Visit ‘Whats On’ for more info

Desk set up with keyboard paperclips and pencils

The regular check-ins have been good at helping keep me on track with goals and boundaries.

And I also love your weekly emails reflecting on what practices are serving you well. Hearing from you on what is working for you, and your encouragement, are one of my favorite parts of the group.

Navigating both motherhood and a full-time academic job are new to me, it has been so wonderful to have your insights and have a support group of other mothers – SJ

Living with complex chronic conditions I’ve had to accept that my pre-Covid ‘throw more hours at it’ approach doesn’t work for me any more – in fact, it exacerbates my conditions. In easy steps, you’ve shown me a way of managing projects and tasks which means I can keep track of everything, know exactly what I need to do next, and easily access all my stuff whenever I’m able to work – PA

Styled Stock Photos for Instagram and Social Media, Flatlays, Social Squares from the SC Stockshop


Coming to my PhD from professional life is part of the issue; I didn’t anticipate a problem because I’ve always written for work, but that’s always been structured writing (like reports) and usually collaborative. The writing membership has come as a timely support;  the modelling you provide is making a real difference and I’m moving forwards – FM