Well-being in Academia: Perfectionists, imposters and the impact of self-talk

Doctoral candidates represent a diverse group of people, and the sources of stress that we face and the coping mechanisms we use, vary greatly. However, a repertoire of counterproductive cognitive strategies, habits, and lifestyle choices (or sacrifices!) represent a common underlying theme. Self-sabotaging thought processes, poor coping strategies, and little work-life balance render many of us susceptible to burnout and a raft of mental health issues.

In this 2-day workshop I argue that how we cope with challenges depends on the strategies we adopt and the mindset we hold. Specifically, we will focus on two key aspects of your well-being:

  1. Thinking. We look at how the voice in your heads shapes how you think, feel and act. We explore self-sabotaging thought and behaviour patterns that hinder your well-being and performance. We look at how to change the narrative.
  2. Doing. We explore effective coping strategies and beneficial lifestyle habits and productivity hacks to ensure peak performance under conditions of stress and uncertainty. Your well-being AND peak performance are not mutually exclusive. The goal is to maximise your cognitive and emotional performance whilst creating a sustainable, effective and enjoyable lifestyle.

 Please note:

Participation is subject to the successfully passed public presentation of your dissertation project.


3 June 2020, 9:00-17:00 and
4 June 2020, 9:00-17:00

The workshop will be held online!

Registration: online registration

Registration takes place exclusively online via U:Space. We are sorry, but we cannot consider e-mail registrations. Please, mind the registration deadline, which generally ends 3 weeks before start of a course. With your registration you commit yourself to participating in the whole workshop. Course material is sent to a participant's unet e-mail address and has to be taken along to the workshop.


Desiree Dickerson

Dr Desiree Dickerson is a former postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience and a clinical psychologist. After working in academia in New Zealand, Australia, and at IST Austria, she now lives in Spain and speaks internationally on well-being and peak performance. One of her main goals is to increase resilience to stress in high-performance individuals by integrating effective, scientifically-proven habits and strategies into their everyday lifestyles.