About the phd life raft

and Dr Emma Brodzinski (the woman behind it!)

Statistics taken from a study of PGRs by University of Westminster

It is well recognised that there is a mental health and well-being crisis in graduate education, with a high number of PhD students developing a psychiatric condition during their studies.

In the context of declining state health support, it is increasingly falling to universities to offer support to their students. While universities are getting increasingly proactive around student mental health and well-being, as the National Union of Students acknowledges, provision can overlook the needs of postgraduates.

The PhD Life Raft offers a space to discuss pressing issues; explore possible strategies; and provide sources of support for your doctoral journey. 

Meet criteria for depression/anxiety

Meet criteria for high risk suicide risk

Considered ending studies due to poor mental health

Report colleagues with mental health problems

“I would like to extend my gratitude for all the advice and help you have given… I met you at a point where I was lost and demotivated in my PhD. At the end, I feel magically transformed and invigorated. THANK YOU”
(Course Participant)

Climb aboard the life raft

I draw on my experience both as academic and my training as therapist to offer specialist support to PhD researchers.  This work began with offering creative workshops around mental health and wellbeing.  Over time it developed into a programme for the TECHNE doctoral training programme.  This led to the idea of a podcast to share the work more widely. 

 The work has now expanded to offer online courses, specialist 1 to 1 coaching and even international symposiums! 

I could have really used a life raft during my PhD. It is the time in my life where my mental health has been most fragile.  So much so that I went off to train as a therapist straight afterwards!!  

I was a first generation, working-class student, doing my PhD part-time while working.  I spent a LOT of time on my PhD journey crying, but I also learnt a lot about how to navigate academia and went on to build a successful career – complete with publications, editing journals, successful grant applications and even a collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy! 

Becoming a single mother of triplets has developed my planning skills – without time-managing the joy out of my life!

I am a lover of yoga (my mat is the only place where my mind is quiet); an eater of cake (my son was a contestant on Junior Bake off!); and an adventurous spirit (I spent two summers touring shows and living on a double decker bus).  I would love to help you make your PhD journey the best it can be. 


I found it really helpful being able to talk through issues with someone who is outside of the supervisory team. Thank you Emma!

(1 to 1 Client)

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