Home 2018-05-22T10:16:44+00:00

If you’re writing a PhD you have come to the right place!

I’m Amber Davis and I’m on a mission to make PhD stress a thing of the past. I believe productivity and self-care go hand in hand, especially so in the academic world. I teach an online programme and provide coaching to help you increase your productivity and boost your wellbeing.

Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed and behind, and are spending long days staring at your screen without making much progress. Perhaps you are unsure whether your work is ‘good enough’, and ‘far enough ahead’ (whatever that means). Maybe you are stuck with a particular chapter or article. There are always difficult stretches along the way. It is part of the process.

The Stress-Free PhD 6-Week Programme to the rescue! It will help you optimise your work routines and write your PhD (almost) effortlessly. Join me for 6 weeks of focus, productivity and self-care.

While you are here you can also read the blog, download the ZenAcademic Worksheet, and check out the other free resources.

I’m delighted you’ve found your way here. Let’s create a fulfilling academic life and let’s get some work done…

Hello, I’m Amber Davis. Let me help you write a more inspired, productive and happier PhD. Get started right now! Get access to my free resources including the ZenAcademic Worksheet by leaving your email below.

Create a superfocused workday with the ZenAcademic Worksheet!

COURSES & E-BOOKS

6-WEEK PROGRAMME

The Stress-Free PhD

Does your PhD need a boost? What if focus became a habit, and you could leave worry and PhD guilt behind? In this six-week course we will be developing essential productivity and self-care habits for a stress-free PhD.

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COACHING

Coaching Sessions

Feeling stressed, demotivated, or overwhelmed? Maybe your progress has come to a halt. Difficult stretches happen to everyone on the PhD path. I offer Skype coaching sessions to work it through.

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FREE E-BOOK

Finding Your
Academic Voice

My e-book Finding Your Academic Voice covers all the familiar topics: developing your core argument, research design, using the literature, finding your place in the field, the writing process. It just does it differently.

Get your copy

ENCOURAGING EMAILS

The Nudge

Does your academic workday seem to be never-ending? It doesn’t have to be this way. You can work shorter hours, get more done and feel better too. Sign up to receive a week of free daily email guidance to shorten your workday.

Get started!

BLOG

10/04/2017

How Many Top Publications Do You Have? or The Curse of Performance Metrics

“I don’t really believe in citations myself. I don’t really count citations. I don’t value anybody’s work by the number of citations they have. I think it’s a mistake.” A quote by Nobel Prize winner James Heckman, uttered at an unusual panel at the 2017 American Economic Association meeting. It was titled ‘Publishing and promotion in Economics: The curse of the top five’, a reference to the top five journals dominating the Economics field. One of the anecdotes told was about graduate students endlessly deferring their ‘entry to the job market’ until they were sure of a top five publication. [...]

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15/02/2017

Life (real life) is not like that

“Your basic worry is, of course, your PhD proposal. I wonder if you have made some progress in the meanwhile. Your trouble may be that you try too hard (‘do something really groundbreaking, brilliant and fascinating’). Life (real life) is not like that. However, no matter the topic you settle on, it will develop into something interesting once you get into it. You can’t expect life as a PhD to be a bed of roses...” Quoted from a letter my LSE mentor Gordon Smith sent me in 2005 (back when we still wrote letters!). During this time I was writing [...]

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06/02/2017

How Are You Unwilling to Support Yourself? (And a story about Trump)

How are you unwilling to support yourself? Answering this question (and changing my habits accordingly) was fundamental in getting my PhD process (and much else) to a better place. The question popped up in one of my feeds: it was a timely reminder. Sometimes I feel academics wear their unwillingness to support themselves as a badge of honour: how much we endure, the long hours we work, how stressed we are, seems to somehow reinforce the idea of how ‘tough’ academia is, and how ‘tough’ we are if we can ‘handle it’. It is a little like the starving artist [...]

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09/01/2017

Worst Nightmare Scenario: Failing Your PhD (and How Not To)

Failing your PhD. How does it happen? I have recently been a remote witness of a behind-the-scenes-drama: a PhD candidate who received a rejection from an external examiner. Her supervisors had approved the thesis, but a member of the committee rejected it, rightfully so as far as I can gather, judging from the report that spans over a thirty pages of why the thesis is lacking and needs at least a year’s more work. It is a tragic situation. I can’t think of many things worse, as far as PhDs go. When I was writing my PhD I never thought [...]

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WORKSHEET

ZenAcademic Worksheet

Use the ZenAcademic worksheet to create your optimal workday. It will help you focus, prioritise, and get work done. It will also help you balance the stresses of academic life. Self-care included!

Leave your email to download the worksheet.