courses, events & community for PhD students
A PhD can be a lonely and stressful process, but it doesn't have to be
A new site by James Hayton, author of PhD; an uncommon guide to research, writing & PhD life and James Hayton's PhD Advice Website
The PhD help Desk is where you can find training, support and community to help you through your PhD.
Get help with;
- Tips on writing
- Managing the literature
- Time management and productivity
- Research planning
- General PhD survival
And much more!
The community: you are not alone!
The forum is a private space for members only, so you can post freely about any difficulties you're having with your PhD. Not only can you post questions and talk to other members for support, accountability and encouragement, but the questions you post also influence the resources we produce.
We welcome students from all fields of study, worldwide.
Help Desk Live sessions
Post your questions in the forum and join the live sessions for a detailed discussion. It's all about creating a two-way dialogue.
Each session has a specific focus (for example, "working with literature", "coping with stress", "writing tips and techniques", "planning research"), followed by an open Q&A section.
Recordings will be available in our archives if you can't make it live or need a recap.
I’m here to help, but I need support from you to do it. It costs money and time to host the site, run events and produce content, so I have to charge something.
The problem, though, is that I’m terrible at marketing. Every time I think about the money I get stuck in a negative loop of worrying about how much to charge, how to package the content and how to sell. I spend more time worrying about that than the positive work I can do. And ultimately, because I hate doing that stuff, it puts a barrier between the knowledge I have and the people who need it.
So if you think this is a worthwhile resource; if you think it’s useful to you and others, you can support it by paying what you can. You decide the how much you want to pledge and we can support each other!
£3 per month
Smaller pledges add up and help to pay for small but important things (like coffee!). You get access to everything.
£6 per month
There are all kinds of smaller monthly costs involved in running this site. Over the course of a year, a £6 monthly contribution makes a real difference.
£12 per month
12 is just an awesome number. But it also adds up to £144 a year, which is enough to cover a few really important things (like the membership plugin that powers the site).
£24 per month
Web hosting costs about £24 per month for the main part of the site and another £20 per month for the forum. 2 members pledging £24 per month will have this covered!
For everyone pledging £24 per month, I'll send you a signed copy of my book, "PhD; an uncommon guide to research, writing and PhD life"
£48 per month
£48 pays for Adobe Creative Cloud software (for video editing, audio editing, design software) or the webinar platform that I use. These tools are a bit expensive, but they make life so much easier.
If you pledge £48 per month, I'll give you a one-to-one call every month and I'll send you one signed copy of my book, "PhD; an uncommon guide to research, writing and PhD life"
£96 per month...
... pays for a whole bunch of things; website plugins, wifi, email hosting...
If you pledge £96 per month, I'll give you two one-to-one calls every month and I'll send you a signed hardcover copy of my book, "PhD; an uncommon guide to research, writing and PhD life"
We have two goals to start with;
1: Self-sustainability goal: £4000 per month
This will make the site self-sustainable. We'll be able to focus on just making awesome content and providing the best help possible.
2: Expansion goal: £10000 per month
This will let us expand, bring in outside experts on specific topics, pay for professional video producers and more.
Can I change my monthly pledge later?
Yes, of course. You can change your subscription easily through your account settings.
Can I pause my membership?
Yes. The monthly membership gives you the flexibility to pause your subscription for a few months if you want to (though you'll lose access to the resources until you resume it).
Can I pay for lifetime access?
Membership is only available on subscription. The recurring fees help to maintain and grow the site as a resource for you and other PhD students.
Will I be able to get personalised help?
You can ask questions in the community forum, or ask private questions. You can also join the help desk live sessions where you can ask anything PhD related. All this is included in your PhD help Desk membership.
Can I have a one-to-one session?
If you choose the £48 per month pledge, you can get one session (up to one hour) per month. If you go for £98 per month, you get two.
What's the difference between PhD Help Desk and James Hayton's PhD Advice Website?
James Hayton's PhD Advice Website was set up as a blog in 2010, with a whole load of free articles and advice. Various paid events and services were then added to the blog over time.
The PhD help Desk is not a blog. It's been designed from scratch as a resource and community for its members.
Joining is easy;
- Select your monthly pledge amount below (you can change your pledge later if you want to)
- Enter your details