PhD Coaching

Are you a PhD student, struggling to finish your thesis? Do you need help with time management or developing a more effective writing process? If so, you might benefit from 1-2-1 coaching with Dr Catherine Pope.

We’ll work together to identify obstacles and create a plan to help you reach the finish line.

Here’s an outline of what the sessions typically comprise:

Session 1 (Discovery) – Establishing your goal and timescale; discussing what’s happening at the moment; considering your choices.

Session 2 (Clarity) – Deciding on the most important action; developing a plan for completion.

Session 3 (Action) – Reviewing and reflecting on actions; tweaking your plan; maintaining accountability.

The topics we typically address are:

  • Planning your writing
  • Developing a schedule
  • Finding motivation
  • Improving focus
  • Overcoming perfectionism

Unfortunately, there are some areas we can’t cover:

  • Writing in specific disciplines
  • Analysis / methodology / theory
  • Grammar or style
Photo of Dr Catherine Pope, PhD Coach


A one-hour coaching session costs £90 (including VAT). There is no minimum number, although most clients make significant progress in three sessions over the course of a month.

Universities are welcome to make a block booking. You can either pay for specific students or buy a certain number of hours in advance. Please contact me to discuss your needs.

How it Works

I ask prospective clients to complete a short enquiry form. This is to ensure we’re a good fit and that I can help you. If so, I’ll send you a link so you can book and pay for your first session. You’ll then have access to my calendar to book future sessions, if required.

I may also send you a longer questionnaire ahead of our first session. This means I can gather information to help me plan the structure and identify useful resources for you.

All sessions are usually held on Zoom. If this isn’t suitable for you, we can arrange instead to speak on the phone.

You can cancel or reschedule a session up to 24 hours in advance. Please see my coaching terms and conditions.

Find out more about my coaching code of conduct.

Feedback from previous clients

“My final coaching session with Catherine was, like the other two, incredibly helpful. The second session had assisted me in setting some realistic short-term goals and achieving these boosted my motivation. In the third session Catherine helped me to plan a realistic timetable for completing my thesis. She offered concrete advice on techniques for structuring and editing which demystified the whole process. I feel far more confident about completing my thesis. I feel really privileged to have been given the opportunity to benefit from Catherine’s experience, advice and outstanding coaching skills.”

“I highly appreciated the coaching consisting of three sessions to explore future possibilities after having completed the PhD and how this informs my final year. It was a helpful process to open up new opportunities, extending my portfolio as a consultant. I came out with a concrete action plan and much practical advice on how to overcome potential hindering factors including useful book references. I highly recommend Catherine’s coaching as an excellent mentor and coach.”

“The sessions focused on getting to the root of obstacles and finding realistic and practical strategies to help me progress. The confidential nature of our discussions ensured that I could be completely open about difficult situations that were hindering me, which enabled us to think through potential solutions.”

“Catherine was so helpful in providing a space for me to talk about my fears and worries, to make them feel less overwhelming and come up with some practical ways of getting on with the task of completing my PhD.”