Welcome to 

The PhD Knowledge Base 


Free tools to help you complete your thesis

We’ve got the perfect resources to help you deliver brilliance

Click on a section below to explore our guides, templates and tutorials

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Each day we send a short, thought-provoking email that will make you think differently about what it means to be a PhD student. They’re designed to be read in thirty seconds and thought about all day.

Become a better writer

Writing a PhD is hard. Here we present advice and insight that can guide you through every step of the process.

Easily understand how to write a thesis introduction

Easily understand how to write a thesis introduction

Get the introduction right and the rest of your dissertation will follow. Mess it up and you’ll be struggling to catch up. The introduction is the place to factually recount what it is you will be discussing in the thesis. Learn more in this detailed guide.

Is English Your Second Language? Here Are 7 Ways To Improve Your Academic Writing

Is English Your Second Language? Here Are 7 Ways To Improve Your Academic Writing

Writing a PhD when English is your second language is scary. It’s scary enough when English is your first language. 80,000 words, sometimes even more, in a technical language and at the highest level of academic rigour. Terrifying, right? We’ve proofread countless PhDs from people just like you and one thing stands out – you’re doing great.

Structuring your thesis

Our guides can show you the best way to structure every element of your thesis and give you the confidence to shine. 

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Submit with confidence

There’s lots to do before you are able to submit your thesis. In this section, we make sure you’ve thought of everything.

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A Daily Dose of PhD Motivation

Each day we send out a short, motivational email to over 1,500 students. You can find an archive below, but if you’d like to get yours delivered straight to your inbox click here

What can Winnie the Pooh teach us about coronavirus?

Know that I’ll be here to provide resources and support on the practicalities of completing a PhD at this time. I’ll be sharing more details on Monday about what I’ll be doing to help you as you self-isolate, stay away from university and manage your PhD. I’ll be offering a range of services, including free guides on The PhD Knowledge Base, lists of useful resources/links, Q&As about working from home, and special one-on-one sessions for those struggling and for those who now have limited supervision and need extra guidance. More about this on Monday.

Take some time to cultivate calm

With the current spread of coronavirus, it’s never been easier to feel a sense of panic and anxiety about so many facets of everyday life, not just those related to our PhD. Coronavirus is undoubtedly serious, and one would do well to think carefully about your own responsibility to protect yourself and those around. But it’s also important to find a moment of calm and to step away from the 24-hour news cycle. As a PhD student, you’re under near-constant stress and pressure anyway. If you’re not careful, the stress of coronavirus may be too much to handle. Try to limit the amount of news you consume and remember that you have a choice over how you respond. Be mindful of when you’re straying from legitimate concern to irrational panic. Most importantly of all, take some time each day to self-soothe.

Catastrophizing will get you nowhere

If you’re a perfectionist and have anxiety about the quality of your PhD, you may recognize your own tendency to catastrophize particular outcomes and to over-react to things that happen in your day-to-day PhD journey. Things go wrong – that’s just the nature of a PhD and being a human – but catastrophizing can make them seem far worse than they actually are.

There are no stupid questions

I get a lot of emails every day from people looking for advice on structuring or writing their PhD. And often they’re accompanied by the same statement: ‘I’m sorry if this is a stupid question, but…’

On the importance of resilience and adaptability

Your PhD will throw up challenges and problems, if not now then in the future, and your success as a PhD student is down in part to how well you can adapt and how resilient you are to those changes.

Self-love and self-compassion in your PhD

One of the best skills you can learn during your PhD is how to be more loving to yourself. But another useful – and related – skill is to develop self-compassion. If you can nail these two skills, you’ll be much better prepared not just to navigate your PhD, but to handle the stresses and strains of life more generally. 

Your one page PhD thesis

Visualise every element of your thesis on one page with our free thesis template.

Whether you’re writing up or starting out, use it to present your research in the most compelling way possible.