PhD Unplugged - Luisa & Lara Solms

PhD Unplugged - Luisa & Lara Solms

About the podcast

Juggling all the different tasks in your PhD can be tough. How to start when work is piling up? How to perform well when there is so much pressure? How to relax when work is always on your mind? How to make plans when the future is uncertain?

With their podcast PhD Unplugged, PhD students Luisa and Lara Solms aim to address common challenges that PhD students face but that are rarely talked about: insecurities, publication pressure, conflicts with the supervisor and much more.

The goal of each podcast episode is to discuss tips and tricks on a PhD-related topic and 'coach' PhD students on how to manage their PhD journey. “We want to give PhD students concrete tools on how to deal with the challenges of their PhD research.”

The podcast is unique in that it consists of a 'live coaching' session, in which a PhD student talks to a professional coach about a subject of their choice.

By listening to the podcast, PhD students will likely recognize themselves in other's experiences. This way, the podcast can promote a feeling of ‘not being the only one’ which can be powerful in itself. “When you see difficulties as something that connects you to others rather than isolating you, you will be able to deal with them in a better way.”

Apart from giving PhD students a tool to work with when struggling, Lara and Luisa want to give the subject of 'PhD students' well-being a place in the public debate and encourage PhD students to discuss it, for example with supervisors and colleagues.

Background: To realize the podcast, Lara took part in the Synergy Award 2021, a social impact award from the Dutch Research Council. Now, half a year later, they have launched the first episode of their podcast PhD Unplugged.

Background Luisa and Lara

Luisa is a second-year PhD student at the department of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. The well-being and personal development of PhD students are central themes in her research.

Lara is fourth-year PhD student at the department of Work and Organizational Psychology at the University of Amsterdam and the Erasmus Medical Center. After studying psychology in Germany and the Netherlands, Lara has been working on the topic of professional coaching for the past four years.