Challenges During the Doctorate

Your doctorate can be a challenging phase: Sooner or later, most doctoral candidates encounter writer's block, conflicts, or the feeling of simply not being able to do it. But sometimes there are also completely different challenges to overcome, such as balancing a career, care work, and the doctoral dissertation, or doing a doctorate with disabilities. Here you will find a list of the most important counselling and support services available to help you overcome such challenges.

Peer Coaching: Getting Your PhD Done!

After a successful start to your doctorate, everything runs smoothly - doesn't it? Even if you are already in the middle of it, completely new questions and challenges often arise during this phase: Time and self-management have to be learnt, the doctorate has to be reconciled with teaching duties and/or care responsibilities, or the options after the doctorate are unclear. During this phase, many doctoral candidates feel that they are completely alone with their questions.
This is where the peer coaching offered by the Academic Career Development Office comes in: Advanced doctoral students are brought together in small groups once a month to discuss topics that are currently on their minds and to support each other. The topics can be introduced by the participants themselves and the meetings can be organised according to their needs.


Support With Challenges in the Writing Process

Writing Challenges

How do I overcome the fear of the blank page? What do I do when I have writer's block? How do I finish? The Writing Centre "Kompetenzzentrum Schreiben" can help you with these and similar questions relating to challenges in the writing process.

Go to the Writing Centre


The doctoral period requires a high degree of self-organisation. Supposedly more urgent tasks sometimes take centre stage, while work on the doctoral dissertation is postponed. The ProLernen procrastination counselling service helps you to overcome procrastination.

Go to ProLernen

Conflict Situations

As in all interpersonal relationships, conflicts, disputes, and communication problems can also arise with colleagues, supervisors, or superiors. If these can no longer be resolved within the team, the conflict counselling service offered by the Staff Development provides support through individual or group discussions.

Conflict counselling

Support With Personal Challenges

Doctorate & Care Responsibility

Doctoral students with responsibility for children and/or relatives in need of care can find support at the FamilyServiceOffice. The FamilyServiceOffice supports members of Paderborn University in reconciling work and family life.

Go to FamilyServiceOffice

Doctorate with Disability

Various contact points and contact persons help with questions and offer support for doctoral students with disabilities.

Contact Persons

Doctorate & Mental Health

Various offices at Paderborn University provide help when the doctoral phase becomes a psychological challenge (e.g. in the case of motivational crises, feelings of excessive demands and stress, but also mental illness, addiction and depression).

Go to Staff Development