The Imposter Syndrome: Why successful people often feel like frauds

How can it be that so many clever, competent and capable people can feel that they are just one step away from being exposed as a complete fraud? Despite evidence that they are performing well they can still have that lurking fear that at any moment someone is going to tap them on the shoulder and say “We need to have a chat”.

The session will explain why high performing people often doubt their abilities and find it hard to enjoy their successes. It will also show the links to perfectionism and self-handicapping strategies such as procrastination, avoidance and over commitment.

At the end of this session you will:

  • know what the latest psychological research tells us about the imposter syndrome is and how it operates
  • realise how widespread imposter feelings are and why highly successful people can feel like frauds
  • be aware of evidence-based strategies that reduce imposter feelings

This workshop will take place on Wednesday 28th February 2018, find out more and book a place here


Research Ethics and Integrity – An Introduction – Online Course

This online course is designed to help postgraduate research students understand the core principles of research ethics and integrity. It’s aimed at all research students and explains these basic principles to help you to understand any subject or project-specific advice or policies.

This course covers:

  • Introduction
  • Ethical approval
  • Plagiarism
  • Authorship
  • Collaboration
  • Publication ethics

Find out more here:

Prepare for Doctoral Success


Prepare for Doctoral Success is a 4-week, interactive online course for all doctoral researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

Starting a doctorate is a very exciting time, but it can also be difficult to know where to start.

We hope  this online course will help you settle in to your doctoral studies by sharing essential information, tips and advice, and giving you an opportunity to interact with other students at the same stage.

Course dates: this course will run for four weeks from 12th February 2018

Time commitment: we estimate you should expect to spend about 1-2 hours per week reading the materials and engaging with the tasks and online forums. It will be run as an asynchronous course, which means you can look at the tasks and post in the forums at a time that suits you.


  • Week 1: Getting to know you – this is to introduce you to the course and other participants.
  • Week 2: Starting out – the essential information and expectations.
  • Week 3: The first year – milestones, planning and skills development.
  • Week 4: Working with your supervisor – hints and tips, expectations and supervisor styles.

Find out more here

PGR Mid-Semester Welcome Event

Thursday 1st February 2018  (9.15am – 1.00pm)

Postgraduate students arriving after Welcome Week still have the opportunity to attend University welcome events

What will happen during this event?

This morning is for students who have missed a University Welcome event this academic year or have arrived recently. The event is being hosted by the Institute for Academic Development. You will be provided with information on:

  • how to manage your Researchwelcome_primarylogo_main
  • the support that is available to you at the University
  • current PhD students’ experiences

Find out more, and book a place here

Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists Course

We have places available on the following online course:

Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists – Level 1

29th January 2018 (for 5 weeks)

This is a 5 week course delivered entirely on-line within Learn (the University’s virtual learning environment, VLE). It will introduce students to the basic principles of statistical thinking (statistical inference) and one or two of the most common types of analysis that might be needed for Masters or PhD research projects. It is aimed mainly at students undertaking projects (at either level) in the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine (particularly in lab-based subjects), but it may be of more general use, too – we welcome participants from any discipline, although the examples used will tend to reflect the instructors’ backgrounds in clinical research, public health and veterinary medicine. The principles taught, however, are universal!

Each week, participants will use resources such as recorded PowerPoint presentations, quizzes, and directed reading to investigate a topic, and will try some practical examples in Minitab, a statistical package available on the University’s Managed Desktop and in general-access computing facilities. Support is available through discussion boards that allow queries on specific points, as well as more general interaction with the course team. The course runs asynchronously – participants work on course material and exercises in their own time, and interact via the discussion boards when required.

The following topics are covered in the 5 weeks:dddd

  1. An introduction to the course and VLE
  2. Basic principles of statistical inference and exploratory data analysis
  3. Some basic concepts in probability
  4. Confidence intervals
  5. Hypothesis testing

Each topic is expected to take around 2.5 hours per week to complete.  The full course should take around 12.5 hours.

The course runs for 5 weeks. A Level 2 course will run in the second half of Semester 2 to describe a number of additional topics and methods of analysis to enhance participants’ knowledge of, and confidence with, statistical methods.

List of Learning Outcomes. By the end of this workshop, students should be able to:

1. Describe and apply the basic principles of statistical inference and exploratory data analysis.

2. Identify and apply basic concepts in probability

3. Define and construct confidence intervals and be able to apply hypothesis testing appropriately

For more information and booking see:

Three Minute Thesis Competition 2018

Are you thinking of entering the Three Minute Thesis Competition but not sure if its for you?

The 6th annual 3 Minute Thesis Competition will take place on the 22nd June 2018. The competition requires doctoral researchers to compete to deliver the best research presentation in just 3 minutes (and one slide).

We have a range of resources and information on our website to help you prepare for the competition, including:

  •  3MT ‘Competition Preparation’ workshops, running on the 14th and 21st February 2018
  • 3MT ‘Peer Practice’ Sessions, running on the 1st and 28th March 2018
  • Effective Slide Design workshop on the 2nd February 2018
  • a 3MT Handbook with tips on how to prepare your presentation and interviews with previous finalists
  • Video’s of previous competitions on the University’s YouTube channel.

Find out more about the competition, as well as details on how you can enter, here:




Places available: Upcoming IAD PhD Workshops

We have places available on the following upcoming workshops:

Just Write for Research Students

19 January 2018

‘Just Write’ will provide you with a quiet space to focus exclusively on your writing without the distractions of emails, Facebook, Twitter and everyday life. More information here

Presenting Made Easy – Presentation Techniques

22 or 23 January 2018

This workshop is designed to equip participants with skills and techniques to develop and improve presentations for a variety of audiences. More information here

The Writing Process: Getting Started

23 January 2018

This workshop provides tools and tips for when and how to get started with the writing process; for generating, focusing, targeting and structuring material; and for developing a first draft. More information here

Searching Research Literature and Managing Bibliographies

24 January 2018

The workshop will help participants understand the information research process and developing good practice in literature searching. More information here

Structured Writing Retreat

24 January 2018

This writing retreat will allow you to make progress on a writing project (such as a thesis chapter or a journal article) and build confidence in your academic writing skills. More information here

For a full list of workshops please see here


Happy New Year from the IAD!

Happy New Year and a prosperous 2018 from the IAD!  imagesCAJDXVCV

As a new year starts we continue to provide a range of resources and workshops for Postgraduate Researchers.  Take a look at some of the things we are offering this year:

  • Writing Workshops: We offer a range of writing workshops including Getting Started, Grammar, Writing for Publication, Is my Writing Academic Enough and Writing Abstracts.
  • Online Statistics: We run a 5 week online Introductory Statistics for Life Scientists Course
  • PGR Mid-Semester Welcome Event: This event is for students who have missed a University Welcome event this academic year or have arrived recently.
  • 3 Minute Thesis: The sixth annual 3 Minute Thesis Competition will take place on the 22nd June 2018.  Training is available to anyone interested in taking part in this competition, this will take place on the 14th and 21st February 2018.
  • Prepare for Doctoral Success: this online course starts on the 12th February and will help you settle in to your doctoral studies by sharing essential information, tips and advice, and giving you an opportunity to interact with other students at the same stage.
  • Follow us on twitter @iad4phd to keep up to date with the latest workshops and events

For more information on all of the above please see here