Professor Alex Wood

Mental Health and Happiness across Psychology, Economics, and Psychiatry/Medicine

Centennial Chair in Psychology at LSE, London School of Economics and Political Science

A guide for PhD psychology students
Increasingly people are undertaking PhD study in psychology to develop their academic and professional skills. Such students often go on to pursue successful careers in academia, get onto the hyperselective clinical training courses (e.g., ClinPsyD), or get highly paid jobs in industries which value the skills set of doctoral graduates. But success is far from universal; it can be difficult to get accepted as a student in the first place, and whilst most people that start a PhD do pass, many will not have a highly employable CV at the end. Success is very readily achievable at all stages of the PhD but in addition to having specific academic skills, it critically needs the student to understand and navigate the culture and zeitgeist of academia, which particularly involves adapting the right attitude towards publication from Day 1. This informal Q&A style insider’s guide aims to let future and existing PhD understand how the game works, so that everyone can get the most out of their experience (or at least not be hampered by the free availability of knowledge). The guide is designed to be of use to both prospective and current PhD students in psychology (so some sections will be of more relevance to some readers than others; existing PhD students would benefit from reading it all, but get more useful tips from the second part of this guide).

This guide is about succeeding at a PhD in Psychology in the UK. Much of the advice here (e.g., approaching supervisors, career options, and where to publish) will be useful to students in other behavioral and social sciences, both in the UK and abroad, however other subjects and countries have particular requirements and norms and this guide is not designed to generalize to these other settings. Rather, students in these other fields should use this guide as "food for thought" being an example of how things occur in another field, which can be useful in comparing and contrasting with discipline and country specific advice given by trusted postgraduate research tutors and supervisors.

... And early career researchers
This page began life as an insiders guide into starting, conducting, and completing a PhD in psychology, with an emphasis on getting a job at the end. Increasingly, as it grew, it became useful for early career researchers, particularly the second section which contains advice about where to publish and of course as they should be thinking of supervising PhD students themselves. Whilst still aimed at prospective and current PhD students in psychology, hopefully it also promotes general good practice for more experienced researchers, both within psychology and more widely across the behavioral and social sciences.Type your paragraph here.