Making it happen: Time- and self-management for your PhD

Short description

Designing, researching, and writing a PhD thesis calls for specific time and self-management skills that differ in several respects from those required in MA studies or previous work life. The PhD Team encourages participants to reflect their self-management regularly and seeks to support them in boosting their skills to facilitate finishing the PhD thesis in time and move on to the next career step prepared.

Target group

PhD researchers in their first year.



The workshop’s main goal is to help you claim ownership of your PhD experience. It offers a space to reflect on this career phase, comparing individual experiences with those of peers and analysing work organisation and habits. You will re-evaluate your existing PhD plan and design an adapted one. You will also learn tools and techniques for planning your weeks and structuring your days. Wide use of group work and plenary exchange will teach you to value your peers as a source of support.

The follow-up workshop serves to encourage early-career researchers to continue self-management during their PhD phase. It will provide you with a stage to discuss the advancement of your plans, to address difficulties you face and to exchange tips. It supports individual reflection of one's progress and of time- and self-management.



The first workshop consists of the following parts:

  • The PhD as a career phase.
  • How to plan a large project like the PhD, including time to apply the method to your own PhD project plan.
  • Time-management (daily, weekly).
  • Others and your PhD, with a focus on the relationship with your advisors.

The format offers sufficient flexibility to be adapted to the specific needs of the participants.

In the one-on-one coaching session, you will have the opportunity to address your individual challenges after a couple of months of application. We will work together to find out which changes could make your PhD work even more enjoyable and productive for you.

The follow-up workshop will allow you to reflect on self-management during the last academic year, address one topic that participants would like to deepen their knowledge of and focus on feedback in academia. A pre-workshop questionnaire will be used to find out which questions we should investigate together.



  • Dr. Christiane Kasack works as a coach and workshop facilitator. As a certified business coach and career counsellor, she supports personal development in time- and self-management as well as career planning. In 2011, Christiane earned a PhD in the Social Sciences from the Freie Universität Berlin. After two years of post-doc work, she turned to managing the Hertie School’s PhD programmes and later, the career development programmes for postdocs at the Head Office of the Helmholtz Association.