Find support and guidance for your PhD journey

Ou coaching can help you with every step of the PhD application process

As a nonprofit organisation, we have assisted hundreds of talented students. We can help plan your PhD journey through free, one-on-one coaching, whether you’re deciding on a research topic, searching for funding, supervision or a PhD programme. Talking to a coach can be immensely helpful; we can help you navigate academic challenges, connect you to resources and – most importantly – help you make decisions that lead you to excel in your career.

Interested? Apply to talk to our PhD coaches

How can coaching help you?

Find a research topic that’s right for you.

Select an impactful research question. 

Get connected to expert researchers to guide you.

Network and exchange ideas with our global community of early-career researchers. 

Learn more about us

We’re confidential and friendly

Our coaches are experienced and really care about how to help you meet your academic goals. Your details are confidential and never shared without your permission. 

We help critical thinkers who care about the world

We support talented and passionate early-career researchers who want to make a big difference with their research.

We believe in being multidisciplinary

We think there are a lot of interesting ways that different research areas can converge - we help you discover important gaps you can fill with your PhD research.

We believe some research directions are particularly likely to improve the world

Before you apply for coaching, take a look at the research directions we’re most able to support you in exploring – and let us know which ones you’re interested in on your application. 

If you’re interested in a profile that isn’t listed under your discipline below, we still encourage you to explore it if you think you could make progress in this direction!

Interested? Apply to talk to our expert coaches

Students we've advised

Learn more about our coaching service

Want to learn more about how coaching can help? Watch this short video for an overview of the coaching process.

Our Coaches

Apply for our coaching and the coach who is the best fit for you will support you in your journey towards an impactful research career.

Marie Zedler

Head of Coaching

Marie is the Head of Coaching at Effective Thesis and is responsible for managing the coaching services and our expert network. She holds a BSc in Neuroscience from UCL and is currently working towards an integrated MRes+PhD in Sensor Technology at the University of Cambridge. Her most recent research focused on developing low-cost sensors for the early detection of plant stress. Marie’s interests include alternative proteins and the food system, biosecurity, as well as community building. In her free time, Marie loves rock climbing, ice skating and cold water swimming, and she needs ideas for a new sport to try out!

Conor Spence


Conor is a Coach at Effective Thesis. He enjoys helping talented students have a high positive impact through their thesis and study decisions. He enjoys discussing interesting impactful topics and encouraging and motivating people. He has a masters in neuroscience and a background as an educator, researcher, and coach within universities and the non-profit sector. He also enjoys throwing ultimate frisbees when he has time.