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Information and Booking

Tutor: Desiree Dickerson – Independent Consultant
For: Postdocs and research fellows at Imperial, free of charge. Not available externally.
Please note: Absences and cancellations with less than 5 working days' notice will result in a £100 charge. 
Duration: One day

Monday 6 February, 09.00-17.00, online

More information will become available closer to the day of the course.

Tutor profile

Dr Desiree Dickerson is a former postdoctoral researcher in the neurosciences and a clinical psychologist. After working in academia in Australasia and Europe, she has worked at both ends of the spectrum, from lab bench to bedside. She now specialises in mental health and well-being within the academic community helping academic institutions, research groups, and individuals in the pursuit of a healthier approach to research.


Academia is an ultramarathon that we try to run as a sprint. This approach tends to leave us with little time or energy for life outside of work and very few resources to cope when we face challenges. But a healthier approach to research is possible and is essential if you want to build a sustainable career in academia (or anywhere else in this fast-paced, competitive world we live in).

Despite our increasing diversity, academics tend to harbour a common chorus of voices in our heads, Voices that demand perfection or that tell us we aren’t good enough and we don’t belong here; voices that have driven us to excel, but that also charge a pretty high tax. A tax on our emotional, mental and physical health.

Yes, the environment is a contributor to the unhealthy, counterproductive lifestyle many of us live. However, we as individuals can address the way we approach academia to buffer us against stress and burnout, worry and fear, and the toxic competition we are often surrounded by.

This workshop provides you with tools to increase your resilience to stress, anxiety and burnout, and to enhance your overall well-being. We explore:

  • The self-critical inner voices that sabotage your motivation and enjoyment for your work;
  • How your mindset can help or hinder your day-to-day life and future career prospects;
  • How certain maladaptive coping strategies (e.g. procrastination and avoidance) maintain these self-sabotaging thought and behaviour cycles;
  • How to reshape your thinking and behaviour patterns to work for you in pursuit of your goals