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What's next? Meeting forum for PhD students and postdocs

The major scope of the What's next? meeting forum is to create a peer support network for PhD students and postdocs at Lund Stem Cell Center. The core idea is to create a platform for sharing experiences and to enable open discussions around a variety of different topics.

Resilience & well-being webinar series 

Well-being and peak performance are not mutually exclusive. In this Resilience & well-being webinar series, we will explore common challenges that impact on an academics mental health and well-being. During five consecutive sessions, we will explore practical tools to help academics maintain well-being whilst striving for excellence.

Session #1: Strategies for managing well-being

12 February 2021 at 12:00 - 13.00

We explore the many ways academics are trying navigate their roles and their well-being during the various phases of this pandemic. We highlight the need to:

  • Give yourself permission (to be where you are and feel what you feel!)
  • Set a solid foundation, 
  • Identify our red flags (our first signs of stress), 
  • De-escalate our thoughts, sensations, and emotions when we feel overwhelmed or stressed, and 
  • Navigate uncertainty and worry.

Session #2: Motivation & Procrastination

12 March 2021 at 12.00 - 13.00

Procrastination is a way of easing our own discomfort. Discomfort because the task is too hard, too boring, too big, or too scary. The difficulty with procrastinating is that it makes you feel better for a moment, which makes it very reinforcing (and therefore more likely that you will do it again next time). But it does nothing to fix the reason the task feels uncomfortable to begin with. It is still too big, too hard, too scary, or too boring the next time you sit down to do it. So, the cycle repeats.

Session #3: Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome

16 April 2021 at 12.00 - 13.00

We argue that our perfectionism drives us to great heights, to excel, and to maintain our edge. We rarely stop to see the costs it carries. Imposter syndrome distorts the way we see ourselves, our performance, and our capabilities. Both reflect our doubts and fears – fear of being judged, fear of failing, fear of not being good enough, fear of not belonging. They’re the product of distorted thinking patterns. Thinking patterns that we can change. We explore: 

  • The true costs of these doubts and fears, and the extent to which they are impacting on your productivity, mental clarity, and your joy for what you do.
  • Simple ways to notice when your perfectionism or imposter syndrome is tripping you up.
  • Simple ways to reshape your inner critic to be more objective and more compassionate, so that you are able to thrive thanks to the voice in your head rather than in spite of it.

Session #4: Shifting the Spotlight

14 May 2021 at 12.00 - 13.00

When we face big challenges, our work and our lifestyle choices can be brought into sharp focus. It is natural that during these times begin to question our purpose and where we find meaning in our lives. In this webinar, we explore:

  • Using our values as a compass
  • Identifying and playing to our strengths
  • Shifting the spotlight, seeing the light in the cracks
  • Connection amongst isolation
  • Supporting others

Session #5: Rethinking Productivity

11 June 2021 at 12.00 - 13.00

  • How to create a routine during times of constant change.
  • Learn to ride the productivity wave (especially when it feels like a trickle). 
  • Create a rhythm that works for you, rather than against you.
  • Navigate the balancing act of families and research. 
  • Plan to be (realistically) productive – learn to build useful to-do lists!
  • Using breaks to optimise efficiency.


Monthly Zoom meetings on Fridays at 12.00 – 13.00. 

Target audience: PhD students and postdocs. No registration required. 

Meeting invitations are sent to the rsscb_phd_students [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se and rsscbpostdocs [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se Email lists.

Are you not included on the list? Contact christine [dot] karlsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se.


About the speaker

Desiree Dickerson
Desiree Dickerson

Desiree Dickerson, PhD is a clinical psychologist who specialises in helping academic institutions and researchers with their mental health and well-being. As a former postdoc in the neurosciences she now lives in Europe and works globally with universities, lab groups, and academics in the pursuit of a healthier approach to research.

Organisers 2021

christine [dot] karlsson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Christine Karlsson)
Executive director Research School in Stem Cell Biology

dang [dot] nghiem_vo [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Dang Nghiem Vo) 
Postdoc Sitnicka lab BMC B12

pavan [dot] prabhala [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Pavan Prabhala)     
Postdoc Magnussob lab BMC A12

srisaiyini [dot] kidnapillai [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Srisaiyini Kidnapillai)     
Postdoc Ottosson lab BMC B10