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A peer2peer coaching programme for NHS based part-time PhD students

NHS R&D Northwest worked with professional coaches, Dr. Will Medd and Jeff Gill, authors of ‘Your PhD Coach’, to pilot and evaluate a Peer-2-Peer coaching programme for healthcare professionals working in the North West whilst undertaking their PhDs on a part-time basis. The event was titled “Make the most of your PhD (during and after).”

The programme, which ran on a national level for PhD students from a range of disciplines, was designed to challenge them to get the most out of their PhD experience, whether they were ‘in the process’ or had recently completed.

The goal of the Peer-2-Peer Coaching Skills Programme was to help attendees develop a range of skills and techniques that they could utilise for self-coaching and peer support to enhance the PhD experience. This included:

  • Focusing on making progress with their own goals, performance and development in relation to their PhD and post-doc experience.
  • Gaining an introduction to basic coaching skills and techniques, including powerful questioning, creating awareness of choice, and working with intuition.
  • Building relationships through peer support within the NW PhD community.

By learning powerful coaching skills and techniques, participants built their confidence, creativity, motivation, relationships and ability to achieve their goals.

Key to the process was encouraging attendees to become aware of the choices they would make every day in how they think, feel, and do things, in ways that will challenge them and their peers to move forward with their PhD and their research careers in the context of their work and life.

The programme ran over 12 weeks, starting in February 2013, and comprised of an initial two day workshop followed by a series of peer to peer coaching sessions conducted on a 1:1 basis. Then, a final one day workshop at the end of the 12 weeks to summarise. The group was limited to 24 participants in order to offer a truly personal and bespoke coaching experience.

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