Coaching for researchers and academics

Specialist Training & Coaching for Researchers

What is researcher coaching?

Researcher coaching supports you to create clarity and realise your personal potential. A research coach will assist you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be, far more effectively than if you worked alone.

Our researcher coaching programmes are specifically designed to support researchers and those who work in academia. Our lead coach, Dr Katy R Mahoney, has been supporting students, researchers and academics since 2003. Her unique experience working with researchers around the world has enabled her to gain a real insight in to the challenges you face. 

Why should I get a research coach? 

In a THE article ‘Let the coach take the strain‘ Alison Newby from the University of Manchester advised “all academics feeling under siege…to link up with a coach who understands the academic and wider higher education contexts, and to do it well before your mental health begins to deteriorate through rumination and stress.” ( 

Many academics and academic-related staff are clearly under far too much pressure and we know this level of stress in the workplace can be very damaging to mental and physical health” Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU (Guardian, 2014). This is where coaching can help. A report by Deanna Lee Vansickel-Peterson, University of Nebraska – Lincoln on coaching efficacy with academic leaders concluded that “a coaching relationship and process enhanced the lives of academicians both personally and professionally by providing a safe place where they could freely express themselves and talk of issues that were otherwise too sensitive to bring to personal and/or professional relationships” (Vansickel-Peterson, 2010). It is important to remember that coaching is not counselling. Although some skills may be similar, a coach is not a counsellor, a therapist, a mentor or a consultant. The main difference is that a coach will focus on future possibilities rather than past mistakes. Pure coaching is built on the belief that you have all the answers that you need, but perhaps require support to make the decision to act.

So, if you don’t tell me what to do – what do you do?

We will assist you by:

  • Raising your awareness through asking questions, this means you can get clear on what you truly want and who you really are
  • Assist you to create practical, step-by-step action plans to reach your goals
  • Provide on-going support through any changes or obstacles you may encounter
  • Provide you with tools, techniques and strategies to create lasting change and success


Vansickel-Peterson, Deanna Lee, “Coaching efficacy with academic leaders: A phenomenological investigation” (2010). ETD collection for University of Nebraska – Lincoln. AAI3428433.

Shaw, Claire, “Overworked and isolated – work pressure fuels mental illness in academia” (2014)

Newby, Alison “Let the coach take the strain – As winter’s tunnel looms, academics would do well not to retreat into lonely silos” (2018)

Our coaching is accredited by the CPD Standards Office. This means our coaching hours can be used towards professional standards awards and charter status applications. Contact us to find out more.