Module Details

Title: PhD and beyond Masterclass
Coordinator: Julie Dowsett Contributors:

Dr Hugh Kearns, Julie Dowsett, Dr John Finn and other facilitators in our network.


The PhD masterclass is presented by Hugh Kearns, a world leader in doctoral education, who runs highly sought-after programmes for researcher and research students at leading universities and research institutes around the world. Articles based on his work have been published in the journal Nature. He is based in Adelaide, Australia and an Ag Science graduate from UCD.

This PhD Masterclass, specifically designed for the Agri Food Graduate Development Programme, will draw on his most popular programs and will cover all the knowledge and skills you need to be successful in your PhD and beyond. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

The topics covered will include:

  • The seven secrets of highly successful research students

  • Turbocharging your writing

  • Planning your PhD

  • Communicating the impact of your research

  • Defeating self-sabotage

  • case studies from the Agri Food Sector

In addition to the programme participants will receive twelve weeks of follow-up email coaching to help put the good ideas into practice.

Hugh Kearns is recognised internationally as a public speaker, educator and researcher. He regularly lectures at universities across the world and has recently returned from lecture tours of the UK and the US which included lectures at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford.

His areas of expertise include self-management, positive psychology, work-life balance, learning and creativity. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a leading training and development professional within the corporate, financial, education and health sectors in Ireland, Scotland, North America, New Zealand and Australia. He has coached individuals, teams and executives in a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors.

Hugh lectures and researches at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. He is widely recognised for his ability to take the latest research in psychology and education and apply it to high-performing people and groups. As a co-author with Maria Gardiner, he has published ten books which are in high demand both in Australia and internationally.

This module will take place in UCD.

Target audience:

Anyone at the early to mid stages of their PhD in an agri food area.

Learning outcomes and impact:

After completing the module students should be able to:

Set achievable writing goals and design a writing plan,

Make your message relevant to your audience

Structure and link parts of your talk

Prepare materials, notes, handouts, presentations

Manage their time and work schedule effectively

Module delivery:

Lectures, group work, discussion groups and peer feedback.

Module assessment:

Assessment is by a group project on the themes of the course.


Hugh has provided us with some great tools for planning and preventing distractions, procrastination and self-sabotage. I enjoyed it from start to finish.

Valuable for every PhD student, well structured, useful and informative.

I wanted to say what a really useful course "PhD and Beyond" was. There is not a day goes by but I do not put something of Hugh's training into practice. It is a course that every PhD researcher should do in their first years.


Dr Kearns is best known as a lecturer and researcher with international expertise in the area of self-management. He draws on the latest research in psychology and education and applies this to high performing groups such as Ph.D. students, academic staff, medical professionals and senior executives. He has lectured regularly at universities across Australia, the UK, Ireland and the U.S. and received a national teaching award in recognition of his innovative approach and outstanding outcomes.