Webinar Report: Mental health support for early-career researchers

Learn about some of the initiatives that are working to help researchers improve their mental health.

When we talk to people they’ll often say something like 'I’m not depressed, I’m in grad school' – Susanna Harris

Mental health is a growing concern for early-career researchers across all disciplines. There is greater awareness of how the acute pressures from the hyper-competitive job market, ‘publish or perish’ culture and the sometimes isolating nature of research contributes to unacceptably high rates of depression and anxiety amongst scientists. With this greater awareness, there is also an increasing number of initiatives aimed at helping early-career researchers improve their mental health.

In this #ECRWednesday webinar the speakers discussed imposter syndrome and perfectionism, and ongoing initiatives that support mental health in academia. By sharing their experiences, our speakers hope to increase awareness of the importance of addressing mental health challenges so that more early-career scientists can benefit from the support available.

Moderator: Brianne Kent, Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Chair of the eLife Early-Career Advisory Group (ECAG)


  • Jo Franchetti, Engineering Engagement Manager at Trainline
  • Susanna L Harris, PhD candidate of UNC-Chapel Hill and founder of The PhDepression LLC
  • Michael Zue Xhen, MSc candidate at the University of Oxford and Managing Director of It Gets Brighter

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Interested in our full selection of #ECRWednesday webinars, on topics such as preprints, finding funding and more? Take a look at the collection of past reports and recordings.