Postgraduate and PhD mentor and consultant

Coaching and mentoring for PhD students and academicsWorking as a postdoctoral research scientist in biomedical research, then later in science outreach and public engagement, I have mentored dozens of Masters and PhD students to present their work at its best. More recently, as a postgraduate and PhD mentor and consultant, I work with students who may be preparing a PGCert report, Masters dissertation or PhD thesis.

One of my recent clients, who came to me for help with critical analysis as part of her Masters project, kindly said:

John currently tutors me online, supporting with the critical thinking side of my post-graduate course. He is incredibly patient and clearly knowledgeable in the field of science. I would absolutely recommend John to anyone needing support with their academic work. Gemma, postgraduate tutee

Please take a look at my online services for postgraduates, PhD students and academics:

Help with critical thinking

Exploring how to critically evaluate literature in your research field, put together a critical argument from a literature review and weave that into your project, using your project or assignment as a backdrop. I’ve written a blog with some tips on improving critical thinking skills.

Help with planning and structuring your work

The early stages of a report, especially one as large as a dissertation or thesis, are often crucial, but overlooked. Framing your research topic, and putting your work in context, may present lots of options. Discussing these, and evaluating the pros and cons, saves a lot of time in the long run. It also gives you a strong foundation to build on. Although your research institution may have provided you with a PhD mentor, often my clients find having an independent advocate gives a different perspective.

postgraduate and phd mentor and consultantProof-reading and feedback

I offer proof-reading of your report, dissertation or thesis, looking for areas of improvement. Often clients know they need to improve their written work but can’t quite put their finger on what they need to do. Having an online session to discuss ideas and comments really helps. Sometimes it’s about putting data across in the right way, drawing points together with a conclusion and setting that conclusion in the context of the wider literature and references. I also provide help with science communication for a public audience.

Obviously, I cannot write assessed work on your behalf. The idea here is to support you in finding ways to present your work at its best.

Preparing for your Viva

I have coached several students through their PhD viva. We might work together to prepare for critical questions, or more generally on building your confidence. You’re almost there – let’s get you through it 🙂

We also offer academic coaching for PhD students and postgraduates – mental wellbeing is a cause close to my heart and I trained as a wellbeing coach specifically to help academics.

Pricing for these services varies, please do get in touch to discuss your needs.


Dr John Ankers is a specialist online biology tutor and academic coach.

Postgraduate and PhD mentor and consultant in Woolton Village, Liverpool, UK