Doctoral students’ well-being in United Kingdom Business Schools: A Survey of Personal Experience and Support Mechanisms

Janet McCray, Paul Joseph-Richard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We present the perspectives on mental well-being of 63 Doctoral
students (DS) undertaking a PhD in business schools in United Kingdom
(UK) universities. Utilising a cross-sectional survey, the aims of this
study are to 1. Capture business and management doctoral students’
(DSs) views on their mental well-being and the factors that affect it. 2.
Critically review the influence of the business school learning
environment on doctoral student well-being. 3. Reflect on the
effectiveness of business schools’ support for the well-being of doctoral
Findings indicate that many business school doctoral students viewed
their mental well-being negatively and more than half considered their
personal well-being as their own problem. Personal and interpersonal
factors caused a very high percentage of their negative mental wellbeing
issues, with the majority of research supervisors being viewed as
a positive support.
However, in business school doctoral training programmes, respondents
reported minimal input on managing and understanding their personal
well-being, despite research which correlates faculty and departmental
support for well-being and PhD completion. In the light of these findings
we suggest that individual business schools should review their training
curriculum for doctoral students to prevent over-reliance on the
supervisory team and offer more formal training on managing mental
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalThe International Journal of Management Education
Issue number100490
Early online date31 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2021


  • Doctoral Students
  • PhD Researchers
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Business Schools


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