!! Registration ends 20 January 2023 (6 pm CEST) !!


The comprehensive step-by-step programme
get your PhD done! 


Presented by Bärbel Tress (PhD)

With the PhD Success Lab, Bärbel from TRESS ACADEMIC is offering the only implementation programme of its kind that not only shows you exactly how to plan and conduct your PhD study with ease, but how to finish it on time so that you will be proud of your achievements and get ready for your next big career move.


Enroll to PhD Success Lab now!

Are you ...

... excited about doing a PhD study that will pave the way to a great career in science or outside academia? 

... motivated to leave behind your struggles with your PhD, become more confident about your work and spend more time doing research?

... intrigued by the idea that you can apply a systematic approach to save time, focus on your dissertation and complete your thesis with ease?

I fully support you! 

Do you ...

... look for a clear plan that tells you how to proceed with your PhD? 

... hunt for a better way of using your time and energy to reach your goal?

... aim for a productive way of getting your dissertation and papers written?

... want to adopt a professional way of communicating with your supervisor and your committee?

Let me help you achieve this! 

As a researcher

and experienced academic myself, I've taught over 3,000 academics worldwide in the past 15+ years how to conduct and complete their PhD study successfully.

I’ve learned and analysed the challenges PhD students face when embarking on a PhD throughout the 300+ courses and workshops that I’ve taught face-to-face and online.

Now, I have channeled the best guidelines and support strategies into an exclusive programme that truly guides you to become a successful PhD scholar.

The PhD Success Lab is a 12-week systematic and hands-on programme for any doctoral candidate who aims to reduce the struggles with the PhD work and wants to focus on getting their dissertation done!

"PhD Success Lab gave me the amazing opportunity to structure my PhD better and widen my set of management skills in order to head into my research project with an organized mindset. What I have enjoyed the most throughout the course was having generated a great roadmap in order to navigate the PhD waters better, while sharing and learning from the highly experienced trainer! : )"

Susana Simancas
PhD Student in Coral Ecophysiology

No, you ...

... don't have to figure out everything yourself! 

... don't have to experience the same struggles that so many other PhD students have experienced before you!

... don't have to feel lost, isolated and overwhelmed.  

Yes, you can ...

... benefit from the experiences of thousands of PhD students before you! 

... learn the skills that lead to PhD success! 

... become a happy, satisfied and self-organised doctoral candidate!

Follow our system to get there!  

Your end result: 

You will use the TRESS ACADEMIC success formula to implement your personal roadmap to PhD success! 


"I submitted my PhD thesis today, all according to the plan I made during the PhD Success Lab. I’m convinced that nothing would have run so smoothly without that course. It helped me with reducing my fear of writing, and forced me to make a plan and stick to it. So thank you so much for creating this course and helping so many PhD candidates."

PhD Student in Medical Science, Univ. of Bergen, Norway

PhD Success Lab

is the most comprehensive programme of its kind that

Is created with YOU in mind

Finding a way to help you cope with your struggles, your concerns and your daily challenges was the motivation behind founding this programme.  

Coaches based on real experiences

The programme builds on my own experiences as a researcher and supervisor and the many lessons learned from the thousands of PhD students, I've been in touch with. 

Builds on a proven success formula

You will benefit from a systematic approach to provide you with all the tools and techniques to control your success in all relevant areas of your PhD.

Considers your personal situation

No PhD project and no doctoral candidate is like any other. You all face specific challenges. I will help you to find your personal path to PhD success! 

"The PhD Success Lab has been great. Not just the content, but the contact with Bärbel and the other PhD candidates. We covered many topics that make you work more efficiently, but also about coping emotionally with juggling life, PhD, family. "

Fiza Brakel-Ahmed
PhD candidate in Anthropology, The Netherlands

What you will accomplish during this programme

The programme works with an integrative system including the key factors that are known to influence PhD success. From the start, you get a comprehensive view on what it takes to complete your project and you work with the PhD success formula to devise a strategy to implement this for yourself. You adopt a different attitude towards completing your PhD.


Set up the system to plan and control your PhD project

In this initial part of the programme, you learn why sound planning is a determining factor for successful completion. After completing this part, you will have gained control of your project and your progress with a PhD project plan and the PSL progress monitor.

No matter how far you are with your PhD or how clear your project ideas are so far, this part will help you sharpen the exact goals for your PhD and gives you detailed instructions to implement individual planning steps. You will set up the PSL progress monitor to track your own progress against set benchmarks, which will help you to control your completion time independent of how far you are already with your project.

You will achieve or re-gain clarity about what you are doing in your PhD and have a long-term perspective right up until handing in your PhD dissertation. You will have the ability to know where you are at any point in time so you feel oriented and in control.

Part I highlights:

  • understanding how planning affects successful completion of your PhD

  • you have a set of specific and updated project objectives

  • you have a renewed & detailed plan for the remaining time of your PhD

  • you know exactly what to do to complete your PhD

  • you worked out a clear timeline for completion, and

  • you track your progress against that


Develop yourself & organise your time

In this central part of the programme, you develop an understanding that how you perform every single day is a key influencing factor for your success. You adopt the mind-set of a successful PhD candidate and you develop a razor-sharp focus on your most important activities. You have raised your commitment and taken ownership of your project. You make the transformation from ‘just working’ on your PhD project to becoming the person who can complete the PhD with the best possible quality and results.

  • You will understand which work-patterns will help you to perform at your very best and what will move you across the finish line at the end. You will identify your most important outcomes and target your efforts towards these. As a result, you will make progress like never before. Taking into account latest findings in neurosciences and psychology, you will develop sustainable work patterns, which help you become a productive and healthy academic in the long run.

You will achieve high performance while increasing your mental and physical well-being. You will increase confidence in your abilities and you will be at peace with how you work on your PhD.

Part II highlights:

  • You understand how success with your project is related to your everyday performance
  • have taken ownership of your project
  • carved out key outcomes to focus on
  • adopted a personal system to perform at your best every single day
  • defined priorities and weekly goals
  • organise your work days and use a task manager
  • experience reduced stress levels and higher personal satisfaction
  • you are excited and fully committed to work on your project.

Master dissertation writing

This part deals with the major outcome of your PhD project: your dissertation. You will develop an understanding of how influential writing is for your PhD success and you will be able to prioritise it accordingly. With the exact requirements for the submission of your dissertation or the scientific papers for your dissertation in mind, you will gear your writing efforts towards this outcome. You will develop a timeline for achieving your main writing components that will become part of your overall planning.

Whether you have minor or major writing problems, whether you are an experienced writer or not, whether you like writing or not, you will benefit from working with our proven PSL-system for productive academic writing. You’ll overcome mental blockades as well as skills-deficits so that writing will no longer be a scary and frustrating activity. You’ll have identified concrete writing-steps to work on and will start working towards these during the programme.

You will have lost the fear of writing and you will be content with what and how much you write. You’ll realise that writing your dissertation is easier than you thought and absolutely manageable and you’ll be proud about your writing output.

Part III highlights:

  • You target your writing efforts towards the exact requirements of your thesis.
  • Develop a timeline for dissertation completion.
  • Apply the PSL-system for productive academic writing.
  • Achieve regular writing progress and establish a writing habit.
  • Gain confidence with writing and satisfaction with your writing outcomes.

Optimise supervision

In this final part, you’ll gain an understanding of how the PhD candidate-supervisor relationship works and that both you and your supervisor(s) influence it. You’ll learn what you can do to optimise interaction with your supervisor in order to get the best possible support, and take a more active role in shaping the communication with your supervisor.

You will learn to take the lead in organising supervisory meetings and how to communicate in an explicit and professional way. You will develop an understanding of how to address and discuss issues with your PhD with your supervisor and work towards joint solutions.

You will achieve a better interaction with your supervisor, and you will be able to organise productive meetings. You’ll become more confident in conversations and ensure your voice is heard, as well as better understand instructions from your supervisor. 

Part IV highlights:

  • You understand the impact of good supervision on the quality of your work 
  • gained confidence in addressing your supervisor
  • organise regular meetings with your supervisor that benefit your project progress 
  • apply professional communication techniques during supervisory meetings
  • know how to address problems and concerns in supervisory meetings
  • improved interaction, responsiveness and feedback from supervisor.

"Yes I would definitely recommend this programme to all PhD candidates! From now on, there would be no reason to be afraid of anything, to have doubts about your work, or even to be scared of facing incoming challenges, because I was well taught on what to expect, how to handle it and how to go through the specific challenges of doing a PhD."

Alica, PhD student, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany

"Bärbel's programme gave me a different perspective of a PhD. It demystified what many people say about a PhD: it has to be hard and stressful, is nearly unmanageable, or unable to coexist alongside a normal life. Bärbel gave me the knowledge and understanding that a PhD is possible and could be even made easier with proper planning & organising, with techniques and tools of communication and management. This was the quality that I hope my PIs and PostDocs have during my 3 years of PhD study."

Harald, PhD student, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

The TRESS ACADEMIC Satisfaction Guarantee

“PhD Success Lab” is the most comprehensive step-by-step programme for academics who are enthusiastic and COMMITTED to completing a PhD study!

Our students are part of a highly-curated community consisting of knowledgeable and motivated academics who are aiming to be productive and excel in their academic careers. When you join, you become part of this special community.

Our PhD programmes have helped thousands of students to successfully complete their PhDs over the past years. When you join, you will be one of them and we will instruct you on how to move your project towards PhD success.

We want you to be satisfied with your purchase, but we also want you to give your best effort to apply all of the strategies in the programme. We provide a 14-day money-back guarantee for the PhD Success Lab in the event that you decide your purchase was not the right decision. The terms for that money-back guarantee are specified here. Please contact our support team at [email protected] if you’d like to request a refund within 14 days of the first module being released.

How is the programme organised?

The programme runs for a total of 12 weeks starting Jan 23, 2023. It includes a total of four parts, 10 modules, 29 lessons and extensive supporting documents that are all available for download.

How can I work on the programme?

Since this is a fully digital course, you don't need to attend a classroom. You do not need to show up at a specific time. You don't need to allocate a specific number of hours per day. You can study for this course from everywhere at any time. You decide on your pace.

How do we learn with you?

You will receive weekly releases with new content in our programme area including video, audio and written lessons, templates, worksheets, checklists  and other training and support information. You can download all files and work on them yourself. All students can join a common discussion group for exchange. 

How long do I have access to the PhD Success Lab?

We offer life-long access to the course material provided through a password protected programme area. You shall have access to this programme area for as long as it exists. 

Any preparation needed?

No. We take you on the joint PhD journey wherever you are. You will benefit most if you have started your first year already and want to do it right, are in your second year or further and want to solve struggles and avoid delay, or you are in the last year of your PhD and you need a clear master plan to finish.

More questions?

We are happy to respond to any further questions you might have. Please also check our FAQ section below or contact us at [email protected] . 

"I think everybody has/had/will have a stage in their PhD where they are insecure, stuck, stressed etc. In Bärbel's PhD programme we learned how to overcome these problems. I will definitely recommend it to all PhD students!"

Bernadette, PhD student, University of Basel, Switzerland

Here’s what you’re getting when you enrol today:

  • PhD Success Lab Programme participation
  • Bonus 1: Activity report 
  • Bonus 2: Membership in our private discussion group 
  • Bonus 3: 5 live Q&A sessions with Bärbel

When you add it all up, the real-world value of the programme is EUR 1,600.

But since we are in a difficult time for PhD students everywhere, and I am super-excited to see you in the programme, I’m cutting the real-world fee down if you enrol to “PhD Success Lab” now.  

The fee for PhD Success Lab today is EUR 837. 

If you manage to finish just one month earlier with your PhD project because of joining this programme and therefore start on your next real job one month earlier, you will have more than compensated the fee for the PhD Success Lab already!

We offer two payment options:

Pay Monthly

3 Payments of

EUR 290



Pay Upfront

1 Single Payment of

EUR 837


The doors of the programme are open until 20 Jan 2023 (6 pm CET)! 

For any questions on the payment process, or regarding an invoice for your institute, please contact us at [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

What you may want to know before joining “PhD Success Lab”:

You also might be thinking ‘I’m overwhelmed. There just isn’t enough time for me now to do this programme completely. I have to do my research as well.’ PhD Success Lab is not created to increase your workload but to ease your PhD work. Don’t forget, for this programme you have lifetime access. This means you can access all the files and guides far beyond the course of the programme, until the end of your PhD and even beyond if you wish. We’ve broken down the entire programme into small and very manageable weekly elements. You can go at your own pace. There is no rush whatsoever.

We have designed the programme with the specifics and individual characters of each PhD project in mind. Everything we teach in the programme can be transferred to your personal situation. You will always work on your own project and we always include individual tasks for you. In addition, you have the opportunity to express specific concerns in the four live support sessions during the programme.

Yes, this is exactly the great benefit of this programme. We will be looking at every aspect of your project in a systematic way and you will begin to see what is most important for you to focus on. You will have absolute clarity about where to start and how to move on once you start following this programme.

If you are just about to start your PhD project or have the intention to do so very soon, we suggest you sign-up for the next PhD Success Lab session that will come in a couple of months. At this very early stage of a PhD project you might want to focus first on getting the PhD position secured and clarify the project. Then in the next stage, you would be absolutely ready to participate in the PhD Success Lab and we look forward meeting you in the next session.

We are very much aware that many PhD students or other researchers are running on a tight budget and the Corona pandemic has probably even sharpened this situation. For this reason, we decided to provide a specially reduced programme fee for ALL students. The real programme value is much higher but we want to give as many as possible a chance to participate.

Many of you are enrolled in structured graduate programmes with an educational part. You often have the chance to pick optional courses that will be covered by the graduate school or university. You may have been registered for a conference that has now been called off, or had planned to attend a summer school or a course that was cancelled. Speak to your supervisor and mentor, discuss with them the option of you taking this programme.  Investigate whether you can reallocate an educational budget and invest it in your career development by joining this programme and move your PhD project closer to the finish line.

No problem! For this reason we offer you a payment plan, so you can pay the programme fee over 3 months. Choose this option at the check-out.

There are no specific preparations to make before you take this programme, apart from being committed to getting your PhD done.

Every course is different, and what makes our programme unique is that we guide you step-by-step over several weeks. You will not be overloaded with a lot of content like in courses that last a few days, where you have to implement all the content you learn after the course itself. The PhD Success Lab is a programme you take while doing your PhD and it will accompany you on your PhD journey. You will learn and implement the necessary steps as they come.

We have been supervisors ourselves and we know there are many great people who advise students, yet, it is often a single perspective that you’ll hear, even if the person is well-informed.

What we do differently from your supervisor: We worked with thousands of PhD students and learned about the problems and challenges they have with conducting a PhD. Based on this information we develop our guidelines, which clearly go beyond the perspective of a single supervisor. Thus you benefit from the experiences of many PhD students and supervisors before you.

This programme is designed to save you time and increase your efficiency. We don’t want to create additional work for you. By spending 2-3 hours per week on this programme you will reap the benefits and move your project closer to the finish line.

Everybody on the programme will get a digital certificate. It states the number of hours you spent on the programme and the ECTS credit points that you have acquired. You can submit our certificate to your graduate programme.

This is a fully digital programme that you can attend from anywhere at any time. All you need is a computer giving you access to the digital files that will be released on a weekly basis.

Our course instructor, Bärbel, has a background in science herself - she studied natural sciences, social sciences and humanities with a PhD in natural sciences. She has researched and taught at various universities and research institutes across Europe, served as an Associate Editor for an international peer-reviewed journal, and regularly has supervised students herself. For 14+ years she has coached and advised PhD students from all fields to help them get their PhD done. Bärbel has collected all the essential experiences as researcher, author, lecturer, and supervisor during her academic and professional career to teach you how to finish your PhD successfully.

Bärbel is also the co-author of the SMART ACADEMICS Blog providing guides on boosting performance and careers in academia. 

Find out more about Bärbel on LinkedInResearchGateTwitter, FacebookYouTube or on her website.

Join our community to never miss any updates on new guides, blogposts or courses. 

"PhD Success Lab" is PERFECT for you if…

  1. … you’re excited about doing a PhD study on a relevant research topic that will pave the way for a great career in research or outside academia.
  2. .... you’re motivated to leave behind all the struggles with your PhD, and the doubts about whether you’re doing it right, so that you can be confident about your work and spend more time doing the research that matters and will move your PhD study ahead.
  3. ... you’re intrigued by the idea that you can streamline your PhD process by applying a systematic approach that will save you a lot of time and struggle, that helps you focus on key outputs and completing your thesis with ease.
  4. ... you don't get as much support from your supervisor as you would like.
  5. ... you fear that your PhD completion will be delayed.
  6. ... you have postponed dissertation writing towards the end of your project.
  7. ... you fear your contract or project is over soon and you will get no extension.
  8. ... you are still in the first year of the PhD project but you want to do a PhD the right way.
  9. ... you are in the second year or further and you want to avoid struggles and delay.
  10. .. you are in the last year of your PhD but are stuck with your project.
  11. … you feel you are always spending too much time and thought on your PhD for the progress you actually make.

If you said YES to at least 6 of the above statements, I can’t wait to meet you at the “PhD Success Lab”.

Here’s what you’re getting when you enrol today:

  • PhD Success Lab Programme participation
  • Bonus 1: Activity report 
  • Bonus 2: Membership in our private discussion group 
  • Bonus 3: 5 live Q&A sessions with Bärbel

When you add it all up, the real-world value of the programme is EUR 1,600.

But since we are in a difficult time for PhD students everywhere, and I am super-excited to see you in the programme, I’m cutting the real-world fee down if you enrol to “PhD Success Lab” now.  

The fee for PhD Success Lab today is EUR 837. 

If you manage to finish just one month earlier with your PhD project because of joining this programme and therefore start on your next real job one month earlier, you will have more than compensated the fee for the PhD Success Lab already!

We offer two payment options:

Pay Monthly

3 Payments of

EUR 290



Payment Upfront

1 Single Payment of

EUR 837


The doors of the programme are open until 23 Jan 2023 (6 pm CET)!

For any questions on the payment process, or regarding an invoice for your institute, please contact us at [email protected]









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