The Messy PhD Lounge

A monthly community membership for support, coaching and connection

The right support, friendship and mentoring can make all the difference to your PhD experience.

The Messy PhD Lounge is open and welcomes you to work, live, love and find joy alongside other doctoral researchers.


Moral and emotional support from fellow researchers who are on the same journey as you


Receive supportive coaching and training resources to meet your challenges and up-level your research life


Weekly prompts, check-ins help keep you accountable, connected and held in a safe space

I believe strongly that community and the right kind of safe, loving, joy-fuelled support are integral parts of a PhD experience. Friendship and compassionate guidance made my own PhD one of the most fulfilling and nourishing times of my life; and this is what I now strive to bring to all my coaching offerings – including and especially The Messy PhD Lounge.

★ This is a space for sharing, accountability, rants, celebrations, virtual hugs;
★a place where your worries and anxieties about the PhD path will always be held with empathy and understanding;
★a cosy corner of the interwebs to muddle through the complex, wild, maddening, exciting challenges of doing doctoral research alongside others who are on the same journey.

I’d love to be a friend to you and support your best research through these few years. And so would the little buzzing community that’s already lounge-ing right now.

What you’ll get inside the Lounge

A monthly subscription

The Lounge runs as an monthly membership for as long or as short as you’d like! (with a minimum term of one month)

Private group chat and Telegram channel

You’ll have access a private group chat on Telegram, alongside other Lounge members, to share your wins, talk through challenges or simply to make new friends and connections

1 x 60 minute group coaching call a month

Each month, you’ll get to join a 60-minute live Zoom call for intimate hot-seat coaching support and connection where I’ll deep-dive your current PhD challenges

Weekly reflection and journalling prompts

You’ll receive weekly check-ins and prompts via Telegram to boost your research and create lots more clarity, joy and ease for your working days

Monthly PhD resources and trainings

You’ll receive one new PhD training and resource every month, shared via a private Google Drive folder, to uplevel your research and bring new perspectives and approaches to your research

Discounts and special offers!

As a Lounge member, you’ll get special deals and discounted rates for my coaching programmes and public webinars/workshops.

“community support & FUN”

Jamie is consistently positive, encouraging and REAL. Not only does she understand the struggles of PhD students, she combines effective techniques, community support and FUN to help overcome these struggles and make progress. Jamie’s support helps us become unstuck in our research and as individuals, and I appreciate that she provides such a safe harbor where we can be ourselves while letting our work flourish.

~ Dr. Lara Wallace (Academic writing coach and founder, English 4 Sustainability)

“embrace the messiness”

Being able to listen to others’ challenges, to contribute to the discussion of those challenges, to be heard by others and to have my fears, anxieties, surprises, triumphs witnessed by other likeminded people has also helped me to meet and respond to the concerns I started out with. I really loved the sense of belonging to something bigger than just me, and the opportunity to check in regularly. Now, I’m feeling much happier with the unpredictability of the work and getting better at embracing the messiness!

~ Elsa (former member of The Messy PhD Group Coaching Hive)


One of my most major achievements [in] the Hive was reclaiming my energy and navigating expectations. With the coaching and support of the Hive, […] I found ways to undo a lot of beliefs that were mentally holding me back, and to reframe thoughts that were preventing me from stepping into my own confidence. As a result, I now feel a lot more security about what, how and why I’m doing this research and am even beginning to enjoy it too – revolutionary!

~ Former member of The Messy PhD Group Coaching Hive (prefers to remain anonymous)

My messy coaching is unlike
any other doctoral training

Universities already provide plenty of excellent training on ‘how to’ do the PhD. Whether it’s workshops on writing literature reviews, learning SPSS or understanding research ethics, you’re probably sorted on those fronts.

What’s less commonly addressed are all the messy in-betweens of doing research and being a researcher. The messy anxieties of not being good enough, lack of confidence, imposter syndrome, overwhelm, demotivation, procrastination, the fear of things going wrong… the list goes on.

It is these uncomfortable, grubby in-betweens that my messy coaching deals with.

This is coaching and support for the PhD. And it is also coaching and support for life.

Messy coaching works with that strange (yes, messy!) space where the two collide: doing deep research and navigating all the other competing demands of life.

It is geared towards helping you be the best researcher you can be, while also enjoying your very best life as a gloriously, messy, complex, feeling, loving, living human being.

The five pillars of the M.E.S.S.Y Framework

All my coaching, including what you’ll receive in the Lounge is based on my signature M.E.S.S.Y coaching framework, which comprises 5 key pillars to help you meet your PhD and life goals, find more clarity, joy & ease, and just feel bloody good about yourself and your research.

Are you ready? Let’s get M.E.S.S.Y:

  • Discover creative new solutions, opportunities and magic at every stage of your PhD, even in the problems and challenges
  • Recall your own magic by recognising and expanding your existing strengths, talents and skills
  • Work through the difficulties of research to emerge with even greater confidence and more finely honed skills that you can take forward into any career path

  • Create nourishing routines that make space for plenty of rest, reward and relaxation
  • Beat overwhelm and stress, by learning new ways of working less while making more progress than ever before
  • Invite greater ease into your research experience so you always enjoy a constant, effortless flow of creativity

  • Build your own routines and rituals so you can create and sustain motivation more easily – both in and out of your PhD
  • Reignite joy, pleasure and passion in and around your research
  • Reprioritise fun and play in your research, so you’re going into your work every day with fresh energy and excitement

  • Establish firm boundaries – find the focus to pursue what is most aligned with your aspirations and values and the ease to release what isn’t
  • Crystal clear clarity to discern exactly what goals, activities and relationships will best serve and support you
  • Renewed confidence in your own ‘enoughness’, capabilities and the value you bring to the table

  • Take simple but hugely transformative steps to design your PhD experience exactly the way you want it
  • Build a safe, loving community that will support you to smash your research goals and reach your highest research potential
  • Learn to connect with your greatest and wisest guide – your own research intuition

Extra Sparkle Up

I incorporate a spiritual element into all my coaching. I’ll work with you to strengthen existing practices in your own faith and/or to introduce you to concepts like manifestation, visualisation and meditation; affirmation, mantras and prayer; tarot and oracle readings; and human design.

You don’t have to have any prior experience with any of this, and I promise that you’ll never have to do anything you’re not comfortable with. Just be aware that this is a big component of my coaching approach and practice, and get ready to experience some super electric magic!

Fees and other fine details

Membership is on a rolling monthly basis, at £22.22 a month. You’re welcome to join for as few or as many months as you like, with a minimum term of one month.

Current 1:1 PhD coaching clients will automatically receive complementary access to the Lounge during the term of their coaching.

your coach

Hello! I’m Dr Jamie Pei (but just call me Jamie!) – your messy PhD coach and host of the Lounge.

I’ve done a PhD in Women’s Studies (Social Science/qualitative research) and for 4 years, I enjoyed the most joyful, enriching, fulfilling PhD experience.

Throughout that time, I also got to present at numerous conferences, run workshops and trainings, won awards for speaking about my research, and developed a kickass yoga + weight-lifting routine.

But I also had some pretty awful moments during those 5 years, dealing with bereavements, health issues and finally, the viva that nightmares are made of, followed by a horrible pandemic-themed year of corrections.

So, I understand both the incredible highs that come from doing really deep, pleasurable research AND the terrible lows of feeling stuck, hopeless and overwhelmed.

More important, I’ve found ways to increase and sustain the good bits, and deal peacefully with the bad. And I’m here to share all that goodness with you now!

hmmm… still not sure?

If you’d like to know more or have any questions about joining the Lounge,
send me an email and let’s chat!

Or, if you’d like more personal support, you might like to consider 1:1 PhD coaching with me.
Click here to find out more .