Over at Blogging the PhD this week, Erika Cule says that between research concerns and work-life balance worries, there are plenty of things to stress graduate students out. Cule says the top three triggers of students' stress — "feeling frustrated [or] demotivated by your results and apparent lack of progress; experiencing high levels of stress because of your research; [and] being unclear about the next stage of your career," as a 2009 Imperial College London study found — are not so surprising. But no matter how pervasive the perceived stressors are, Cule says there are things PhD students can do to help themselves. "As well as looking to your supervisor for a realistic assessment of where you are at, seek support from your fellow PhD students," she says. By discussing shared concerns among fellow students, "you will probably find empathy if not immediate solutions," she adds.
Our sister publication Genome Technology's careers column this month also includes expert advice for approaching trainees or labmates that seem stressed out.