04 - 07

Thesis Boot Camp applications open!!  6 and 7 November 2021 Windsor Building (online session Thurs 4 Nov 1-4pm)

  • Are you a mid to late-candidature PhD student struggling with the drafting/writing-up battle?
  • Do you put off writing tasks until ‘tomorrow’?
  • Are you finding it tough ‘going it alone’?

We have just what you need – Thesis Boot Camp! Dedicated solely to getting words down on paper (or a computer screen), this weekend is designed to help late-stage doctoral students get over that final hurdle, or to kick-start their writing progress if it has stalled.

Sign up to join other Doctoral Researchers at the same candidature stage in a no-excuses, no-time-for-procrastination, intensive writing weekend. Not for the faint hearted, Thesis Boot Camp recruits will battle through third-year blues, writer’s block and thesis fatigue to achieve significant progress on their manuscript.

The weekend is on Royal Holloway campus but an introductory online session on Thursday 4th November 1-4pm will include motivational talks, goal setting and strategies for writing quickly and well. Catering will be provided during the weekend to ensure an encouraging, distraction-free environment. Attendees will be required to complete pre-program planning activities and to commit to their own tangible aims for the weekend, such as completing a thesis chapter draft or similar.

Are you up for the challenge?

Researcher thoughts about Thesis Boot Camp

Previously we have run thesis boot camp in 2017 and 2019 and our participants said this:

It was very productive and created a fantastic working atmosphere

Both chapter drafts [were] completed with time to spare at the end so I had a couple of hours for basic editing. The structure of the weekend and the motivational blocks were key to this.

Yes, it was an amazing experience with all the vibes and lovely instructions

It substantially helped to clarify my thoughts and [I] have been working so much better since.

I wrote 15,000 words during the Boot Camp and continued in the days after the Boot Camp by increasing that to 20,000 words. The Boot Camp provided the perfect environment for writing - no distractions, no opportunity for procrastination, quiet working space, food was provided, structured timetable with adequate breaks, the group around you all doing the same thing.

For myself, this is the best experience among all the university-organised activities

Who can attend Thesis Boot Camp?

Thesis Boot Camp is a free event at Royal Holloway.  You are an eligible Thesis Boot Camp recruit if you are:

  • In the final stages of completing your graduate research degree. That is, you have completed data collection (in whatever form is relevant to your project and discipline) and are currently ‘writing up’. The ultimate aim of Thesis Boot Camp is to write 20,000 words of first draft material. It is not for editing, revising, preparing presentations or grant applications etc. In other words, you must be able to identify the particular chapter or chapter(s) of your thesis that you will specifically work on as part of your Thesis Boot Camp goal.
  • Able to clearly identify how you would benefit from an intensive weekend of drafting a particular section of your thesis.
  • Willing and available to attend all sessions and to commit to the ethos of dedicated writing required at Thesis Boot Camp.
  • Able to provide details of an academic referee to support your application (E.g. your supervisor or member of your supervisory panel; a more senior colleague in your research team etc).

The event is limited to 30 participants and we expect to receive more applications than there are available places. Please note that due to this, we cannot guarantee participation for all eligible applicants. This also means that you should complete all sections of the application in full, with the above eligibility criteria in mind.

Dates and times

The third Royal Holloway Thesis Boot Camp will take place with an online session Thursday 4 November and the weekend on campus Saturday 6 November to Sunday 7 November.

All campus sessions will take place at the Windsor Building at Egham campus. The program outline is as follows:

  • Day 1, online Thursday 4 November 1-4pm
  • Day 2, on campus Saturday 6 November, 9.30am - 8.00pm
  • Day 3, on campus Sunday 7 November, 9.30am - 8.00pm


Please fill in this application form. Application open now and closes 24 September 2021.  Please send to

Successful applicants will be notified from 29 September if they have been accepted into the programme.

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