Maria Aristeidou & Angela Aristidou: PhD students well-being during Covid-19


The higher education sector is increasingly concerned about the impact of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on university research.

This CALRG session will discuss the effect of this disruption on PhD students, and in particular, how it has affected their mental health and research progress. The discussed findings drew from survey responses of 1780 UK PhD students during the Covid-19 pandemic. We explored evidence of depression and coping behaviour and assessed factors relating to demographics, PhD characteristics, Covid-19-associated personal circumstances, and significant life events that could explain PhD student depression during the research disruption.

The session will offer up for discussion with PhD students and supervisors in relation to what issues they have faced during the pandemic and how they overcame challenges.



Dr Maria Aristeidou is a Lecturer in Technology Enhanced Learning at The Open University. The focus of her research is the design and evaluation of engaging learning technologies and the evaluation of the higher education (HE) experience. She is the UK principal investigator for the Erasmus+ VISITOR project, which is developing virtual visits to museums for schools, and she has a scholarship award from Santander to explore the experience of teachers in citizen science. She also examines the impact of Covid-19 on HE students, as part of the Quality Enhancement and Innovation (QEI) portfolio. Maria is an active member of the European Association of Technology-Enhanced Learning and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr Angela Aristidou joined University College London (UCL) in 2020 as an Assistant Professor in Strategy and Entrepreneurship. She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge and MA from Harvard University. Angela has been awarded a seven-year Future Leader Fellowship by UK Research Innovation (2020-2027) to study cross-sector innovations. She is Chair of the Research Advisory Board of the international Relational Coordination Research Collaborative (2020-2022). Angela’s work has been published in the Academy of Management Journal (top ranked, interdisciplinary). Other work has been published in high-profile handbooks and disseminated through panels, roundtables and talks in academia and industry.

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