Dear Academia, healthy academic work environment

where researchers thrive in a healthy work environment

Why Dear Academia?

Academia can be a supportive, inclusive and vibrant environment, where researchers thrive and achieve their full potential.

Dear Academia believes in nurturing researchers’ wellbeing so they can maximize their impact and solve global challenges towards a sustainable future for all.

Dear Academia
We support researchers in developing their self-leadership, resilience, and performance abilities.

Our holistic approach focuses on synergies between individual, team and institution, how researchers successfully navigate challenges and how  academic cultures support them to do so.

Here’s how Dear Academia can help:

Dear Academia workshops

Interactive seminars

A blend of insights, practical tools, and dynamic sharing between participants to foster the exchange of experience, find peer-to-peer support, and design strategies to support oneself towards nurturing wellbeing and reaching high potential.

Workshop Series

A structured training program designed for deep transformational change covering a holistic approach of the different key elements necessary to reach sustainable change. Sessions are built as a progressive process including homework, accountability tools, and dynamic exchange between participants.

Dear Academia seminars

Reflective circles


Engaging conversations to foster group reflection and drive academic culture change. Sessions are facilitated by a professional coach, allowing for all participants to learn from each other in a structured, focused and non-judgmental environment


Navigate Academia and Maximize your Potential

We facilitate both digital and in person events. 



rated us above 4 stars*


would recommend our events*

* among participants who answered the surveys

Make Wellbeing a Priority

We certainly will. Dear Academia supports researchers with…

Personal wellbeing



Stress management & burnout prevention

High performance

Sleep & healthy habits

Working from home toolbox

Creativity & mental clarity

Navigating academia

Academic culture

Career strategy in academia

Transition outside of academia

Sometimes, researchers may experience…

  • Frustration to not reach full potential
  • Difficulties to concentrate and be innovative
  • Impostor syndrome
  • Procrastination and perfectionism
  • Dysfunctional leadership & non-supportive environment
  • A tendency to hyper-loop problem solving & rumination
  • Disturbances in sleep and habits
  • High levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout
  • Loneliness, overwhelm, or feeling undervalued
  • Confusion about career path and what to do next 

We’ve been there! Throughout our years working in academia, we faced and witnessed the same challenges.

Dear Academia is born from our dream to bring academia to its highest potential by supporting researchers to thrive in healthy working environments

Testimonials & Featured Clients

Enlightening, acknowledging, thoughtful and energising at the same time!

Lecturer, Gothenburg University, November 2020

I realized that stress and pressure are really common in academia and that my colleagues deal with the same issues as I do. This is a culture problem that should change.

Assist. Prof., Technical University of Denmark, April 2021

Useful workshop series with three very motivated, positive leaders with lots of knowledge and useful tips.

PostDoc, Chalmers Technical University, September 2020

This workshop was different from our previous stress management events, it was adapted to us and useful. I recognize myself in the personal experiences of the facilitators.

Post. Doc., Max Planck Institute, Germany, April 2021

A very important reminder of what to think of for being in balance and feeling well.

Professor, Chalmers Technical University, January 2021

I had a very positive feeling about the workshop series. I enjoyed the lectures and found it very interesting to hear the ideas and experiences of my partners. Also, I learned many new concepts and tips that will be very useful.

Ph.D. student, Chalmers Technical University, September 2020

By talking about academic pressure and burnout, I understood that I'm not alone in feeling the way I feel. Somehow talking about it makes a lot of stress go away. Hearing how others are coping with the situation helped me gain perspective.

PhD student, Lund Faculty of Medicine, December 2020

Your webinar has inspired me to set up a “Coping under COVID” support group.

Ph.D. student, Lund Faculty of Medicine, January 2021

Very useful, relatable and much needed. It was oddly soothing and really made me feel better!

Ph.D. student, Chalmers Technical University, June 2020



rated us above 4 stars*


would recommend our events*

* among participants who answered the surveys

Who we are

We are trained researchers and educators. We combine our experience of the academic system with our competencies in leadership, coaching, and wellbeing to raise awareness, infuse change, and support researchers to fulfill their mission.

Deborah Rupert, Phd

Déborah Rupert is the founder of Dear Academia and is a wellbeing and career coach. She is certified from the International Coaching Federation and holds a PhD in biological physics from Chalmers Technical University, Sweden. She is dedicated to burnout prevention and supporting researchers with mental clarity and career strategy. She is a career coach for researchers in career transition at Trygghetsstiftelsen and the nordic director of Enkindle Global, focusing on burnout prevention for individual change makers and leaders within organisations.

Learn more about Deborah here.

Read Déborah's letter to Academia
Dear Academia, 

You are home to many curious minds, a quite special world I must say. From the outside, you are the fascination of the unknown, the place where researchers daydream about how everything functions, waiting for the Eureka moment. On the inside, the reality hurts. Over the years, you have become a business, a place where curious minds are valued for producing results that bring a return on investments, measured by papers and citations, in competition with each other, running after funding to stay in the game. 

I played this game a bit too hard during my PhD. I got caught in the downward spiral of long working hours and high expectations. You became the focus of my life, before health, friends and family. My fun for science disappeared, I was feeling like an impostor and I was too stressed to perform. Burnout almost knocked on my door. 

During my recovery, I had a wake-up call. I realized that stress was infused in academia, spread across all levels, too spread to be the problem of isolated individuals. You are broken my dear academia. The race to deliver discoveries on demand has a high cost, a human cost. And it doesn’t make sense. You are the home for curious minds who need a safe place to flourish and be creative. I want to see you foster wellbeing, camaraderie and peer-to-peer support. A place where researchers feel balanced, equipped to manage their stress, and grow into their highest potential. 

After years of working in academia, I decided to change course to help you – my fellow researchers. I became a wellbeing and career coach, dedicated to supporting you in your journey so you can thrive with your beautiful mind. Through 1-to-1 coaching, seminars and workshops, I offer tools for stress management, mental clarity, and career navigation. 

Together, let’s make academia a healthy environment for you to thrive. 

Déborah Rupert, PhD, wellbeing and career coach

Frida Rångtell, PHD

Frida Rångtell has a PhD in sleep and memory from Uppsala University, Sweden. Today she works as a sleep and habits educator, scientific advisor and runs Slumra of Sweden.

Learn more about Frida here.

Read Frida's letter to Academia
Dear Academia,

I love science. I love new discoveries. I love the journey of mystery solving. I love asking those impossible questions. I don’t like how many terrific scientists with the same passion as me, are struggling with stress, mental health issues , and unhealthy working environment. I don’t like how many excellent scientists leave academia because of unsustainable conditions. I don’t like how many of my fellows scientists have completely lost their passion along the way.

I defended my thesis on sleep and memory at Uppsala University in 2019. Struggling my way through the ups and downs of the PhD life, I still feel like a recovering PhD student, happy to be on the other side.

So here I stand today, left with the feeling: we need to do something. We need to make sure that we increase the scientific quality. We need to make sure that researchers can flourish and grow, not fade.

With my background  in sleep science, I know that there is a tight link between how we feel and perform and how we sleep, going both ways. I know what impacts how we sleep, what’s going on while we’re sleeping, at least as far as our current scientific knowledge goes. I know what we can do to help us get the snooze we need. 

My support to you, my fellow researchers, is sharing my knowledge about sleep and healthy habits, to help us feel better and be better researchers. 

Together we can make academia a healthy workplace.

Frida Rångtell, PhD, Sleep educator

Mette Sjöberg Anthonsen, phd

Mette Sjöberg Anthonsen has 25 years’ experience with facilitating groups and teams in various types of learning. She has a PhD in political science, is a certified coach (ICF, PCC) and divides her time between the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and her own leadership development company with a global client base. Her style is clear, empathetic, present and challenging – with great outputs for reflection and learning.

Learn more about Mette here.

Read Mette's letter to Academia
Dear Academia,

You have given so much, and I am so happy to be in a relationship with you. Among the factors I highly appreciate are your capacity for grand thinking, enlightening discussions, and the many quests you facilitate to make the world a better place.

But – we need to sort out a few things: certain traits of your behavior are harmful as well. For example, the obsessive focus on measurable accomplishments, competitive grant-systems that lead to year-long job-insecurities, your twisted perceptions of internal power hierarchies…. In short; you are quite a mouthful. Since I appreciate our relationship so much and want it to continue, I find it meaningful to contribute to making you a better partner.

I do that by facilitating individual personal and professional development for humans, who want to continue contributing to you. Specifically, what I offer is:

  • Individual coaching for professionals at all levels in academia
  • Training / learning for teams and groups regarding e.g. career planning, (self)leadership, competence mapping and leadership. 

Mette Sjöberg Anthonsen, PhD, coach

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process to book an event?
  1. You contact us and we get on a call to discuss your challenges, access your needs, and explore which format of event would suit you best.
  2. We send you a proposition offer for format, content & budget 
  3. We book a time for the event and make it happen 🙂
What is the difference between an interactive seminar and a workshop series?
An interactive seminar is a stand-alone event while a workshop series is a holistic process. In a workshop series, each session is built upon each other to create a sustainable learning experience and deep transformational change. Participants are active between sessions, with preparatory work and creating a personal manifesto that gathers the insights, goals and actions for the future. At the end of the workshop series, this manifesto is shared within a small group of participants to drive accountability towards reaching goals and encourage peer-to-peer support.
What knowledge and tools do you share in your programs?
We equip researchers with knowledge and tools to:

  • Develop self-leadership
  • Take action towards sustainable personal wellbeing
  • Nurture resilience & stress-management skills
  • Improve sleep and healthy habits
  • Declutter the mind & reach mental clarity
  • Create healthy boundaries between professional and private life
  • Encourage peer-to-peer support
  • Contribute to a positive and healthy academic culture
  • Deepen the knowledge of how the academic system functions
  • Gain clarity about career paths in academia and beyond
Can we hand-pick specific topics to focus on?
Yes, we design tailor-made events with you. We explore together your challenges, define your needs and select content from our focus areas that would support researchers the best way possible.
Can we have events focusing on a specific role (PhD students, PostDocs, etc..)?
Yes, we adapt our content to address the specific challenges of focus groups, from Ph.D. students up to Professors and Head of the department level.
Can you facilitate events for our research group/ institutional day?
Yes, we are very happy to create an event for your research group / institutional day that will combine knowledge, insights and dynamic exchange between colleagues to build bridges between hierarchy levels.
What are the benefits of reflective circles?
Participants to our interactive events often praise how enlightening it is to share and listen to other participant’s perspective on academic culture and wellbeing.

They often mention that realizing they are not alone was a big mind shift, helping them to dare asking for and offering support to colleagues. This is at the core of a healthy academic work environment.

Bringing an external facilitation in the process has multiple benefits:

    • Engaging all participants and making sure everyone is heard
    • Improving the outcome of the discussion as the facilitator safeguards the frame of the process, making sure multiple angles are explored without deviating from the main topic.
    • Allowing the team leader to be fully engaged in the conversation as participant, removing the power shift that may prevent other team members to speak up openly.
    • Offering a safe environment to manage dysfunctional group behaviors and conflicts professionally
    • Driving the group towards accountability and action following the discussion.
    • It’s fun! 🙂
Do you have a maximum of participants per event?
We can adapt our events and facilitation method to the size of your audience to ensure best engagement and active learning. Contact us
Can we have multiple facilitators in the same event?
Yes, we often co-facilitate events. We combine our expertise and experience to offer a rich and insightful learning experience.
What is your facilitation style?
Our events are grounded in the coaching philosophy. We ignite personal reflection and empower participants to share their challenges in a safe space to learn from each other. We equip them with hands-on tools, active listening skills, peer-to-peer support, and accountability to lead to sustainable inner transformation.
How does the price vary between types of events?
The price of the event varies depending on the type of event – interactive seminar, workshop series or reflective circles-, the type of content, the length of the event, and the number of facilitators engaged.

Let’s hop on a call and we tell you all about it!  Contact us

Can I get personal coaching/support from one of the facilitators of Dear Academia?
Yes, we are happy to support you further in your journey. Contact us directly through our professional websites:

Get in touch!

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