Becoming Dr Mum

A study about the experience of pursuing doctoral studies during early motherhood



Welcome to the online report of the study, “Becoming Dr Mum: Combining Higher Degree Research with Early Motherhood”.

This study was carried out in 2009 at The Australian National University, sponsored by an internal Higher Degree Research Innovation Fund grant.

On this website, you will find information about the study, the researchers and what we learned.

You will also find links to some other resources that we hope you find interesting.

“There is no one model of how to combine parenting and PhD.  You can’t just say, ‘This is how a woman should do it.’”

“Having a thesis and having a baby are both very difficult things.  So combining them is probably really something that you need to be careful about doing.  I’m not sure if I could do it all over again.”

“I became much bigger as a human being as a result of... this constant stretching of my capacity to live in accordance with my values about parenting and about rigorous intellectual work.... I was stretched bigger and bigger and I think that that’s sort of stuck.”

“There are those wonderful chances in life and I haven’t missed them.”

- Study participants on “becoming Dr Mum”