Repeated Disruptions in Grad School

Updated: Feb 26


Headshot of Prerana Sabnis

Hi, I'm Prerana Sabnis, PhD (she/her) and I am this week's Grad Chat guest! I will be taking over the @PhD_Balance IG tomorrow!

I defended my PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Trento, Italy right around the time the first COVID-19 lockdown started in India and Italy. Strangely enough, finishing my PhD amidst a pandemic from the comfort of home has been the least stressful part of my PhD.



My PhD programme was an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate hosted by 5 universities in Italy, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, and the UK. So, from the outset, I expected my PhD to be disrupted by a few moves. What I had not anticipated were the countless disruptions caused by a complete change of my PhD topic, a painful heartbreak, my mother's cancer diagnosis, carer responsibilities, burnout, depression, anxiety, and 9 international moves in 3.5 years to balance all the moving parts in my life! All this while being an international student with a constantly changing social support system.


I got incredibly lucky and found friends, a partner, and colleagues who stuck by me. I had supervisors who put my well-being above everything else. But I soon realised that this might not be the case for many and that is when I started advocating for mental health.


During my IG takeover on Friday and Grad Chat on Saturday, I will talk about ‘Repeated Disruptions in Grad School’ and my experiences making transcontinental moves as an international student, coping with carer responsibilities, grief, and burnout and navigating through the mental health challenges that came with it.


Drop any questions you have about any of these topics (or related ones) in the comments below or send a DM to @PhD_Balance. I look forward to e-meeting you all!


Our Grad Chat guests takeover the PhD Balance Instagram account on Friday before appearing on Grad Chat Saturday, which live-streams on Youtube Saturday's at 3pm ET/ 12pm PT/ 8pm GMT!


Here's the Youtube live link for Prerana's episode on Repeated Disruptions During Grad School (11/21) [link]


You can also find Prerana on Twitter (@preranasabnis) to learn more about her mental health journey and advocacy.


You can also now listen to all our Grad Chat episodes as a podcast, which is hosted on Anchor FM and available on all major streaming services!