PhD Writing Support

PDPA is pleased to offer a variety of writing support programs for PhDs across the disciplines at BU. These include synchronous and asynchronous resources. See below for descriptions and application requirements for Summer 2024 synchronous writing programs including the Dissertation Writing Group, Accountability Partners, and Dissertation Writing Institute & Intensive. 

For information on writing workshops, visit our Workshops & Events page. Visit the PhD Progression page for badges focused on building writing & communication skills. Follow us on social media or subscribe to our Doctoral Digest newsletter to receive updates about upcoming writing support programs and other events.

Dissertation Writing Institute

Monday, July 22 – Thursday, July 25, 10 am – 4 pm daily, Kilachand 101 (CILSE, 610 Commonwealth Ave)

A special program for new dissertation writers, our four-day institute will equip you with essential strategies to succeed in the dissertation writing process. Each day, you will attend skill building and professional development workshops facilitated by Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs staff. Workshop topics will include dissertation planning and goal setting for the academic semester. Each day will consist of morning workshops followed by structured time to implement the new strategies you learned and receive peer feedback. In addition, there will be a 30-minute lunch break and shorter breaks throughout the day. Registration for the Dissertation Writing Institute is now CLOSED.

Participants must have advanced to candidacy and be actively writing either their dissertation prospectus/proposal or the first chapter of their dissertation.

2024 Summer Dissertation Writing Retreat

Monday, July 29 – Thursday, August 1, 10 am – 3 pm daily, Kilachand 101 (CILSE, 610 Commonwealth Ave)

Our 2024 Summer Dissertation Writing Retreat offers doctoral candidates significant, focused writing time in a community of like-minded peers. This four-day program provides a high level of structure and accountability, and participants should expect to write for four hours each day. Lunch and coffee/tea will be provided. Registration for the Dissertation Writing Retreat is now CLOSED.

Dissertation Writing Group

Are you looking for structured writing time and a community of like-minded peers where you can make significant progress on your prospectus, dissertation, or other related writing projects? The Dissertation Writing Group (DWG) offers both! Each three-hour session will begin with a brief goal setting exercise followed by focused writing time. At the end of the session, participants will share their progress, reflect on the writing process, and set concrete goals for the coming week. DWG is facilitated by a member of the Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs team who will introduce guided reflections and share effective strategies you can build into your writing routine.

Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to sign in and set up your work station. As a courtesy to your fellow writers, you should also plan to stay for the duration of the three-hour session; late arrivals and early departures are disruptive to your fellow participants.


Write-Togethers provide a space for ALL graduate students (not just PhDs) to meet in person for focused writing work. Occasional refreshments, such as coffee and donuts, may be provided. Write-Togethers will meet weekly in person and via Zoom. No registration required!

Accountability Partners

Accountability Partners matches you with an interdisciplinary group of three to four other graduate writers for one-hour, weekly writing check-ins. During each meeting, participants will report on their progress over the past week, reflect on challenges they faced, and set goals for the coming week. Groups are also encouraged to maintain a shared daily writing log, and each group will be provided with a private Slack channel where members can share updates and resources throughout the week.