The Deliberate Doctorate:

A Values-Focused Journey to Your PhD

By Leela Viswanathan

Now Available!
The Deliberate Doctorate book

The Book

The Deliberate Doctorate

Are you intimidated by the thought of embarking on a PhD? Do you wonder if you can or even should go down that path? Are you in the throes of the journey but have lost sight of why you began in the first place?

Author Leela Viswanathan has been there and her book, The Deliberate Doctorate, is designed to help you every step of the way. Viswanathan reflects on challenging situations on the road to her PhD and offers insights from her experiences as an associate professor and PhD supervisor. Her exercises will help you identify why you want to achieve your degree, what having one will do for you, and how to stay true to your core values throughout the process. Taken together, the exercises will produce a personalized roadmap to your doctorate.

Designed for current and potential PhDs, the book will guide you through networking in academia, avoiding burnout, and setting boundaries – crucial but often unaddressed aspects of the journey that can make the difference between earning a PhD and abandon­ing one. Ultimately, this book provides a roadmap for a kinder and more meaningful academic experience – one that nurtures rather than saps graduate students’ energies.

Where To Buy The Deliberate Doctorate

About The Author

Leela Viswanathan PhD, RPP, FCIP

Leela Viswanathan

Leela Viswanathan is the founder and principal of Viswali ConsultingTM where she works with clients to develop plans, policies, and practices for systems change. Dr. Viswanathan is the author of The Deliberate Doctorate: A Values-Focused Journey to Your PhD, published by On Campus, an imprint of UBC Press.

A lifelong learner, Dr. Viswanathan has over 20 years of experience as an innovative planner, award-winning educator, and accomplished researcher in government and not-for-profit sectors, and in academia. Currently, an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University and Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University, Viswanathan is also a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) and a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners (FCIP).

Dr. Leela Viswanathan

Public Speaking

Motivational Talks, Discussions, and Informal Meet and Greets

As the author of The Deliberate Doctorate and a thought leader in higher education, Dr. Leela Viswanathan is available to meet with students, faculty, career educators and advisers, and university administrators for motivational talks, discussions, and informal meet and greet sessions. She is happy to develop a talk that best meets the needs of her audience and event organizers, including speaking on the following topics:

  • Debunking and addressing imposter syndrome
  • Developing an entrepreneurial and growth mindset
  • Supporting wellness throughout the PhD journey
  • Networking
  • Fostering equitable, diverse, and inclusive research environments
  • Transforming postsecondary education policy and practices

Stay Connected

Key messages from The Deliberate Doctorate show postgraduate students how their PhD journey can be driven by purpose when it is grounded in their core values and aligned with their future plans.

Follow Leela on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram at the icons below. Come back often to this website. Book launch and community event details will be posted here, and on social media, as they happen. Order your copy of The Deliberate Doctorate from UBC Press, the University of Chicago Press, or your favourite bookstore.


26 September 2023 Book Launch with Guest Reviewers, Sayed Dastgheib-Beheshti and Charlotte Lombardo, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University
28 September 2023 Book Talk and Professional Development Seminar, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, University of Waterloo
19 October 2023 Book Talk, St. John’s College, University of British Columbia
6 November 2023 Guest Speaker, Marine Management Skills Development Course, Marine Affairs Program, Faculty of Science, Dalhousie University
16 November 2023 Book Talk with Guests, Sheila Stewart, and Beverley Mullings, Another Story Bookshop, Toronto


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