How We Help Develop Emotional Resilience in the Rigorous Research Environment

The Challenge

86% of the early-career researchers reported levels of anxiety.
67% of graduate students reported feeling too overwhelmed to be productive.

The Goals

Zhennovate’s coaching app was employed to help boost emotional resilience and productivity for a group of graduate students and postdocs as they worked through rigorous academic studies and research.

Our Approach

Step 1: Understand users’ struggles

We diagnosed the specific stressors experienced by the group of early-career researchers.

Step 2: Customize for users’ needs

To address relevant stressors, we customized our life coaching solution to support researchers on the following topics:

Step 3: Deliver micro-coaching to enable daily experiential learning, embedding emotional resilience skills-building in tiny moments

Zhennovate’s coaching app delivered the on-demand micro-coaching curriculum to help researchers work through their personal stressors.

Researchers spent 5-10 minutes a day working through the app’s coaching-like interactions at their own pace.


Results – Building resilience muscle one day at a time

Results happen as the app continuously reinforces researchers’ mindset and behavioral shifts in daily work.

In just 4 weeks of engagement, users experienced the following:


Gained unexpected blind spot awareness


Observed reduced anxiety level

User satisfaction


Would recommend it to others

A Sample of Aha Moments Experienced

Here’s a sample of anonymized transformative moments researchers articulated on the app as they worked through their personal stressors:

As a result of learning about my perfectionism, I decided to show my plan to my adviser before I make it perfect, because I am supposed to be learning, and if I get feedback earlier, I will be able to learn faster.

I understood how powerful my fictional heroines can be, and how motivating it is to think of them.

Through the program, I learned a bit better about how to reflect on my experiences – understand what my core values and and when I get frustrated about something, why it is – because it often doesn’t fit with my values; I also took more actions.

I was discouraged and caught up in thinking that my current job does not have any purpose. The lesson was very timely, I realized that I had ignored how my work in algebraic geometry is used by physicists and is therefore fundamentally meaningful.

Fear comes from inner critic, who is not necessarily my enemy, because I can gain insight from it.

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