Feel free to share this page with your colleagues. Print this page
The PHD Movies!

The PHD Movies are great jumping off points for conversations about:
  • Achieving work-life balance in grad school.
  • Finding (and losing) your motivation.
  • Setting expectations with your faculty supervisor.
  • Competing for research funds.
  • Research ethics.
  • Finishing your thesis.
And they are great fun to watch! Read the synopses and watch the trailers below.




The PHD Movie 1 takes a humorous and poignant look at four graduate students as they grapple with research, being a teaching assistant and finding balance in their over-worked lives.

The story follows Winston, a first year graduate student who wants to join a research group to do his Ph.D., and Cecilia, a teaching assistant and grad student who loses her motivation and passion for her work.
"I really enjoyed your movie because it helped me get my academic life back in perspective." -Kaitlyn, grad student, Michigan Tech U.
"I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time! Great movie!!"
-Paige, grad student, U. Wisconsin
"All PhD students, whatever their discipline, have some things in common, and Cham's movie, tapping adeptly into that shared culture, will provide a welcome break between supervision sessions and grading papers. And it should be required viewing for their professors: they may even learn something from it."
-The Times Higher Education




The PHD Movie 2 looks at themes of competition in research, overcoming writer's block, and finding your voice. Winston is now an integral part of Prof. Smith's Lab. However, the current economic situation has put the lab in peril as research funding levels are at an all-time low. The group must travel to an important academic conference and square off against a rival research group as they compete for results and grant money. Meanwhile, Cecilia's advisor declares he is going on sabbatical, which means she has to finish writing her thesis or be stuck in grad school another year.
"It's Awesome." -Shaun, grad student, Caltech
"We can use films [such as The PHD Movie] to start a conversation about how to nurture the practitioners and purveyors of science."
-The Journal Nature
For questions or screening inquiries, please contact us at:
movie[at]phdcomics.com or call +1 (626) 765-1259.