The Imposter Syndrome in Research: Why researchers often feel like frauds. A workshop led by Hugh Kearns

Tuesday 24th May 2022​

10:00am – 12.30pm​

Online - Zoom

How can it be that so many clever, competent, and capable people can feel that they are just one step away from being exposed as a complete fraud? Despite evidence that they are performing well they can still have that lurking fear that at any moment someone is going to tap them on the shoulder and say: “we need to have a chat”.

The imposter syndrome is very common amongst researchers. In research, by definition you don’t know the outcome, there are many setbacks and your work is exposed to rigorous scrutiny. The session will explain why researchers often doubt their abilities and find it hard to enjoy their successes. It will also show the links to perfectionism and self-handicapping strategies such as procrastination, avoidance and overcommitment.

At the end of this workshop you will:

  • know what the latest psychological research tells us about what the imposter syndrome is and how it operates

  • realise how widespread imposter feelings are and why researchers can feel like frauds

  • be aware of evidence-based strategies that reduce imposter feelings

All are welcome. Register for the free workshop here.

Hugh Kearns giving a presentation

Hugh Kearns

Hugh Kearns is recognised internationally as a public speaker, educator, and researcher. He regularly lectures at universities across the world and has recently returned from lecture tours of the UK and the US which included lectures at Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Stanford. His areas of expertise include self-management, positive psychology, work-life balance, learning and creativity. He has coached individuals, teams, and executives in a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors. Read more at:

University of Westminster
309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW
General enquiries: +44 (0)20 7911 5000
Course enquiries: +44 (0)20 7915 5511

The University of Westminster is a charity and a company limited by guarantee.
Registration number: 977818 England