Work-life Balance in Academia is an online coaching & training programme 
for driven academics who long for more balance in their lives

Coaching & training programme 
for driven academics who long for more balance in their lives

Is this you?
You are very driven, you long to make a difference with your work and at home. But at the same time you feel tired, overwhelmed or stressed and you struggle with feeling balanced. Maybe you think that a poor work-life balance is just is part of what it means to work in academia. Maybe your struggle with balance makes you doubt whether you belong in academia. Maybe you feel that you have to make a choice between feeling balanced or living your ambitions. 

Work-life balance can feel daunting or even impossible when working in academia 

Competing demands on your time and effort from teaching, research, getting funding etc. Moreover there is also the fierce competition and the uncertainty about contracts or career opportunities. And you have work that is never finished. In this kind of environment finding balance is challenging! Although finding balance in academia is no easy feat, it is certainly possible to feel balanced! 

You can make an impact in your work and private life 

and stay balanced along the way!  

To be able to find balance in this kind of greedy work environment you need to get crystal clear on what really matters to you. In other words you need to have a strong internal compass that can guide your choices. And it requires conscious and daily actions and attention to manage your energy and to manage your attention.

As an academic you are used to figuring things out on your own. But you don't have to struggle with finding balance on your own. This coaching programme will help take back the steering wheel of your work-life balance. So you can be really effective in your work, make your impact as an academic and feel balanced at the same time! 

Take back the steering wheel of your work-life balance!


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    You will get clear on what really matters to you so you can make choices that fit what you find important.
  • You will learn how to manage your energy so you feel more energized and get more work done.
  • You will learn how to manage your attention so you can really make a impact at work and at home
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    You will get lots of practical tools you can put to use immediately that help you feel balanced and be effective
  • You will learn to incorporate conscious selfcare practices in your day.  Practices that demand little time but have a big impact

Tuned to your busy life, your questions, your dilemma’s and your needs! 

I am Samula Mescher, PhD. I believe that every moment of choice is a chance to take one step closer to what really suits you. Making choices that really suit who you are and what you want out of life while taking good care of yourself, creates light, joy and energy in your life! Daily selfcare and making choices with your heart and your head will enable you to make a difference, to really make your unique contribution to this world and feel balanced at the same time!

I really know from experience what science asks of you

A former academic myself, I know from experience what academia asks of you.  I obtained my PhD on the topic of work-life balance in 2011 and I have worked in academia for 11 years. During this period I became a mother twice, juggled motherhood with my ambitions, and in the end I felt that academia no longer suited what I wanted out of life.  I also know from experience what balance and imbalance feel like. While working in academia I suffered a burnout from working too long on willpower instead of joy and ignoring my boundaries for too long. In this program I bring my personal experiences with balance and imbalance; my research on work-life balance and what I learned from coaching different people on finding a healthy work life balance. I also bring over 10 years of experience in many different work environments (as a consultant, a policy advisor, HR advisor and entrepreneur). This rich background enables me to help you feel balanced while really making the contribution you want to make both at work and at home.

How would it be to

Enjoy your work and your friends & family instead of feeling stretched and depleted

To feel energized at the end of your workday

Have practical tools and steps in your toolbox to feel balanced and have more impact

Feel supported in this process

Live your ambitions, make the contribution you long for and to feel balanced at the same time

The Work-Life Balance in Academia Curriculum

These powerful online modules have maximum impact with a limited time investment. The lessons and modules are paced in such a way that they always fit your busy life and schedule. 

Balance in context

You'll become aware of resources in your work and personal context to help you feel more balanced. You will also take a critical look at hampering factors in your context. You will get more insight into why balance is difficult in academia and what steps are needed to find balance in this challenging context. This module will also help you to look with mild eyes at yourself when you don't feel balanced. 

Your internal compass

At the end of this module you will no longer feel adrift in a rough sea of all the choices, tasks, expectations and different roles that pull and push you in so many directions. You will have a clear internal compass that can guide you in your life choices and everyday choices. You'll learn what balance and imbalance mean for you personally, you'll learn about feeling and honouring your boundaries and will get very clear on out what really matters to you. Your internal compass will help you the get behind the steering wheel of how balanced you feel and the impact you want to make. You will feel calmer and more focused because your compass gives you a clear sense of direction. 

Energy management

We'll debunk myths around energy. You'll discover and experiment with very practical and powerful tools that help you consciously manage your energy during the day so you no longer feel drained at the end of the day. You will learn and experience how you can come home feeling energized after an intense day at work. 

Attention management 

This module helps you to focus your attention and actions on what really matters to you, on what has the biggest impact. You will get practical tools to help you prioritize and help you to make choices both at work and at home.  You will also learn how to graciously say no (because making choices inevitably involves saying no!). You will learn how to deal with the difficult emotions you might feel when making choices and saying no. After this module you will feel confident, supported and equipped to make choices, prioritize and say no so you can focus your attention on what you need and what you want to accomplish in your life.

Daily selfcare

I'll help you design and implement your own daily selfcare routine.  A selfcare routine that fits your busy life and your priorities. You will learn how to make selfcare a daily habit (so you do it automatically, just like brushing your teeth). You will also learn and experiment with different powerful practices for selfcare.  Your daily selfcare routine will be a solid foundation for you feeling balanced. 

Personal balance plan 

At the end of this module you'll have a concrete action plan in place that will help you stay on track after this programme ends. A plan that is suitable for the most tired version of yourself.  A personal balance plan that builds in support to help you stay on track and has backups for difficult moments.  You will leave this programme with confidence, trust and a really practical balance plan. You will be fully equipped to make the impact you want to make in your work and private life while staying balanced along the way!


You are a driven academic. You really want to make an impact both at work and at home and you want to feel more balanced. 

  • You are committed to actively work on finding more balance
  • You are willing to stretch your comfort zone and really investigate and try out new things or new behaviour
  •  You are ready to get behind the steering wheel of your life!

Is this you? Then I would really love to work with you.

How it works

The Work-Life Balance in Academia programme is a powerful combination of individual coaching, online and live training and peer group support. 

Work-Life Balance in Academia includes:

  • a 4 month journey with six powerful and practical modules
  • 3 individual coaching sessions of one hour (by phone, Zoom or face-to-face) to delve deep into your specific needs, questions, and situation. 
  • 5 live and interactive training sessions with a group of like minded driven academics
  • 12 gently paced weekly lessons that are suitable for even the busiest schedule
  • A private facebook group where you can connect with other participants, get support, ask questions and get feedback in between sessions. The facebook group will stay available to you long after the course ends — you’ll have this network for years to come.
  • training videos, audio exercises and worksheets 
  • reminders and sources of accountability to help you to put new ways of working and living into action- completely tuned to a hectic and busy schedule 

"Samula is not only an expert on work-life balance challenges, but she also offers practical tools that I can use immediately in my daily work at the university. I have experienced the benefits of this noticeably both in the ‘work domain and in the ‘life’ domain. Also, Samula has a very pleasant manner. Looking forward to more of this! Thank you, Samula"

Marieke, assistant professor

"In an inspiring way Samula helps you in finding your own work-life balance. She gives diverse helpful tips that are easy to implement in your daily life”

Renze Salet, assistant professor

"As a coach, Samula is a beautiful combination of power and empathy. When you have ignored you boundaries again and have pushed on and on, you want somebody to listen to you without judging. But this sympathetic ear should not go along with all your twisted thoughts and excuses. Just as important is holding a mirror up to your face and/or asking questions that make you realize what is keeping you from doing things differently. "

Berber, associate professor

"I have participated in a workshop work-life balance as part of trainings programme for female scientists at the university. It has resulted in lasting changes in my daily routine.  Samula has a gift for really listening to someone’s story and thinking along with you. I would definitely recommend Samula as a coach."

Lotte, assistant professor

“Thank you again, it definitely got me undertaking a reflection on my life from a new perspective, which I haven't been able to do for years.” 

Assistant professor

"I attended Samula's full-day workshop on work-life balance at my university, which was extremely helpful to me. Previously, I was focusing only on time management, and that was not helping me. For the past weeks, I have taken some minutes in the morning to plan my work-life balance of the day based on a handout from the workshop - and things have been way better than they used to. Thanks for your work, Samula!"

Paula, assistant professor

Sign up for Work-Life Balance in Academia

A powerful combination of individual coaching, online & live training and peer group support 

  • 4 month programme with 6 powerful and practical modules 
  • 12 gently paced weekly lessons 
  • training videos, training audio, exercises and downloadable workbooks 
  • 3 individual coaching sessions of 1 hour (face to face or by phone or skype)
  • 5 live & interactive online training sessions
  • access to the private facebook group for peer group support

Registration is now closed

The next round of the Work-life Balance in Academia programme starts 

September 2019

Sign up below to receive inspiration from Samula and to be on the list to get advanced information about the next round of Work -life Balance in Academia


Coaching sessions are done by telephone or by Zoom. Coaching sessions can be done in Dutch or English. When you are based in the Netherlands you can also opt for face to face coaching sessions. (Face to face coaching sessions will take place in Ede. The location is 5 minutes from the highway and a 10 minute walk from the train station Ede-Wageningen. ) The coaching sessions will take place during the four months the programme runs. 

Something for you?

Would you like to explore whether the Work-Life Balance in Academia programme is a fit for you? Do you want to talk to me see whether I would be the right coach for you? Send me an email at or click the button below. And we'll schedule a phone call to explore this together at no cost.


What is th​​​​e time investment of this programme?

​How does the online part of the programme work?

What if my life gets super busy during the course, and I can’t complete it at this time?

I’m not sure if the online learning  would really work for me?

What if I cannot attend the live training sessions?

When and where will the coaching sessions take place? 

How long will I have access to ​​​​the training material?

Any other questions? 

Your application is definite when I have received your payment.  This training and coaching programme is a product of By signing up for the programme you declare that you understand that your commitment is necessary to get the desired results and that this is your own responsibility. You are also responsible for being able to be present during the coaching sessions, live training days and for doing the exercises. You cannot ask for a refund if you have missed a coaching session or a live training day.  By signing up for this programme you give consent to these terms and conditions. 

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