About Us

FinishTheDissertation.Org is a non-profit volunteer outreach hosted by Doug Reeves.  It is designed to help doctoral students organize their research, make daily progress toward their writing goals, communicate effectively with their advisors and committees and, most importantly, finish their dissertations. There are no requirements to participate other than a sincere desire to make progress toward the completion of a doctoral degree and to share successful strategies, research, and writintechniques so that other scholars can also meet their academic and professional goals.  This voluntary effort is noaffiliated with any university or corporation.  It is a simply an attempt to meet a significant need among our most committed students in one of the greatest education centers of the world. Doug Reeves will provide personal, one-to-one support, from your initial proposal through your oral defense.  There is no cost, no commercial relationships, and no obligation - just a sincere desire by you and Doug Reeves to have you finish your dissertation.

According to the Council of Graduate Students PhD project, “In the physical and biological science and technology fields, more than half of those in entering cohorts are earning a doctorate between year six and seven of a program. In the social sciences, year seven sees only a completion rate of just over 40 percent; in the humanities the figure is 29 percent.”  People who start doctoral programs are hardly sluggards – they have devoted themselves to their disciplines, to students, and often to the research projects of their professors.  But for a variety of reasons – financial support, family demands, and sheer exhaustion – many of them can’t seem to cross the final hurdle because they are not finishing the dissertation.   


                FinishTheDissertation.Org will provide students with the practical advice and personal coaching that they need to complete the academic challenges involved with completing a dissertation.  Moreover, this group will challenge future scholars to assist colleagues in a non-competitive and mutually supportive environment.   Although each student will set individual goals, there are some consistent steps toward dissertation completion:

  • Narrow the Focus – Most dissertation proposals contain the scope of a dozen books, only one of which is required by most universities to meet the requirements for a dissertation. 
  • Develop a Cohort – We encourage students who share similar timelines to make sincere commitments to walk across the stage together and to provide emotional and academic support to one another throughout the process.  Friday morning meetings – virtually or face-to-face – will encourage this commitment.
  • Commit to Weekly Research  – Students to identify other doctoral candidates who have similar research interests and commit to sharing one research article abstract (direct quotes only – no paraphrases) every week.  The FinishTheDissertation.Org web site will facilitate this sharing, and we will use Zotero and other publicly available sources to make these abstracts available throughout the academic community.
  • Prepare for Plan B – For students involved in experimental projects, we encourage the development of “Plan B” for gaining approval for alternative procedures when experimental subject attrition or other factors prevent the completion of the original experimental plan.
  • Communicate Proactively With Advisors and Committee Members – Many graduate students, particularly after they are no longer involved in classwork, are reluctant to communicate with their advisors and committee members. Some are embarrassed because they have missed previous deadlines.  Others are separated by distance.  Most are reluctant to waste the time of a senior professor who, they know, has many other commitments.  Nevertheless, we encourage a discipline of direct, frequent, and specific communication so that the academic commitments and personal schedules of the advisors and committee members are part of the planning of the graduate student. 


As the participants in FinishTheDissertation.Org are likely to be future advisors and committee members, we hope that they will sustain this volunteer organization throughout their professional careers, helping a generation of doctoral students.   If you would like to contact Doug Reeves directly, please email:  DReeves@ChangeLeaders.com.  

Finish the Dissertation

100 Beacon Street, Boston 02116 – (781) 710-9633 – dreeves@ChangeLeaders.com