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Dissertation Boot Camp

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the Dissertation Boot Camp logo "The dissertation accelerator" with a play/skip forward button graphic

Welcome to Academic Year 2021-22!


DBC Session 4 "After Dark" (virtual over Zoom) will run from Feb 7 – Feb 18 (weekdays) from 5 – 9 p.m. Registration will open online, here, at 10 a.m. on January 31 and close Feb 4.

Planning ahead? View the full year schedule

What is it?

The Dissertation Boot Camp is a free program that gives graduate students a chance to make serious progress on a dissertation, master’s thesis, or other graduate writing project. Students show up, ready to write; the Hume Center provide snacks, supplies, and a highly productive work environment.

With the exception of two "one week-long" camps we will run this summer, all camps provide students with a total of 10 writing days. "The Classic" Boot Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., while the "After Dark" and "Before Dawn" Boot Camps are designed for graduate students who have classes or other obligations during the day and want to write in the evening or early morning. "After Dark" Boot Camps run from 5 to 9 p.m. "Before Dawn" Camps run from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. We are happy to note that based on feedback from previous Dissertation Boot Campers, we are also offering a few sessions that begin at 1 and 2 p.m. Please review all dates below.

Why does it work?

Dissertation Boot Camp helps students learn to write more productively, and often to produce better writing, by providing four critical elements: 1) space with minimal distractions; 2) writing regimen/routine; 3) peer motivation and support; and 4) expert writing consultants. While the program focuses on helping students improve writing productivity, we also hope that students will take away with them writing habits and strategies that will aid them in writing projects in the future. To learn more about what to expect in a Dissertation Boot Camp, and for information about our policies, please download our Boot Camp handout.

Registration Process (Online)

  • Registration is available via a Google form link on this web page at 10 a.m. two weeks before each camp begins, except when noted.
  • Online Boot Camps are limited to 26 participants.
  • Camps are filled on a first-come, first serve basis. Preference is given to participants who have not attended a previous Boot Camp.
  • We will provide a wait list via the Google form once registration meets capacity.
  • You will receive an email a few days before the Boot Camp begins to confirm your space.
  • If you have any questions regarding Dissertation Boot Camps, please email

Registration Process (In-person once all regular Hume activity resumes back on campus)

  • Boot Camps are limited to 16 participants
  • Camps are filled on a first-come, first serve basis
  • Registration starts at 10:00 a.m., in person, usually two weeks before each camp begins. Note that some registrations run for one week ONLY from Monday to Friday, the week before the Boot Camp. This will be noted on this page and on the schedule.
  • We recommend that students come to the Hume Center (Bldg. 250) in person to register and complete a Student Participation Fee Agreement (see description of the Agreement below) 
  • Preference is given to participants who have not attended a previous Boot Camp and who have completed the Fee Agreement
  • You will receive an email a few days before Boot Camp begins to confirm your space
  • If you have any questions regarding Dissertation Boot Camps, please email

Monetary incentive

*Applies to the in-person DBC only and not the online DBC.

We collect a Fee Agreement to encourage Boot Camp participants to complete the program. Consequently, students complete their registration by filling out a Student Participation Fee Agreement. This agreement authorizes the Hume Center to charge $100 to participants' Stanford University bill if they do not fully attend the Camp. 


Once you have completed a Boot Camp, we collect your feedback in order to improve our program. Please help us by completing this Boot Camp Survey for 2021-2022. 

Additional Resources 

Establishing an Effective Academic Writing Group: Starter Kit

This kit is useful as a guide for any student interested in starting up an effective writing group that will last!  There are three basic types of writing groups:  feedback groups (reviewing student writing), "writing job" groups (meeting just to write), or goal-setting groups (meeting to set goals and report).  We strongly recommend that every member of a new writing group read the kit and use the worksheets to establish a writing group that works best for the group.

Dissertation Boot Camp Starter Kit

If you are interested in starting your own Dissertation Boot Camp in a department or program, please email the Hume Center for our Dissertation Boot Camp starter kit.