Within the New Zealand university context, there has been a dramatic shift in the demographics of doctoral programs. Moving from an elitist educational environment to one that includes a variety of students from different cultures and educational and linguistic backgrounds has meant that “traditional” doctoral study, in which a student works largely alone under the supervision of just one or two more senior research scholars has become increasingly inadequate. This paper describes a qualitative research study of a cross-disciplinary, cohort-based doctoral writing initiative. Findings from the study have changed how doctoral support is conceptualised within our context and have led to the adoption of a student-focused “talk to think: think to write” peer learning environment.