The Child and Health Symposium (J&G symposium)
The Child and Health symposium is an initiative of the department holding the same name at the VU University Medical Center of Amsterdam. This symposium is aimed at bridging the gaps between scientific research and the real world setting. The department of Child and Health is determined to conduct innovative research of high quality which will result in the development of effective and feasible programs to improve children’s quality of life.
My colleague Vera van den Berg and I were the initiators of this initiative. The program of this symposium is a joint effort of all team members of the department. I was in charge of the design of the symposium program brochure, and I am kind of proud of the outcome. Click here to see it.
Groningen Graduate Interest Network (GRIN)
GRIN is an independent organization aimed at representing the interests of PhD candidates in Groningen. GRIN is affiliated with the PNN (Promovendi Netwerk Nederland) and is frequently in contact with PhD candidates in other universities in the Netherlands. GRIN has been considered as a politically oriented organization, since our goal is to preserve and improve the rights of PhD candidates.
The GRIN board addresses a number of issues, such as the employment status of PhD candidates, as well as concerns related to visa and taxation in the Netherlands. To this end, we collaborate closely with the University Council (U-Raad) and PNN. Moreover, our board participates in helpful discussions with staff members of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen over issues related to higher education. Twice a year we organize a meeting with representatives of PhD council in different graduate schools in Groningen. These meetings are aimed at exchanging experiences, promoting collaborations and why not sparkle constructive discussion between different research schools.
The GSMS PhD development conference: Focus your future
The GSMS PhD Development Conference took place on the 16th and 17th of May, in the University Medical Center Groningen. The conference’s main objectives were to increase awareness on the ‘market’ value of a PhD and give an overview of the available job opportunities for a PhD graduate. In addition, transferable skills gained during the PhD trajectory were highlighted. Several lectures, workshops and interactive formats were planned around three themes, Transferable Skills’, Mechanics of Career Planning, and, Translating Science. Moreover, six former PhDs shared their own experiences and career choices during a discussion panel, aimed at giving GSMS PhD candidates valuable insights on how to maximize job positions in different organizations.
As a communication officer, I was in charge of developing and managing all communications platforms to keep the PhDs informed about the timeline of conference events. In general, communications occurred via the website, e-mail and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Finally, several posters as well as a conference book were created in collaboration with the other members of the conference organizing committee.
PhD council of the Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience (BCN) graduate school
The PhD council of the BCN graduate school represents the interests of PhD candidates within this organization. In collaboration with the staff members of the BCN graduate school, the council members make an effort in safekeeping and improving the quality of the educational program. To this end, the council sends out surveys to all candidates in order to collect their opinions on issues related to teaching, supervision and education. In addition, the BCN PhD council organizes several social events aimed at promoting communication within BCN. I have been a member, as well as chair, of the BCN PhD council for a period of two years.