What can PeerPower do for you?

Are you a PhD candidate and do you believe that an inter-disciplinary peer-group can benefit your personal development?  PeerPower is looking for four PhD candidates that can help validate their assumptions. In a 1-hour session they hope to hear from you how PeerPower could possibly help you in your PhD trajectory. Interested? Sign-up before 10 December by responding to stefan@peerpower.co. Exact date t.b.d. Check for more info: www.peerpower.co.

 

Do you have what it takes to be a PhD representative?

With around 18 representatives who, as PhD candidates, have 3-to-4-year contracts, the composition of Prout keeps changing. This means that we are always looking for new PhD candidates to join our team and who want to spend some time on improving the professional lives of their fellow PhD candidates. Do you have expertise in the use of social media? In organizing events? Or do you want to learn these valuable skills and add relevant work experience to your cv? Do you have ideas about general issues related to the position of PhD candidates? Contact one of our current representatives for more information!

Guide for external PhDs

(in Dutch)

Ben je geinteresseerd in wetenschappelijk promoveren naast of na je carriere? Of ben je al buitenpromovendus en op zoek naar tips en trics? Dan is de volgende website en het bijbehorende handboek een goed

Kaft Handboek Buitenpromovendi - geschreven door Floor Basten en Kerstin van Tiggelen

Kaft Handboek Buitenpromovendi – geschreven door Floor Basten en Kerstin van Tiggelen

startpunt! Lees de ervaringen van buitenpromovendi en de tips van hoogleraren over promoveren in deeltijd in het Handboek Buitenpromovendi.

Prout lectures on income taxes, PhD candidates can save money!

On 22 April, Prout organized two tax lectures for PhD candidates. For international PhD candidates, Dennis Reins and Patricia van Dam from TaxDirect  discussed the 30% tax ruling, the M form, and costs that can be deducted from income tax. Marianne Both from Both advocatuur gave a lecture for Dutch PhD candidates.

Many PhD candidates can save a lot of money by applying for middeling, as they experience a strong fluctuation in income when they start their PhD. To find out more about this arrangement, follow this link!

 

Revised experiments on Animals Act Potential consequences for PhD candidates

On 18 December 2014, the Experiments on Animal Act was revised in order to implement EU-Directive 2010/63/EU. The new act aims to create more transparency. Compared to the old system, the most important differences are the creation of the Animal Welfare Body and the fact that there is a Non-Technical Summary (NTS) that has to be written in Dutch. Except for these language requirements, which can be a problem for international PhD candidates, all PhD candidates who perform animal experiments will have to deal with the consequences of this change in legislation. Problems may arise from timing issues, a fee that needs to be paid and the fact that these project proposals can be written for a period of 5 years. It is important that PhD candidates are informed about this situation in order to circumvent these potential problems. Visit our website or visit the website of the CCD or Animal Welfare Body for more information

University council members and PhD representatives against the bursary PhD experiment: A letter to the Executive boards

On 24 February 2015, members of university councils and representatives of PhD organisations from the Netherlands have sent a letter to the Executive boards and Boards of directors of all Dutch universities and university medical centers on their concerns about the plans of the government to implement a bursary PhD experiment. This experiment would entail that researchers who are working on a dissertation can be considered students, instead of employees.

The aim of the letter is to draw the attention of the Executive boards to the concerns about the proposed experiment, to initiate further discussion within the university (or works) councils, and to convince the Executive boards not to take part in the experiment. The possible negative consequences are examined, and a response is given to the arguments of proponents of the experiment.

The letter was signed by more than 100 members of university councils, works councils, student councils, and representatives and national PhD organisations. Prout has signed the letter, and fully supports its content.

Read the letter against the bursary PhD experiment here in English or Dutch.

Utrechtse Promovendi: Bussemaker’s experiment promotiestudenten slecht plan

Minister Bussemaker van Onderwijs wil per 2016 een experiment starten waarbij promovendi geen werknemers van de universiteit meer zijn, maar studenten met een studiebeurs. Prout, het netwerk van Utrechtse promovendi, is kritisch. In een eerder experiment met het zogeheten bursalensysteem werden de beoogde doelen niet behaald. Prout vreest dat het experiment in zijn huidige vorm te weinig verschilt van het eerdere experiment om tot betere resultaten te leiden.

In tegenstelling tot de werknemerpromovendi hoeven promotiestudenten geen onderwijs te geven. Daardoor zouden ze zich meer kunnen concentreren op hun eigen opleiding en onderzoek. In het experiment met promotiestudenten dat de Universiteit Utrecht in de jaren negentig uitvoerde, bleek echter dat de twee typen promovendi in de praktijk niet van elkaar verschilden: het beloofde extra onderwijs voor promotiestudenten was niet beschikbaar, zij kregen niet meer begeleiding van hun promotor, en zij gaven nog steeds onderwijs.

Prout maakt zich vooral zorgen over de financiële en sociale positie van promotiestudenten en hun carrièreperspectieven. Promotiestudenten krijgen geen reiskostenvergoeding, bouwen geen pensioen op en hebben geen arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering. Als zij een beurs krijgen die even hoog is als het nettosalaris van een werknemerpromovendus, dan moeten zij deze onkosten dus uit eigen portemonnee betalen. De kans op een baan na afronding van de promotie is volgens Prout ook kleiner: werkgevers buiten de universiteit zullen het promotietraject niet als ‘werkervaring’ beschouwen, terwijl universiteiten zullen wijzen op het gebrek aan onderwijservaring.

Promoveren wordt volgens Prout op deze manier onaantrekkelijk. “Als promotiestudent kun je eind twintig zijn en nog steeds student, terwijl je voormalige studiegenoten al een paar jaar een ‘echte’ baan hebben,” aldus Prout-voorzitter Sophie van Uijen. “De Minister wil meer promovendi aantrekken, maar wij verwachten exact het tegenovergestelde.”

Government’s Academic Vision

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science has recently presented a policy document Wetenschapsvisie 2025: Keuzes voor de toekomst (Academic Vision: Choices for the Future). Two items are particularly relevant for PhD candidates.

The Minister announces – again – plans for the introduction of a bursary PhD experiment. A bursary PhD candidate is a PhD student, whereas currently most PhD candidates in the Netherlands are university employees. Prout keeps a close and critical watch on these developments.

Executive Boards (Colleges van Bestuur) will receive the legal option to give the ius promovendi to associate professors (universitair hoofddocenten). If an Executive Board decides to do so, also associate professors can become a member of the examination committee (beoordelingscommissie).

 

Jet Bussemaker by Partij van de Arbeid (CC BY 2.0)

Jet Bussemaker by Partij van de Arbeid (CC BY 2.0)