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.