Newsletter October 2017

Dear PhD candidates of Utrecht University,

Did you know that in the presence of cats people are more relaxed? This was shown in research done by persistent PhD candidates like you and me.

While I am hammering away on my PhD in geosciences, I also try to aid my fellow PhDs by chairing Prout. Prout represents all PhDs of Utrecht University, including international, external and bursary PhDs. To this end, we want to get to know you, the reasons why you love doing a PhD and the reasons that you perhaps sometimes don’t.

Maybe we can help you out? You can always contact us at, visit our website or have a chat with us during one of the activities organized by Prout. Keep an eye on our Facebook to stay up to date. In case you are appealed to represent your fellow PhDs, join the team of Prout representatives.

Lastly, consider the following saying, it may keep you sane while completing your PhD: “A PhD who makes no mistakes, never makes anything”.

Warm wishes,
Mariska Schimmel
Prout Chair

Pieter Duisenberg elected as president VSNU
The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has appointed a new President. Pieter Duisenberg, a former member of Parliament for the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, (VVD) will take over as of October 1st 2017. As President of the VSNU, Pieter will head the organization responsible for representing Dutch Universities to other governmental and civic organizations, including parliament.

His appointment has raised some eyebrows, because of the views he held while in office in the Second Chamber. ReThink UvA has launched a petition against his appointment.

Lustrum Prout
Prout is a year older! This year, we will be celebrating 30 years of representing all PhDs at Utrecht from many, if not all, Graduate Schools.

During these years, we have not only organized networking and informational events, but we have also influenced the legal status and working conditions, psychological support for PhDs, and the rights and obligations of the employers.

Success of the UPP
The Utrecht PhD Party (UPP) has been elected for University Council, thanks to you! The University Council is an important part in the decision making process at Utrecht University, as they have the final say in policy making, and advice the University board.

Although they have just started, they have wasted no time to put PhD matters on the agenda. They say that, in fact, it will be one of the key points that the whole council will focus on this academic year. To learn more about their plans, take a look at their website, or follow them on Facebook and twitter to get the latest updates.

Prout is looking for representatives
Are you interested in what Prout does and want to represent your fellow PhDs? We have various vacancies for the new academic year.

We welcome anyone who wants to get involved, but are currently in need of representatives from veterinary medicine, and law and economics, as well as a representative wishing to be our secretary.