PhD Movies Screening in Filmtheater ’t Hoogt

Wednesday 27 January 2016 from 17:45 to 21:00
Filmtheater ‘t Hoogt – Hoogt 4, 3512 GW, Utrecht
Piled Higher and Deeper: Still in Grad School” is the sequel to the film adaptation of the popular comic strip “Piled Higher and Deeper” by Jorge Cham. The film takes a smart and humorous look at the world of academia through the eyes of four grad students, and features real academics (including a Nobel Prize winner!) in many of the roles. Click here to view the trailer.
The PhD Movie 1 takes a humorous and poignant look at four graduate students as they grapple with research, being a teaching assistant and finding balance in their over-worked lives. The PhD Movie 2 looks at themes of competition in research, overcoming writer’s block, and finding your voice.
Please join The PhD Movies screening on 27 January 2016 organised by Prout | PhD Network Utrecht and the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS).
Sign up now! The event is free for PhD candidates. Registration is limited to 130 seats, first come first serve!


Prout calls on Executive Board to improve status of PhD candidates

On 19 May, Prout sent a letter to the Executive Board to draw their attention to the problems that especially bursary PhD candidates of Utrecht University encounter. These PhD candidates neither have an employee status nor a student status within the University, causing them to find themselves disadvantaged legally and socially. For example, they don’t have access to housing facilities for students (because they are not students), but neither can they find accommodation through the social and private rental sector (because they do not have a labour contract). Another problem is that they have no voting rights at University and Faculty Council elections. Prout has urged the Executive Board to give bursary PhD candidates and PhD candidates employed by the UMCU the same rights and resources as their fellow PhD candidates employed by the university. Read the English translation of our letter here.

PhD candidates elected into the University Council and two Faculty Councils

At the University Council elections in April, two PhD candidates were elected: Eliane Fankhauser (119 votes) in the section alpha/gamma and Frank Hendriks (130 votes) in the section beta/medical. Marco Derks (166 votes), who was on position 5 in the section alpha/gamma of the VLAM list, missed 7 votes to reach the quota and was, therefore, not elected. Together they got 36% of all votes on candidates from academic staff!

Hilke Grootelaar has been elected into the Faculty Council of Law, Economics and Governance, and Lisanne Walma into the Faculty Council of Science. Unfortunately, the other two PhD candidates running for a position in a Faculty Council (Willem-Bart Bartels at the Faculty of Geosciences and Lukas van den Berge at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance) have not been elected.

Prout wants to thank all of you who voted for one of the PhD candidates running for a position in one of the Councils. Aside from the fact that PhD candidates can provide a fresh view on issues at stake, Prout finds it important that the interests of PhD candidates are promoted in the Councils. We wish Eliane, Frank, Hilke and Lisanne all the best in their work and look forward to a fruitful cooperation.

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)