‘Everyone has been affected by recent crises – directly or indirectly,’ Verena Menzel, one of the event’s organizers from P-NUT (PhD Network of the University of Twente), explains why the theme of the event was chosen. ‘Because of the pandemic, we lost access to labs, to colleagues on campus, to conferences, partner universities. Many colleagues are also affected by the war in Ukraine and the housing crisis, trying to find affordable accommodation in Enschede. This impacts your daily life and work, there is no hiding from it.’
To help doctoral candidates deal with these situations, the P-NUT Day programme covers topics such as personal branding, thesis printing, stress management and climate change, including a keynote by Sjoukje Philips from the World Weather Attribution initiative.
‘Our research is increasingly and inevitably being affected by crises, creating common stressors for PhDs,’ says Menzel. ‘As researchers, we are usually highly interested in topics like the climate crisis. We read the latest articles about it and that naturally leads to worries. This goes hand in hand with stress about the future – future of your research and career, going to academia or industry. If the whole world is changing, how will that impact your work and life?’
The organizers hope that the event will mainly serve as an opportunity for people to connect. ‘There are so many PhDs and EngDs who have never been in touch before,’ says Menzel. ‘This way they can get insights from colleagues whose research might be connected to theirs, or who might be dealing with similar personal challenges. The day is also open to students who are considering to do a PhD or EngD. Everyone is welcome to register.’