In this opinion article, I would like to respond to the recent piece written by a fellow doctoral candidate of the UT, Diana Garcia-Gonzalez. Above all, I would like to thank Diana for sharing her side of the story with the community. At the same time, I would like to take the opportunity to clarify some potential misunderstandings or misconceptions about what has been communicated or what has been done by P-NUT’s Include-U project.
I am writing this text as a reaction to an article recently published on U-Today. The title stated; ‘PhDs don’t feel connected to the university’. The piece only quotes one side of the story; the side of P-NUT’s study. With this text, I would like to share my impressions on this piece and share my side of the story — as my experience as a UT PhD is very different from the one portrayed in the previous piece.
P-NUT (PhD Network of the University of Twente) has started Include-U, a project to facilitate inclusion of international doctoral candidates at the UT. As its first step, P-NUT conducted research into experiences of international PhDs. ‘Based on these interviews, we see there’s a problem with inclusion. The sense of belonging to the UT is missing.’
Menig promovendus ziet de verdediging met alle ceremoniële poespas als een feestelijk hoogtepunt. Het is de bekroning op vier jaar hard werken. Maar nu, in coronatijd, rest er slechts het digitale alternatief. En dat voelt voor veel promovendi niet goed.
Many PhD students regard the defense, with all its ceremonial rules, as the grand finale of his or her research. It is the crowning glory of four years of hard work. But now, during the corona crisis, there is only the digital alternative. And that doesn't feel right to many PhD candidates.
UT researchers Anna Sperotto and Massimo Sartori are joint winners of the first edition of the (PhD) Best Supervisor Award. ‘As a supervisor, you need to understand that your student is a whole person, not a machine producing academic papers.’
‘The university should be more proactive, not just extinguish fires,’ says P-NUT, the PhD Network of the University of Twente. It’s their reaction to the latest Arbo Unie’s Annual Review 2019, which also mentions the recommendation to ‘offer PhD students readily accessible, ongoing support’.
The PhD Network of the University of Twente (P-NUT) has conducted a survey to assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on UT doctoral candidates. Its results show that 50% of them expect delays due to mental health issues and that 75% of the respondents are less productive working from home.
The corona crisis has put research on hold. This impacts all science, but especially PhDs and young researchers are concerned about the situation. Many share the same fear: not being able to finish their research on time. ‘Most PhDs worry about the situation. None of them know if they will be allowed to extend their deadlines,’ says the PhD Network of the University of Twente (P-NUT).
‘It’s easy for PhDs to become isolated, to drown in research. Through this event, we want to show them that there is support and many opportunities,’ says P-NUT president Roberto Cruz as he describes the upcoming PhD/PDEng Day, held on the 21st of November in DesignLab.
De jaarlijkse PhD Day staat donderdag in het teken van de toekomst van de wetenschap. In het ITC-gebouw krijgen de deelnemende promovendi lezingen en workshops over het thema voorgeschoteld. Dit jaar zijn voor het eerst de PhD’s van alle 4TU’s welkom.
Het promovendinetwerk P-NUT koos donderdagavond een nieuw bestuur. Jan Hofste (ITC) is de nieuwe voorzitter. Het bestuur bestaat verder uit Özlem Demirel (TNW) en Vlad Tkachuk (TNW). ‘We willen nog meer als belangenbehartiger optreden.’
PhD Day 2017 is taking place tomorrow. The event will focus on career opportunities for PhDs and its keynote speaker will be an accomplished UT alumnus, who will also discuss what it’s like to live inside the real ‘Silicon Valley’ house.
Stop the experiment with PhD candidates and do not provide them with dubious contracts. Those are two of the main points presented by the PhD Network Netherlands (PNN - Promovendi Netwerk Nederland) in their official plan.
Sooner or later, all PhD´s finish their research and need to face the decision on what to do next. That is why this year´s PhD Day aimed to prepare UT´s PhD candidates for the job market. Academia, industry, entrepreneurship or perhaps the government? The PhD Day 2015 gave participants a chance to look into all these options.