29 Apr

A time for PhD organization to evolve

The PhD Network at the University of Twente (P-NUT) aims at providing an easy and detailed platform for PhD-related issues: professional as well as personal. P-NUT stays in close contact with the University Board, Personnel Department (PA&O) and National PhD-representatives (PNN) to monitor developments which might have consequences for PhDs at the University. As of last week, I joined their board.

My main task will be to follow developments in Dutch politics, regarding the bursary system. There are several reasons against this system listed by the Dutch PhD Network:

  • PhD’s teach and do other work besides their thesis, so they are employees rather than students
  • With the bursary system, the legal position of PhD’s will be much weaker
  • The bursary system will make getting your PhD less attractive, which is bad for science in general
  • With the bursary system, PhD’s will no longer be allowed to teach, which greatly reduces the number of teachers in higher education and looses out on the opportunity for young academics to train their teaching skills.
  • The Dutch government argues to aim for a knowledge economy. With the bursary system talented young academics will be more likely to ‘brain drain themselves’ by going abroad to obtain their PhD, rather than contributing to the Dutch knowledge economy

Our university newspaper (UTnieuws) interviewed our new president of the PhD Network: Giovane Moura.

This month Giovane Moura, 29, was elected by his fellow board members as president of the PhD Network of the University of Twente (P-NUT). He talked about the challenges he faces and how life in the Netherlands compares to Brazil.

When asked what the goal of the new board is, he said:

Since its inception, P-NUT has been active in representing and helping the PhD community. We organize social activities along with information sessions on a spectrum of topics. Our membership has increased and interest in our activities. The next step is for P-NUT to become a formal organization, with registered members–what we call ‘professionalization.’

The whole board is motivated and working hard on this task and we have the full support of Rector Brinksma. We believe the professionalization of P-NUT is going to give us much more visibility and recognition.

Read the whole interview on the website of UTnieuws.

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