Tonight, I was elected president of the PhD Network of the University of Twente (P-NUT). I am very proud to be able to fulfill this role, and look forward to doing so with a superb team of board members.
Over the last few years, a great level of continuity has developed in the organization of P-NUT. An effort was made to ‘sit at the table’ where policies are made that affect PhD candidates. We have had a good number of board members, and their combined efforts have resulted in us being recognized as the official representatives of PhD candidates. In 2011, these developments towards having a more professional organization culminated in registering as an official association, and setting up a formal member structure. This way, it is much more clear who we represent. I believe that as a result of this, official bodies (like the rector magnificus, the human resources department, and the graduate school) in the university are even more willing to receive our input and to hear our opinion on an increasing number of issues.
To be part of all that, is quite the honour. I hope I can consolidate the good work P-NUT has been doing, and to finalize this professionalization process. We are doing a lot, but it would be good to have the same results with a little less effort. Now that the most important changes already are in place, I think this should be possible. In addition, we have been asked to take up a new representative role with the Twente Graduate School during 2012, which should give us very exciting new opportunities. Finally, I think we should try to increase our visibility outside the PhD community, but some interesting plans for that are in place. If we can do all that, I will be a happy president!
For those of you who do not know P-NUT: it is the official goal of P-NUT to represent, inform, and connect the PhD candidates at the University of Twente. From our website:
Representing the PhD community
- in meetings with important parties inside the UT (meetings with the Rector, Twente Graduate School, Human Resources Department)
- to PNN — the National PhD association
Informing the PhDs
- regular lunch meetings, covering various topics, such as Taxes, Housing in the Netherlands, Grant proposals, UT Optional model, thesis printing market, etc.
- information about the government decisions that might affect the PhDs
Connect the PhDs
- we organize many social activites, such as P-NUT BBQ, Cocktail Workshop, Museum Visiting, Indoor rock climbing, etc.