The elections for the University Council are approaching fast. From 12-16 May you have the opportunity to vote some more PhD candidates into the Council. Who are the people you can vote for, and what do they aim for? The 11 PhDoc candidates introduce themselves:
1. Gareth O’Neill (FGW/LUCL)
Gareth is a PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) and is the current party leader of PhDoc. As a member of the Faculty Council of Humanities he represents the interests of PhDs/postdocs (on faculty matters) in meetings with the Faculty Board. His goal in the coming university elections is to place minimally one PhD in the University Council to represent the interests of PhDs/postdocs (on university matters) in meetings with the Executive Board. Gareth’s role in PhDoc is simple: to give a voice to the PhDs/postdocs at Leiden University and to promote and defend their interests on any and all pressing matters (including getting settled into PhD/postdoc life in Leiden, terms of employment, working conditions, education and research, collegial interaction, and professional development).
2. Jantine Brussee (FWN/LACDR)
“Hi, my name is Jantine Brussee and since October 2013 I am a PhD candidate at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR/Pharmacology). My research is focused on extending knowledge on the relation between dose, concentrations and effects of administered drugs in children.
Research within the Leiden University is very diverse, but the problems both PhD candidates and post-docs run into are quite similar. Therefore I think it is important for PhD and post-docs to be represented in the University Council. PhDoc represents this diverse group of people, who not only play an essential role in research, but also in education.
My ultimate goal is that both students and employees of the university can focus on education and research and are not bothered by side issues.”
3. Wieneke Jansen (FGW/LUCAS)
“Being a young researcher is a matter of gaining academic expertise as well as developing skills through teaching, organizing and participating in a stimulating research community. During my BA and ResMA Classics in Leiden, I have, with great enthusiasm, combined my studies with extracurricular activities, such as board membership at two student associations and participation in the Leiden Leadership Programme at the Honours Academy. Now, as a PhD researcher (at the Faculty of Humanities, LUCAS), I am convinced that PhD’s and young researchers should have the opportunity to develop their academic skills as well as prepare themselves for the next steps in their (academic) career. I am hoping to get a seat in the University Council to put these and other important issues for PhDs and young researchers high on the University agenda!”
4. Viktorija Kostadinova (FGW/LUCL)
“After completing MA degrees in linguistics and literature and cultural studies at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium, I started working as a PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL). In late 2013 I became a member of the PhD Council at the LUCL where, together with fellow PhDs, I work towards improving the communication among PhDs and creating a better sense of community. My experience as an international student, starting with my MA studies in Belgium, and then continuing with my PhD in Leiden, gives me a good understanding of the position of international PhD candidates, and my reasons for joining PhDoc are to help international students to integrate and be more involved with (university) life in Leiden. International PhDs represent a big part of the graduate community at Leiden University, and there is still much more to be done in representing their interests and improving their experience and integration at the university.”
5. Mia Urem (FWN/IBL)
“Hi, my name is Mia Urem and I am a third year PhD student at the Institute of Biology. Since graduating from Leiden University, it has been with great pleasure that I have been researching the antibiotic producing bacteria called Streptomyces. However, every now and then, I come across certain issues, which are not related to research, but that make me think things could be done more efficiently and effectively. And especially concerning colleagues coming from abroad. I think it is important that PhDs and Postdocs are aware of the forums available to them for discussing these issues and this includes representatives being active members of the University Council.”
6. Charlotte van Schie (FSW/Psychology)
“Since September 2013 I am a PhD candidate at the Institute of Psychology at the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSW). My research project falls under two departments: Methods & Statistics and Clinical Psychology and I really enjoy this job. I find it important that there is communication with and between PhD candidates. Currently, we are setting up a platform within the FSW to promote communication between PhD candidates so they can share ideas, knowledge, difficulties and tips and meet each other.”
7. Cathelijn Waaijer (FSW/CWTS)
“My name is Cathelijn Waaijer and I work at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies, where I study the system of academic careers. Next to my academic work I’m a General Board Member of the PhD Network of the Netherlands (PNN) and hold the Appointments portfolio.”
8. Eduardo Herrera Malatesta (Archaeology)
Eduardo Herrera Malatesta obtained a MSc. in Anthropology at the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas (2004) and an MSc. in GIS and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology at University College London (2009). He has done research in archaeology and anthropology in western, central and eastern Venezuela, and taught at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Since 2013 he is a promovendus in the Faculty of Archaeology within the ERC Synergy-NEXUS 1492 project. “As an international promovendus I am sensitive to the needs and questions of those who come from abroad and find the context harsh and complex. I believe that the academic world is enriched by multiculturalism and diversity, and Leiden University is a great place to promote and facilitate that.”
9. Anne van Duijvenbode (Archaeology)
“Since 2011 I have been working on my PhD project at the Faculty of Archaeology, a continuation of my studies at Leiden University in the years before. During this period, my interest in the representation of student and employees gradually developed, first as a member of the education committee and currently as the PhD representative in the Faculty Council of Archaeology. I am convinced PhD students and other young scientists play a crucial role in the social and academic future of the Netherlands, and that this important but fragile group requires and deserves support during this phase in their career. PhDoc is crucial in the representation and support of PhD students in all institutes and faculties of Leiden University.
10. Geerten Waling (FGW/History)
“Gewoonlijk ben ik niet zo’n voorstander van de wildgroei aan medezeggenschapsorganen noch van het principe ‘politieke partij’, maar op de Universiteit Leiden is een aantal ontwikkelingen gaande waarbij bestuurders volledig voorbij gaan aan de beleving van het personeel en de studenten. Ik sta op de lijst voor PhDoc, omdat deze partij daar iets aan wil doen. Wij staan voor kleinschaligheid en het behoud (of misschien wel: herstel) van de vertrouwde, vruchtbare en vrije academische gemeenschap die de Universiteit Leiden al sinds 1575 is: het praesidium libertatis!”
11. Linda Bleijenberg (FGW/LUCAS)
“A year in the University Council has taught me how crucial it is for PhD candidates to have a voice in matters of policy that directly concern them. PhD candidates are an almost invisible group for policy makers: if we do not put things on the agenda ourselves, nothing will improve much. And there is a lot that needs improving: the awkward situation of international PhDs, the lack of career perspectives in Academe, the recurring plans to take away our benefits and pensions, the extremely hazy implementation of so-called Graduate Schools, and the continuous problem of the skewed power balance in supervisor-PhD candidate relationships, resulting in, for instance, a too high workload, too many teaching tasks, too ambitious research projects and the feeling that there is nothing to be done about it. Well, there is: get in touch with PhDoc and make yourself heard!”