Doing a PhD project is often a challenging endeavour. Difficulties of the PhD process can pertain to stress, deadlines, work overload, setbacks and doubts, work/life imbalance, perfectionism, impostor syndrome, and feelings of loneliness, depression or anxiety (see the literature overview below for more information). The Graduate School aims to help its PhD candidates to deal with these challenges with the following means:
Providing clear and easy to find information
- The PhD handbook offers an overview of the most relevant information pertaining to your PhD project at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Keep in mind that particular regulations and procedures will vary between departments, which will be clearly indicated whenever relevant. Hardcopy are available at your departmental secretary office and at the Graduate School office.
Organising social support and academic engagement
- Our Soft landing programme aims to make newly arrived candidates feel at home in their new research and living environment.
- In the PhD peer-to-peer programme an experienced PhD candidate guides newly-arrived candidates through the starting stage of their PhD.
Promoting social adaption, matching cultural expectations and overcoming language obstacles
- In the course English academic writing for PhD candidates you can work on your English language skills, specifically on the academic writing process.
Stimulating adequate supervision
- The Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) is mandatory and helps you to make clear agreements about the progress of your project and to regularly schedule meetings with your doctoral supervision team.
Discussing work-life balance
- In several skills-oriented courses the work-life balance is discussed. Furthermore, dr. Claartje van Sijl offers personal coaching as a work-life balance coach for academics. In individual sessions, you learn to make the best and conscious choices.
Organising stress reducing sessions
- The course Guided peer support for PhD candidates offers the opportunity to find solutions for issues and problems in everyday work with a group of fellow PhD candidates.
Offering skills development courses on time and project management
- In the course How to finish your PhD in time you learn how to apply time and project management, how to negotiate in an academic network and how to practise networking.
- In the course Project management: doing less but achieving more you do a number of practical exercises to enhance your research planning skills.
- In the course Self-presentation: confidence, focus, persuasion you learn to increase your focus and reduce your nerves.
Organising a safety net of confidential and personal counsellors
- Several confidential counsellors can support you individually with supervisory issues, work-life balance and stress at work, academic integrity, harassment or unequal treatment.
- Castelló, M., Pardo, M., Sala-Bubaré, A. et al. (2017) “Why do students consider dropping out of doctoral degrees? Institutional and personal factors”. Higher Education (74.6) 1053-1068.
- Doyle, P. and Pio, E. (2017) “Supervising International Students’ Theses and Dissertations”. Academy of Management Learning & Education (16.1).
- Expertisecentrum Onderzoek en Ontwikkelingsmonitoring (2016) “De mentale gezondheid van doctorandi in Vlaanderen”.
- Van Ewijk, W. Folia (2016) “Meer dan één op drie UvA-promovendi is mogelijk depressief”.
- Aan de Brugh, M. NRC (2018) “Laat promovendi niet zo zwemmen”.
- De Goede, M., Belder, R. and De Jonge, J. (2014) “Promoveren in Nederland: Motivatie en loopbaanverwachtingen van promovendi” Rathenau Instituut.
- SoFoKleS (2015). “Werkdruk en prestatiedruk van het wetenschappelijk personeel”.
- Van der Weijden, I.C.M., Meijer, I., Van der Ven, I., et al. (2017) “Het mentaal welzijn van Leidse promovendi”.
- University of California, Berkeley (2014) “The Graduate Assembly Graduate Student Happiness & Well-Being Report”.
- Van Ham, T. VOX (2017) “De grootste problemen van Nijmeegse promovendi”.