PhD Council

Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities


The PhD Council is a platform by and for PhDs that are part of the Erasmus Graduate School for the Social Sciences and Humanities (EGSH). The Council was founded on the premise that the opinions, questions, issues, and thoughts of each of its members merit being heard and discussed. To this end each participating department in the EGSH has a seat in the Council by means of one representative.

The 2019-2020 PhD Council consists of eight members from the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC), Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB), Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil), Institute for Housing and Urban Development (IHS), and International Institute of Social Studies (ISS).

The EGSH PhD Council tries to represent interests of PhD candidates at EUR and facilitate means to improve PhD candidates’ working life at EUR. This year’s council (academic year 2019 – 2020) is organised around different committees. Each committee represents one of their main concerns:

  • Mental health and well-being committee
  • Organisation of the PhD trajectory (from soft landing to graduation)
  • Social events
  • Knowledge committee (review of the educational programme offered by the EGSH)

It is the council's task to advice the Dean of the Graduate School on all matters that affect doctoral education. Members of the PhD Council are part of the Programme Board as key regular PhD candidate representatives and are actively engaged in the organisational development of the Graduate School.

So if you have a question, problem or good idea, do not hesitate to contact one of them; every idea and initiative is more than welcome!



Members 2019-2020

Chair: Femke Vandenberg (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication)
Vice chair: Lise Zurné (History)
Vice chair: Sanne van der Valk (Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences)

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Department of Arts and Culture Studies
Femke Vandenberg
vandenberg@eshcc.eur.nl
Van der Goot building, M7-05

Femke Vandenberg is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. Her PhD research into the aesthetic dispositions of cultural audiences is part of the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens. Investigating the consumption of domestically produced music in the Netherlands she asks: in an increasingly globalized world, with rising populism and new forms of nationalism wat is the meaning and value of domestically produced music for differ sections of Dutch society? Femke is member of the following committees:

  • Organisation of the PhD trajectory committee
  • Knowledge Committee

Department of History
Lise Zurné
zurne@eshcc.eur.nl
Van der Goot building, M6-32

Lise Zurné is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. With a background in visual anthropology, Lise is interested in the representation of 21st century violence in popular culture and focusses particularly on historical re-enactments. She investigates how re-enactors deal with sensitive pasts and the ethical issues they encounter in the bodily performance of the past by comparing cases in Indonesia (decolonisation) and the Netherlands and Belgium (Second World War). Lise is a member of the following committees:

  • Mental health and well-being committee
  • Knowledge committee

Department of Media and Communication
Phuang Hoan Le
le@eshcc.eur.nl
Van der Goot building, M8-10

Phuong Hoan Le is a Lecturer-PhD (in Dutch: “docent-promovendus”) at the Department of Media & Communication. Half of her time is allocated to PhD research in the field of organizational and corporate communications. Her doctoral dissertation is about organizational identification in the context of social media. With a background in media, communications, and business management, she investigates how people identify with the organization they work for, how an organizational identity becomes part of or woven into one’s personal identity. Does an organizations’ use of social media strengthen this sense of organizational identification, and is this a desirable effect for both parties? Is this sense of identification what drives individuals to share stories about their work with friends, family and strangers online? Hoan is a member of the following committees:

  • Mental health and well-being committee
  • Knowledge committee

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)

Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)
Sanne van der Valk
vandervalk@essb.eur.nl
Mandeville building, T17-23

Sanne van der Valk is a PhD candidate at the Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS). She studies the effects of meetings between caseworkers and the (long-term) unemployed on social and labour market activation of the (long-term) unemployed. In addition, her research is aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying this effect as well as the contextual factors that may be of influence. Sanne's research design can be characterised as a mixed method design, including experimental methods and realist evaluation. Sanne started her PhD in August, 2017 and she has represented the Department of Public Administration and Sociology in the PhD Council since September, 2018.  Sanne is a member of the following committees:

  • Mental health and well-being committee
  • Organisation of the PhD trajectory committee
  • Knowledge committee

Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies (DPECS)
Erasmus University College (EUC)

André Mamede Soares Braga
mamedesoaresbraga@essb.eur.nl
Mandeville building & Erasmus University College

André Mamede S. Braga is a PhD candidate at the Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies (DPECS) of the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). His research focuses on health promotion through behavioural change. The idea is to improve the health and well-being of the population by helping people lead a healthier lifestyle. To that end, he studies the mechanisms underlying the process of behavioural change, and utilises these insights to develop and test behavioural change interventions. He is also interested in utilising technology-based application to improve the cost-effectiveness of these interventions. André started his PhD in December of 2017 and has represented DPECS and EUC in the PhD Council since September 2018. André is a member of the following committees:

  • Mental health and well-being committee
  • Knowledge committee

Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil)

Department of Media and Communication
Thijs Heijmeskamp
heijmeskamp@esphil.eur.nl
Bayle building, J5-47

Thijs Heijmeskamp is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus School of Philosophy specializing on moral psychology. His research project concerns the workings of morality. In particular, he focusses on what is called the automaticity problem, i.e., the phenomenon that many of our action seems to be the result of automatic (cognitive) processes we do not have any control over. This is problematic for our current understanding of moral agency, in which conscious control of actions is taken to be a necessary condition. In order to move past the automaticity problem, he aims to develop a situated, embodied account of moral agency. Thijs started his PhD in March 2019. Thijs is a member of the following committees:

  • Organisation of the PhD trajectory committee
  • Knowledge Committee

Institute for Housing and Urban Development (IHS)

Audrey Esteban
esteban@ihs.nl
Mandeville building, T14-03

Audrey Esteban is a PhD candidate specialising in Urban Development and Governance. Her dissertation is on collective engagement and urban resilience where she looks at how disaster-prone cities transforms itself to become more disaster-resilient. The aim of the study is to distill critical conditions and patterns of resilience of four city cases. Audrey started her PhD in December 2016 and represents the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies since September, 2018. Audrey is a member of the following committees:

  • Social committee
  • Knowledge committee

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Brenda Rodriguez Cortes
rodriguezcortes@iss.nl
ISS building (The Hague), office I3-15

Brenda Rodríguez Cortés is a PhD candidate at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) located in The Hague. Using a feminist participatory approach, her research explores how women construct their sexual subjectivities, with a special focus on the colonial legacies that continue to shape sexuality until this day but also the ways in which these colonial legacies are being resisted. At ISS, Brenda is part of the Civic Innovation Research Group, the ISS Counselling Team, the ISS Mental Health Working Group and the ISS Feminist Circles. Moreover, Brenda represents the ISS at the EGSH PhD Council since November 2019. Brenda is a member of the following committees:

  • Social committee
  • Mental health and well-being committee
  • Knowledge committee