Read the latest news from the VU Graduate School of Social Sciences.

News - incl. Confirmed Course dates!

The Graduate School organized the PhD Induction Program for all FSS’s first year PhD candidates. Theo van Tilburg and Naná de Graaff gave an introduction to the Graduate School, followed by the PhD career preparation workshop. Participants were challenged to think about their career path after their PhD and what steps they should take during their PhD to achieve this. During the alumni panel, Dhoya Snijders, Jacomijne Prins, Elske Stolte, and Sylvia Klokgieters answered all questions the new PhD candidates had. The day ended with drinks & dinner in The Basket. On Saturday participants followed the workshop Efficiency Skills and Project Management in PhD Projects by Hertz Training for Scientists. The participating PhD candidates can start their projects well prepared. Good Luck!

Inductie okt 2019

During the General Members’ Meeting (GMM) of September 20th 2019, Lucille Mattijssen was elected new president of the PhD Network Netherlands (PNN), the interest group for and by PhD students. Mattijssen is a PhD candidate of the Vrije UniversiteitAmsterdam, and will succeed Anne de Vries, who will leave the board of PNN after having been president for more than a year.
Mattijssen is looking forward to improving the position of PhD candidates in the coming year, together with the PNN board members and the PhD representatives from the universities. “PhDs are crucial for research and education at universities. At the same time, they are in a vulnerable position: their employment prospects in science are limited and they are highly dependent on their supervisors. The PNN unites PhD candidates and thus has the opportunity to put their interests on the agenda of policy makers.” 

Various topics require specific attention in the coming academic year. For example, PNN is closely following developments regarding the experiment on PhD students in Groningen. Mattijssen: “The argument that, as students rather than employees, PhDs would have more freedom in their project in no way outweighs the employment rights they lose. Giving PhDs a student status therefore means a net deterioration of PhD programs.” The influx of international bursary PhDs also brings new issues. “The scholarships these PhD students receive are often insufficient to make ends meet in the Netherlands.” Furthermore, the mental well-being of PhD candidates, the quality of the PhD programs and the labour market opportunities of PhD candidates remain important issues that PNN continues to stand up for. 

Within the PNN board, two new portfolios have been created for topics that the PNN wants to pay more attention to in the coming years. Tjitske van Engelen (Amsterdam UMC) will take on the portfolio Diversity and will focus on the problems that specific groups of PhDs in the Netherlands face. Carola Schoor (Maastricht University), an external PhD candidate herself, will be focusing in particular on the interests of external PhD candidates, a large group of PhDs who are often lost out of sight. She will also act as communication adviser for the PNN. Kimberley Anneveldt (Isala Zwolle) and Nicolien van Vliet (LUMC) have already taken office before the summer, as new secretary and board member for PhDs in academic medical centres respectively. Mattijssen: “With a total of nine board members, PNN is fully set for all challenges in the new academic year!”



- Research Integrity and Responsible Scholarship - 11, 14 & 18 October - mandatory

- Workshop Preparing for focus groups - 15 October
- How to Publish and Write Journal Articles - 22 October 7 November & 12 November
- Data Management Plan - 24 October - mandatory(note: this used to be part of the course ‘Research Integrity and Responsible Scholarship’)
- Successful Grant Writing - 7 November & 3 December 
- Increase your Impact - Data Science: Visualizations in R - 7 & 14 November, 12 December

Check our Study Guide for more information and registration.

NEW - Minto workshop - 6,20 November 4,18 December
PhD candidate Aalt Smiek and VU-GSSS will organize a Minto workshop on reporting data, and writing introductions for PhD candidates. The Minto method is a writing method to structure data and report them transparently, based on the ‘pyramid principle’. The course will take place on four Wednesday afternoons in November and December, you can earn 1 EC. You can find more information here. Sign up? Please send us an email before 31 October.

Check out this calendar for an overview of courses and deadlines for registration here.

  • Pizza session: 24 October
  • Writing Marathon: 15 November
  • Pizza Session: 7 November
  • Brown Bag Lunch: 12 December
  • Pizza Session: 12 December
  • Christmas Diner: 19 December

Zahra Runderkamp
• Research Topic: Citizens in the making? The role of youth consultation programmes in the inclusion of young people in EU decision-making
• Supervised by: prof. dr. Ben Crum (B&P) and Dr. Liza Mügge (UvA)



Saud Al Busaidi
• Research Topic: Crisis Communication and CSR Communication
• Supervised by: dr. ir. Kees Boersma (ORG)


Gözde Duran
• Research Topic: Towards nursing competencies which improve access to care for Turkish and Moroccan migrants with dementia and their informal caregivers.
• Supervised by: prof. dr. Marjolein Broese Van Groenou (SOC), dr. H.P.J. van Hout (VUmc),  and Dr. Carolien Smits (Windesheim)


Alana Castro
• Research Topic: Rethinking the politics of reconciliation — Towards good Governance in the heritage sector
• Supervised by: prof. dr. Gert-Jan Burgers (HUM) and dr. Pieter Wagenaar (B&P)


Aleeha Ali
• Research Topic: Digital Mourning: YouTube majlis amongst Shi’ite Muslims in Europe
• Supervised by: prof. dr. Thijl Sunier (SCA)