In September 2010, the Spatial Sciences PhD Council (SSPC) was established. The main task of the PhD council is to represent the interests of all PhD candidates associated with the Graduate School of Spatial Sciences (GSSS), University of Groningen. The SSPC is the contact platform regarding PhD-related issues for the Faculty Board, Graduate School, and all PhD researchers within the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. The SSPC informs and advises the Board of the GSSS and the Board of the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. Meetings with the Board of the GSSS take place six times a year and meetings with the Faculty Board biyearly. During these meetings, a wide variety of PhD related issues are discussed, including the PhD manual, supervision, monitoring, performance, work circumstances, teaching, courses, facilities, and Graduate School developments. The SSPC aims to reach all PhD researchers regarding important information and developments at the Faculty. Therefore PhD afternoons, PhDs’ open meetings and a PhD survey are organized by the PhD Council to offer an informal platform for PhD researchers to discuss their concerns with each other and the PhD Council.
Current members of the Spatial Sciences PhD Council (2016-2017) are: Anne Marel Hilbers (PhD candidate Spatial Planning), Fieke Visser (PhD candidate Economic Geography), Anna Claudia Martini (PhD candidate Cultural Geography), and Rik Huizinga (PhD candidate Demography). In principle, all departments (Economic Geography, Cultural Geography, Planning, Demography) are represented by one member per department.
In this academic year, the PhD council focuses especially on the following three points:
- Informing PhD students about how the PhD council can serve them, to make the council more approachable. The council itself will actively approach PhD students to monitor their needs.
- Stimulating a lively community of PhD students in our faculty, which is welcoming to everybody. In addition, the council will support university-wide networking activities by PhD students (e.g. via PhD organizations such as Gopher).
- Further professionalization and transparency of the PhD trajectory by creating more awareness regarding each other’s work, ambitions, and achievements.
Of course, we, the SSPC, need PhD candidates’ help to improve things at our faculty. PhD candidates are encouraged to contact us if you have suggestions, questions, complaints, or compliments. For instance, we welcome suggestions regarding PhD supervision, courses, funding possibilities, or information you think should become available to other PhD researchers as well.
You’re most welcome to contact any member of the council. Also, you can e-mail us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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