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Simon van der Pol

I have been at this university for almost nine years now, in various roles: a Pharmacy student, student assistant (CIT-ESI, FSE), faculty council member (FSE) and now as a PhD candidate in the UMCG. Here, I do research on health economics, mainly the sustainability of European healthcare systems. The University of Groningen is great, but still a lot can be improved, I am eager to contribute to improve the university in the years to come.

Representing PhDs

As the only PhD candidate on the list, my top priority will be to represent PhDs in the University Council. The recent surveys on the workload during the PhD trajectory are clear in that a lot has to be improved. It should be the university’s focus to provide great, personalized support for all PhD candidates – enabling the freedom for PhDs to pursue their interests and personal development. The bursary PhD experiment needs to be thoroughly reviewed and adapted, to make sure we do not have second or even third “rank” PhDs – people doing the same work, should have the same rights and salary. At the same time, there should be room to experiment with novel ways to acquire a PhD degree, but the individual’s rights and PhD quality must be protected.

Checking boxes

The university is more and more ruled by (computer) systems, which are very inflexible and focussed on checking boxes. The administrative burden should be reduced (where possible automated), creating more time for short lines of communication between academics, students and support staff.

Building communities

As research shifts more and more to interdisciplinary topics, the university should focus on building cross-faculty communities, where innovative ideas can be explored and research collaborations can come to fruition. This should also be reflected in the programmes and staff appointments.

Simon van der Pol
Simon van der Pol
Last modified:24 April 2019 2.07 p.m.
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