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PhD Council


Welcome to the page of the PhD Council for the Faculty of Law. On this page, you can find information about our mission and how we achieve it, what we have accomplished, information regarding support for PhD students, our members and contact information, as well as some useful links.


The mission of the PhD Council for the Faculty of Law is the following:

  1. Represent, promote and communicate the interests – in- and outside the Faculty – of all Law PhD students, regardless of their status (employed or scholarship).
  2. Foster a sense of community between the Law PhD students and assist them in their personal and professional development through the organization of activities and workshops.

How we achieve our mission

1. We represent

  • at the GGSL level: the Council participates in regular meetings with the director and the coordinator of the GGSL. Additionally, one of the Council members is entirely dedicated to ensuring regular liaison with the GGSL. This allows us to stay on top of different issues, including on topics pertaining to the Winter School, the bursary experiment, teaching obligations, supervision in general, and the quality and content of the PhD training.
  • at the University level and towards external contacts: the Council also ensures the representation of the interests of the Law PhD students towards different external contacts, such as the Dean of Graduate School, other PhD Councils, Groningen Graduate Interest Network (GRIN), Gopher, and PNN.

2. We listen

  • to the concerns of PhD students of the Faculty of Law whenever they are directly brought to our attention.
  • to identify issues and concerns through our regular formal and informal exchanges with our fellow PhDs.

3. We inform

  • about all events, issues and opportunities relevant to PhD students pertaining to the Faculty of Law, the University and also our external partners.
  • through the events we organize, our email list and on social media (Facebook & LinkedIn)

4. We organize

  • regular social events, including monthly PhD drinks, Christmas dinner, Secret Santa, research lunches, book club, etc.
  • workshops and lectures focused on the personal and professional development of the PhD students.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Provided input on different policy related and other documents, including the Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER) for the PhD programme (Academic year 2021-2022)
  • Provided input on a MOOC designed by the HR-Expert department together with the Groningen Graduate Schools and the Education Support and Innovation (ESI) to improve PhD supervision.
  • Arranged for the communication of a newsletter by the GGSL on mental health of PhDs and pathways to receive help and support.
  • Organized workshops on PhD mental well-being and creative writing.
  • Organized several social events, including Secret Santa, Table of three, monthly drinks, etc.
  • Elaborated a Guide on Housing to assist new PhD students to find accommodation in Groningen.

Support for PhD Students

The university offers a number of mechanisms that enable PhD students to raise issues or lodge complaints. Of relevance here is the PhD Council, the Confidential Adviser, and the Ombudsperson.

  • PhD Council: As the PhD Council, it is part of our function to bring systemic issues to the attention of the University, both within and, where appropriate, outside our Faculty. Should you as a PhD Student have an issue or complaint that you believe may be systemic, we would like to hear about it!
  • Confidential Adviser: You can approach the confidential adviser to discuss personal problems, problems in your research or about your career choices. Pauline Westerman is the confidential adviser for the Faculty of Law.
  • Ombudsperson: The purpose of this new position is to identify and investigate undesirable patterns of behaviour that have a negative impact on a healthy and safe learning and working environment. If you, as a staff member, experience a problem and do not know where to turn with it, then you can contact Carolijn Winnubst.


Contact us

Feel free to contact us at with any questions, comments or issues, or you may message us individually.

Would you like to stay in the loop of what we are up to? Follow us on:



External Links

GOPHER, Groningen Organization for PhD Education and Recreation
GRIN, Groningen Graduate Interest Network
PNN, PhD candidates Network of the Netherlands

Last modified:22 January 2022 2.28 p.m.