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Doctoral School of Health & Life Sciences


Doctoral School of Health & Life Sciences

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Doing a PhD can be fun and hard at the same time. When you start a PhD, it can be hard to find all relevant and useful information by yourself. During a PhD, everyone experiences ups and downs and everyone needs to tackle problems. These problems can be surprisingly similar for different people.

Let it be clear: you are all in the same boat.

PhD trajectories also contain lonely moments; some more than others. To prevent psychological distress and mental health issues (which PhD students seem to be more vulnerable to than others), it is good to have someone to fall back on. Everyone needs someone to talk to from time to time. Talking to a more experienced colleague can be especially useful and reassuring.

For these reasons, there is a buddy trajectory for PhD students. Junior buddies are starting PhD students. Senior buddies are PhD students from their second year on.

The buddy trajectory can be whatever you make of it. It can be just one meeting with Q&A with respect to practical issues. But buddies may also talk about what it means to be a PhD student, which difficulties or pitfalls one can be confronted with, professional goals, etc. There are no explicit rules. Respect, confidentiality and professionalism are considered self-evident.

If you are interested in the buddy trajectory (as junior or senior buddy), please note that you can apply here: 

  • If you are a recently started PhD student and you would like to get a senior buddy (and thus be a junior buddy yourself), please complete this form by December 12, 2021.
  • If you are willing to be a senior buddy, please complete this form by December 12, 2021.

The further procedure will be as follows:

  1. The doctoral schools team will make pairs of people, trying to pair up people from the same faculty / doctoral school as far as possible.
  2. The name of your buddy will be communicated to you in the week of December 15, 2021.
  3. All buddies will receive a lunch voucher, so they can plan their first meeting at one of the university restaurants*.
  4. A social activity for buddies will be organised by the Doctoral Schools around March 2022*. More info will be sent by e-mail.   

depending on the COVID-19 circumstances and regulations at that time.