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Doctoral School for Health & Life Sciences


Doctoral School for 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 can 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 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.
  • If you are willing to be a senior buddy, please complete this form.

The further procedure will be as follows:

  1. The doctoral schools coordination 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 by mid-March.
  3. All buddies will receive a lunch voucher, so they can plan their first meeting at one of the university restaurants.
  4. There will be a next edition of PhDrinks in April/May, which can be a fun activity to do with your buddy.