National PhD Day 2016 – Registration closed!

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Registration for National PhD Day 2016 is officially closed! Thank you all for registering and we’ll see you on the 29th of October!



National PhD Day 2016 will be kicked off by our PNN chair Rolf van Wegberg, who will introduce our two keynote speakers: Dr. Sarah de Rijcke & Dr. Martijn Kleppe. After lunch, we’re offering three rounds of interesting workshops, either focussing on general skills, scientific skills or career development.


More information on the workshops can be found here!

In the afternoon, we’ll announce the winner of the Supervisor of the Year-award.  Read more about the Supervisor Award here!


National PhD Day – Frequently Asked Questions

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We’re getting quite a bit of emails about the details of National PhD Day. Great to hear that you’re all very excited about this Saturday, but to speed up the process of answering those emails, please check out our FAQ:

Q: What is the address of the Academy Building?

A: Check out our special Travel & Stay page


Q: At what time does National PhD Day start?

A: Registration will start at 10:00, official opening will start at 11:00. Check out the timetable.


Q: Do I need to bring a copy of my registration/ID/proof that I am a PhD?

A: No need, just mention your name at the registration desk and you will get access to National PhD Day.


Q: Which workshops did I register for?

A: Fortunately, you received a confirmation email (from: with all the details of your registration. Please check your spam folder if you can’t find it.


Q: I did not receive the confirmation email (I checked the spam folder)?

A: If the email is not in the spam folder and you can’t remember which workshops you selected, don’t stress. We have lists at the registration desk for you to check which workshops you registered for.


Q: Do I need to prepare for the workshops?

A: Some workshops to require some preparation. The assignments were mentioned in the newsletter with Final Information and are listed here.


Q: Can I switch workshops or just go to a different workshop than the workshop I registered for?

A: Unfortunately the amount of seats per workshop room is limited and all workshops are fully booked. So you can only go to the workshops you registered for.


Still unanswered questions that can’t wait until Saturday? Let us know by sending us an email and we’ll get back to you!


See you this Saturday!

Preparation for workshops

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Please check below if there are any preparations required for your workshops:

Working softly

To prepare for the workshop Working Softly, please reflect on the following:

What is working hard for you? When are you working hard? Which days/hours? What do you think when you are working hard? How does it feel physically (your forehead, eyes, neck, shoulders, belly, legs, feet, etc.)? What do others notice about you when you are working hard? What do you experience on the inside?

And how is all of this when you are working softly?


Design your own thesis cover

Hi PhD!

Thank you for subscribing for my workshop! I’m sending you a small, fun assignment to do at home as a warm-up for the 29th of October.

Over the next weeks look around you. Gather things you like, take pictures. What do you like about them? The colour, the composition, the letters? You can have a look at theses, but you really don’t have to. Magazines, tickets, music posters, they can all inspire you.

Please take everything you found with you to the workshop. It’ll help you to get going. Also, don’t forget to bring a pencil.

Enjoy, you’ll see the world with new eyes!


Crashcourse Cleaning Messy Data

Please bring your fully charged (!) laptop to the workshop, with the software ‘OpenRefine’ already downloaded at home.

You can download OpenRefine here


Skills for the PhD Afterlife

Dear participants,

How nice that you are joining our workshop!

We would like you to prepare beforehand with a short exercise, which
should not take more than 15-20 minutes.

This will give you the opportunity to come to the workshop with the
right mindset.


Please fill in the Belbin questionnaire (download here) and add
up the number of points for each team role.
Take note of your most preferred role -and of your second most
preferred, if the scores are very similar.

Read the descriptions of your team role and think about the following

– do you recognize yourself in the description? How do the
skills characterizing your role emerge in your daily research work?

– and can you assess what team role might your supervisor have?

There is no need to send us the results of the test beforehand, but
those will be used as a starting point for our discussion, so it is
important for you to prepare in advance.

Looking forward to meet on the 29th of October!

Frerik & Serena

Workshopleaders ‘Skills for the PhD Afterlife’
National PhD Day 2016


Job application new style

Would you appreciate a cv check prior to the training or do you have specific questions about job applications? Please send your cv and/or questions before October 26 to, referring to Training Job application National PhD Day.

Food for thought: Rens van de Schoot

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Besides providing a nutritious lunch, we’d like to give you some food for thought at National PhD Day 2016. Join us at lunchtime in the Kanunnikenzaal for a special discussion on questionable research practices by Rens van de Schoot


Temptation Island: Do you need questionable research practices to survive academia? By Rens van de Schoot, associate professor at the department of methods & statistics at Utrecht University | | @rensvdschoot

Description of Food for Though session

Science has always been a dynamic process with continuously changing rules and attitudes. While innovation and new knowledge production are essential in academia, making sure the best practices in research are widely known is vital. However, rules and traditions on responsible research practices differ greatly between research disciplines and often different rules apply in different fields. Most of these rules are subjective and in fact ‘unwritten’ that makes them difficult to identify, differentiate and grasp. The current debate about appropriate scientific practices is fierce and lively and has moved from academia to the public domain, resulting in many public opinions, not solely driven by objective information, but instead loaded by emotions. Many Early career scientists feel uncertain of how to act and who to talk to.

The Young Academy of the KNAW ( has started a project titled ‘The living room of science: promoting responsible research practices through an interactive discussion’. The ultimate goal of this project is to create an accessible online open platform for early career scientists (ranging from Phd students to young assistant professors) to acquire information about appropriate research practices. We hope that arguments like “this is how we always do it”, or “get used to it, this is what it takes to publish your paper” will no longer be used.

The lunch session at the National PhD Day can be seen as a part of this larger project. I will present the results of a vignette study among PhD-students in The Netherlands and Belgium about responsible research practices (carried out in collaboration with PNN). Topics are data fabrication, deleting outliers to get significant effects, salami slicing, gift authorship and excluding information from your paper. Together we will search for ways to improve current research practices by means of an interactive discussion. So, bring your phone with you!

For more information about the programme, go to the programme page.

Keynote speaker National PhD Day: Martijn Kleppe

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Today we’d like to further introduce one of our keynote speakers at National PhD Day 2016:

Dr. Martijn Kleppe works at the Research Department of the National Library of the Netherlands. After writing his dissertation on Iconic Photographs (Canonieke Icoonfoto’s, 2013) he worked as postdoctorate researcher on several Digital Humanities project at the Erasmus University Rotterdam that focussed on opening up and linking (audio) visual collections: Together with 12 partners he worked on the FP7-project AXES-Access to Audiovisual Archives and he supervised the projects PoliMedia, Talk of Europe and Mijn Icoonfoto’s. Before moving to the National Library of the Netherlands he worked at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on the project ‘The New News Consumer’ and was researcher in residence at the KB. Since February 2016 he moved to the National Library of the Netherlands to work on several Digital Humanities projects.

Besides this position at the KB, he is editor of TMG – Journal for Mediahistory, founding member of the ADHO Audiovisual Material in Digital Humanities Special interest group and regularly writes about photography and digital research for a general/non-academic public in newspapers or magazines.

Martijn, what was the best advice ever given to you?

Share your doubts. When I attended a research seminar in the first year of my PhD, one of my academic heroes presented a new research project for the first time. While he was always very confident about his work, he started his presentation by saying: ‘This is new and I know there are people in the room who know way more about this topic than I do. However, I need your advice but especially your critique. This is the only way for me to get forward.’ Though my hero was already in a comfortable position, I admired the vulnerable stance he took.

How did you take charge of your career?

By realizing my fascination is in charge of my career.  Not my current contract, project or supervisor.
In several projects I collaborated with both academic as well as non-academic partners. To get to know these non-academic partners I gave myself some time to understand why they participated in these projects. I visited them, worked at their premises and drank loads of coffee during 1 on 1 meetings with people I was interested in. Along the way I realized I liked the scientific side of these projects but got more and more curious on how to implement our academic research results. At that point I (finally) was in a relatively stable position, contract-wise, and worked on a NWO-funded project that was only halfway. Then I got the opportunity to take up a temporarily job at one of the partners I worked with before and admired most for their ambitions to incorporate academic research results in their core activities. What should I do? Loose my (almost fixed) contract and let me colleagues down by leaving a project that was only halfway? Or take up a temporarily contract in a world I did not know? Most of my academic colleagues thought I was completely out of my mind when I shared my possible job move with them: What? Are you willing to quite your job now you finally have a good position? But most of them said: Your boss and institute will not be happy when you will not finish the project and quit your contract. This was exactly the reason I was hesitant as well: these people worked so hard to get me a contract and now I am leaving them. Shouldn’t I be more loyal to them? It took me a while to realize I shouldn’t be: there will be plenty of colleagues who can take over my tasks while it will take some time before I will get another chance to follow my fascination. Let’s take that chance. I am in charge of my career. Nobody else.

For more information on Martijn Kleppe, visit his biopage and follow him on twitter: @martijnkleppe.

Keynote speaker National PhD Day: Sarah de Rijcke

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Today we’d like to further introduce one of our keynote speakers at National PhD Day 2016:

Dr. Sarah de Rijcke, associate professor and deputy director at the Centre for Science & Technology Studies (CWTS) in Leiden. Before coming to Leiden she held a postdoctoral position at the Virtual Knowledge Studio (KNAW, Amsterdam). In 2010, she received her PhD (with honors) from the University of Groningen. As of June of this year, she is an elected member of the Young Academy of Europe.

Her research group focuses on a) developing a theoretical framework on the (micro-) politics of contemporary research assessment; b) gaining a deep empirical understanding on how formal and informal evaluation practices are re-shaping academic knowledge production; c) contributing to shaping contemporary debates on responsible research evaluation and metrics uses (including policy implications).

Sarah de Rijcke

Sarah, what was the best advice ever given to you?

Best advice: Be generous. This is something I learned by observing senior colleagues whom I admired while doing my PhD. They followed their curiosity and drive, and generously shared their knowledge and experience with me and other early-stage researchers. As I progressed on the career ladder I increasingly realized how important it is to set such an example in a system that inadvertently stimulates careerism.

How did you take charge of your career?

I took charge of my career in two ways: 1) I always choose collaborators carefully, not only on the basis of their scholarly skills, but also on their trustworthiness and whether liked them as a person. This has been very rewarding intellectually and socially. And 2) I tend to conveniently ‘forget’ that there is gender bias in academia and think it is absolutely normal to ‘lean in’, to use Sheryl Sandberg’s term.

For more information on Sarah de Rijcke, visit her biopage and follow her on twitter: @sarahderijcke.

Workshop: skills for the PhD afterlife

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Skills for the PhD Afterlife


Workshop by Frerik van Beijnum, system engineer, and Serena Oggero, consultant Data Science for Intelligence at TNO | @TNO_nieuws

Description of the workshop

You are about to or you have just finished your PhD. And now what?

You are now officially a star researcher with highly valued academic skills, but what about your interpersonal skills?
During your research, you are already creating a solid base that will help you face the “PhD afterlife”, but the focus on the interpersonal dimension is probably secondary and in need of some refreshing.

Which skills will also become relevant after academia? Can you become aware of your potential already now? This interactive workshop is all about that: project management, networking & commercial skills.

For more information on the programme of National Phd Day 2016, go to the Programme page.

Workshop: Brainfriendly Persuasion

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Brainfriendly Persuasion


Workshop by Victor Vlam, communication trainer and coach at Debatrix | @victorvlam

Description of the workshop

Discover psychological and neurological persuasion techniques and apply them in a brainfriendly manner!

The past couple of years there has been a lot of scientific research on the psychological processes that constitute these decisions. This knowledge brought forward a large amount of psychological techniques. Techniques that can influence the processes (and the decisions) of others. During this workshop you will learn the most important techniques that will help you become more persuasive!


For more information on the programme of National Phd Day 2016, go to the Programme page.

Workshop: Speak like Obama

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Speak like Obama


Workshop by: Victor Vlam, communication trainer and coach at Debatrix | @victorvlam

Victor, how did you take charge of your career?

Finding out what you are good at and enjoy doing. Then figuring out how you can use those talents to add value. In that order. To become good at what you do, you have to like doing it. To become the best at something you have to practice to the point at which it almost isn’t rational anymore to do so. For me that insight was crucial.

Description of the workshop

Learn how to give speeches that will touch, captivate and inspire your audience!

Barack Obama knows like no other how to inspire millions of people all around the world with just one speech. During this lecture you will learn the same techniques that Obama uses, which will ensure that you will touch, captivate and inspire your audience – just like Obama. In 2008 and 2012 the trainer of this workshop campaigned for Barack Obama and he will give you a little behind the scenes… Yes you can, Yes we can!

For more information on the programme of National Phd Day 2016, go to the Programme page.