This edition of PNN’s National PhD Day will be no exception to previous editions. We have again gathered an interesting programme full of inspirational keynote speakers as well as useful workshops.

Same as our previous editions, there will be three rounds of workshops. Below, you will find the descriptions of the workshop and more information about the workshop leaders.

Overview of all workshops


Workshop Round 1 

Job application new style: What kind of doctor am I/will I be? – specifically for medical PhD candidates

Workshop by Monique Eland, Managing Consultant at BKV | |def DSC_3620

What was the best advice ever given to you?

The best advice I was given was really a question: do you know what influence you have on other people?

Description of the workshop

Who gives me job advice? How do I write an impressive motivation letter? How do I look on social media? What is the best way to present myself?

BKV’s Job application training provides useful tips regarding job application skills and the use of social media.

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.


Creating flow in academic writing
Workshop by Taylor Krohn, English teacher at Premier Taaltraining | @premiertaal

taylor-krohnTaylor, what was the best advice ever given to you?

The best advice I ever received is about constantly improving yourself and not comparing yourself with others. I swam competitively for many years as a child. My dad always used to say: “It doesn’t matter how fast your competitor is swimming or whether you come in first, the only thing that matters is that you beat your own time.

Description of the workshop

In this workshop you’ll learn to apply a technique that will help your sentences flow from one to the other with more ease. Banish choppy, unrelated sentences and learn to look at your writing from the perspective of the reader.


Crashcourse Cleaning Messy Data

mateusz-kuzak-newWorkshop by Mateusz Kuzak, research engineer at eScience Center | @matkuzak

 How did you take charge of your career? 

I realized I can make much bigger impact as the research software engineer, bridging the gap between science and computing. I focused on developing skills in that direction instead of academic career.

Description of the workshop

During this workshop, you will learn how to use OpenRefine,  a tool for working with ‘messy’ data. You will:

• Get an overview of a data set
• Resolve inconsistencies in a data set
• Split data up into more granular parts
• Match local data up to other data sets
• Enhance a data set with data from other sources

In order to participate in this workshop, you will need to bring your laptop computer and make sure you have installed the OpenRefine tool prior to National PhD Day. The installation instructions can be found here


Speak like Obama

victorvlamWorkshop 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!


Workshop Round 2

Valorisation in practice: bringing research, business and society together
linkedin-fotoWorkshop by Daphne Truijens, founder of SMO Promovendi | @instituutSMO

Daphne, how did you take charge of your career?

After obtaining a double degree in Law and Philosophy at Leiden University in 2014, I knew I loved research and working with researchers. However, I was not so sure a fulltime position in academia would be my thing. Since I love both studying and building and optimizing organisations, I did not want to leave academia but I also didn’t want the chance to work in (social) business slip. Therefore, I decided to do internships at SMO and the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship and learn about working with research and researchers in different settings. I quickly learned how much entrepreneurs and researchers can learn from each other and discovered my passion for valorisation: using research to make a positive societal and economic impact. But still, I wanted to do research myself too and decided that finding your dream job is nearly impossible, but creating it is not. After some hard work and relentless perseverance, I am now a parttime PhD student in Philosophy of Economics at the Erasmus University, member of the management team of SMO, and founder and program manager of SMO Promovendi; a group of +- 40 PhD students and student assistants from universities all over the Netherlands working on wicked societal challenges in healthcare and circular economy. Combining these different positions is not always easy, but very rewarding and simply perfect for me.

Description of the workshop

Knowledge Valorisation, applying scientific research to make both economic and societal impact, is a hot issue in the Netherlands. But what is valorisation exactly and how can you make your own research valuable for society?

SMO is the think tank for the Netherlands since 1968. Based on multidisciplinary research, SMO connects and activates stakeholders to work on wicked societal challenges and make the necessary transitions for a sustainable future. SMO works within five theme’s: Education & Research, Healthcare, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Sustainability and the Labor Market. Working with researchers of all levels, from students to professors from universities all over the Netherlands, SMO has build a strong reputation on valorisation and is renowned for its new ways of bringing researchers, policy makers and entrepreneurs together. In this workshop, we’ll talk about valorisation and discuss how you can apply your academic knowledge and skills for the good of the society and even make a job out of it! Hope to see you there!


Three steps to a Career in the Industry

lisette_april_2016_1Workshop by Lisette Spoelder from People in Science | @peopleinscience

Description of the workshop

Are you a PhD candidate (in the chemical, biotechnology, life science or pharmaceutical field) and you have the goal to start your career in the industry? You have come to the right partner to support your career!

With our years of experience in recruitment we know how we strengthen help you.

Join the People in Science Course “3-Steps to a Career in the Industry” and get actionable insights into:

  • Current career possibilities for PhD’s
  • Effective networking strategies
  • What hiring managers value in applicants
  • How to leverage & articulate your skills
  • Effective job searching
  • How to craft outstanding CV’s and letters and nail job interviews.

During the workshop at the PhD day 2016, we will give you a brief of our tips & tricks.


Working softly

vansijlWorkshop by Claartje van Sijl, philosophical career counselor Van Sijl Counseling & Training | @VanSijl

Description of the workshop

You know your talents and work very hard at your research and your career success. You put in all your energy, but you wonder whether you work in the smartest way possible. You feel overwhelmed. At best you seem to make little progress in your research, chaos and chance rule. Or worse, your joy at doing research suffers, doubts start nagging and you are heading for a burnout.

Working Softly® is the opposite of working hard. You use your talents in a relaxed way to creatively realize your dreams. Working softly starts with making time. No more blindly running around, but mindfully doing what needs to be done. Because you have enough time. Because you can make time.

After the workshop you know

• the basic principles of the Working Softly® method

• how you can create more calm and focus for yourself

• where you can change your current way of working so you can achieve more by working softer.

• where you leak time and energy, and how you can make sure you always have all the time you need


Brainfriendly Persuasion

victorvlamWorkshop 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!


Workshop Round 3

Design your own thesis cover

Workshop by Evelien Jagtman, illustrator and graphic designer with a medical background |

How did you take charge of your own career?

By being brave enough to quit my ‘safe’ job and start my own business.


Description of the workshop

Would you like to give just that extra touch to your thesis?
Would you like to design something yourself?
Or do you want to get new energy by looking at your PhD in a creative way?

Then subscribe for my workshop!

We will create a bird’s eye view of your PhD by finding images that represent your subject. I’ll give you tips on brainstorming and about the designing process. You’ll go home with new ideas, inspiration and a personal concept for your cover design. Note, this is not a computer course: you’ll get the best ideas on paper.



Write with ease

arjenneWorkshop by Arjenne Louter, the Dutch PhD Coach | Louterpromoveren | @ltrprmvrn

How did you take charge of your career? 

Well, that’s actually quite clear: I started my own company. I am in charge. Full stop.


Description of the workshop

Most PhD students struggle with their writing. And that is actually not surprising, because most PhD students never learned anything about the writing process.

In this workshop you will get basic knowledge about the writing process and you will practice with a tool that will speed up your writing as soon as you use it. So make sure you bring a pen and paper to the workshop, because you are actually going to write!

On top of that you will learn about the biggest obstacles that PhD students meet and how to deal with them.


Optimal Online Presence – Social Media for Scientists

alexWorkshop by Alex den Haan, Client Services Manager at AcademicTransfer | @academictrnsfr

Description of the workshop

Most people start drafting a CV when they are about to apply for a new job. But future employers will not only be looking at those couple of pages, they will probably check you out on the internet as well! Does your online profile convey your expertise and experience? Which tools can you use to your benefit? We will cover basics, like LinkedIn but what about Facebook? There will be room for questions and discussion, so join this session if you want to learn more about how to power up your professional profile.


Skills for the PhD Afterlife

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

Frerik, what was the beste advice ever given to you?

For me the best advice was: When choosing between employers, one can think of many criteria: financial, location, content. The best advice for me was: “choose your boss”. If you work for somebody who believes in you, inspires you and challenges you, working life becomes much more fun and you will get opportunities to develop yourself rapidly.

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.