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“The attitude here is one of cooperation and communication”

Hanka Paulitschke (Germany)
PhD at Graduate School of Life Sciences

“Utrecht University provides many possibilities to a PhD candidate. There are lots of seminars of very high quality. The candidates meet together once a month to discuss research. And there are workshops and retreats. I’m astonished by this!

It’s very different from the PhD system I was used to in Germany. There the same person supervises your education and research. And of course he is interested in your spending as much time as possible in the lab. At Utrecht University the supervisor takes care that you are doing a good job in the lab; the graduate school takes care that you are properly educated.

I have a background in biophysics and now I work with the Department of Membrane Enzymology, Faculty of Chemistry. So now I’m actually doing a mixture of biochemistry, cell biology and biophysics. I like that I can choose from each topic and get a broad spectrum of methods I can use. The attitude here is one of cooperation. Also communication: all the PhD candidates meet regularly and everybody presents the methods he or she is using. Everybody gets an idea of what is possible.

Another advantage is that in each research group, there are new candidates and those who have been working a few years. Also I’m working with people from all over the world. This is something I really like. You get a lot of input not only on a research level but also on a personal level.

At Utrecht University, you are looking past your own borders. In the end I’m really happy I chose Utrecht University.”