PhD courses

As a PhD candidate you should reserve time to take courses and attend seminars. Courses are either related to the subject of your research or intended to improve your skills or for personal development. The former will usually be offered by the research school you are a member of. The latter are mostly offered by the graduate school. These courses may help you to improve your research planning, scientific writing and presenting, communication with your supervisors and teaching. During the second half of your track you should start to think of the continuation of your career. The graduate school and the UU has courses available in professional development and career orientation.

Discuss your educational needs with your supervisors; at the start and yearly during Assessment and Development interviews. Courses provided by the graduate school can be followed by PhD candidates that are employed by Utrecht University and that are registered in MyPhD as members of the graduate school. Use MyPhD to make a list of the courses that you intend to take during your PhD.

Please note! Most courses involve a fee. Before you register, ask your supervisor or program coordinator about the available budget!

Please note! Currently, within the Graduate School of Natural Sciences the PhD courses on Scientific Integrity (available in the near future) and ‘Start-to-Teach’ are compulsory. Keep in mind that National Research Schools and your department may have additional requirements.

COURSES OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES

The Graduate School of Natural Sciences primarily offers courses for PhD candidate of the graduate school, pertaining to:

  • Communication skills for scientific audience (language, writing and presenting)
    • Language course at Babel
    • The Art of Presenting Science in 3 days with 4 hours homework, 1EC,  in groups of 7, for €750.
      • For availability see agenda below.
    • The Art of Scientific Writing in 3 days with 3 hours homework, 1EC, in groups of 10, for €550.
      • For availability see agenda below.
  • Teaching skills (Start-to-Teach, compulsory, 1EC, free of charge)
  • Project management (through O&T; 2 half days, 0.5EC, for €275)
  • Scientific integrity and ethics (compulsory, when available in 2020)
LANGUAGE COURSES

Language courses can be followed at e.g. the language institute Babel (preferred partner - employees of Utrecht University get a discount on the open enrolment courses).

UU CAREER ORIENTATION

It is wise to start thinking about your future career at an early stage of your PhD track. Therefore, PhD candidates employed by Utrecht University are offered different employment programmes before the end of their PhD.  Discuss opportunities with your supervisors at an early stage.

Also Career Services can provide advice and training on your career. Other websites that provide information and activities are:

  • The Utrecht University Development Guide is a website on which you can find opportunities for professional and personal development, linked to the development path that fits with your requirements. You can find self-tests, tools (such as coaching and feedback tools) and information on different learning pathways.
  • All PhD candidates are encouraged to take part in the PhD Activating Career Event (PhACE) during the third year of their track. This event aims to help PhD candidates at the end of the doctorate to explore future career steps.
  • If you did not manage to find a job by the end of your employment contract, Work2Work will offer you a re-employment coaching programme (UU employees only).
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

The Netherlands Centre of Expertise for Doctoral Education published a booklet that can be used for inspiration: 'Which grass is greener?'. With personal stories from PhDs about their careers within and outside of academia. The Rathenau Instituut researched the careers and labour market prospects of PhDs: 'De zin van promoveren' (in Dutch). They concluded that 70% of PhDs find a job in the private or public sector outside of academia where they put their knowledge and research skills to good use.    

Also, the following books may be useful:

  • How to get a PhD (Phillips and Pugh)
  • The art of Being a Scientist (Snieder and Larner)
  • Klaar in vier jaar (in Dutch) (De Bruin and Hertz)
Agenda PhD courses

PhD Introductory Course

New PhD candidates will automatically be invited for this course shortly after the start of their track. In three short Thursday afternoon session, we will focus on the following  issues, which are important for starting PhD candidates:

  • Communicating with your supervisors
  • Planning your project and finishing on time
  • Planning for skills for your PhD and future career
  • Enlarging your network
  • Practical administrative issues (MyPhD)

Day 1.

  • Starting your PhD, experiences from supervisors and PhD candidates
  • Practical information about registering in MyPhD
  • Self-assessment on skills

Day 2.

  • Speed-date an plenary reflection on self-assessment of skills
  • Information on courses for PhD candidates
  • Supervision: your experience so far; how to structure communication with your supervisor?
  • Personal Development Plan

Day 3.

  • Reflection on experience with communication with your supervisor
  • Planning your research: expert view, speed dates on personal experience
  • Planning for the future: personal development, training, intervision

Thursdays from 16-18 h, 2 weeks between sessions, free of charge

Planning:
Course 1: 5/9, 19/9, 3/10 FULLY BOOKED
Course 2: 12/9, 26/9, 10/10
Course 3: 17/10, 31/10, 14/11, 28/11
Course 4: 7/11, 21/11, 5/12
Course 5: 9/1, 23/1, 6/2, 20/2
Course 6: 16/1, 30/1, 13/2

Please Note! If you are already further under way with your PhD, but think attending this course might be useful, feel free to send a request to e.mulder@uu.nl.

Artesc course on Scientific Writing

Course description
Contrary to the science part of the job, writing an article is something you initially do by yourself. This is where the challenge starts: writing takes too much time, you get lost in thousands of writing methods, and you are rarely satisfied with the end result. In this three-day course you will solve many of your scientific writing challenges with tools used by prose writers. These tools allow you to plan, write and edit effectively, resulting in a text that communicates your ideas in a clear and inspiring way. Learn to write better, more pleasantly and in less time!

Learning objectives
During this course you will discover what the reader needs in a text and how to meet these needs. You will learn how to stay out of writing pitfalls such as long sentences and unnatural rhythms. With special tools you will be able to design sections as well as the whole paper prior to writing and to design a through line in you text for a coherent story. You will discover tips and tricks to learn how to plan your writing effectively.

Instructional method
We will discover the necessary tools and apply them to your writing. We use various methods, such as individual writing exercises, group discussion, peer review, plenary writing exercises and interactive lecturing.

Trainer
You will be trained by one of the professionals of Artesc.

Number of participants
10

Number of credits
1.0 EC

Course schedule
Courses still have to be planned. If you are interested in this course, please fill out the form below:

https://www.formdesk.com/universiteitutrecht-beta/phdcourses

Course certificate
You will receive a course certificate if you attend and complete at least 2.5 course days. You cannot miss the first morning session.

Course fee
€550.

Cancellation/no-show
You may cancel your application free of charge up to four weeks before the start of the course. If you cancel your application within four weeks before the start or if you do not meet the attendance requirements of the course, you(r department/research group) will be charged a no-show fee (€275 for this course). Unfortunately we cannot make any exceptions to this policy.

Quotes

  • The course provided me with new tools for scientific writing. It helped me transforming my texts from dull and overcomplicated into real conversations with my reader
  • If you want to be inspired about writing on your research, follow this course.
  • Great course for teaching you to write more effectively and with higher quality.

 

Artesc course on Presenting Science

The Art of Presenting Science

Course description
When you present, you expect your audience to be attentive throughout your talk - after all, they love science. Sadly, this is rarely the case. We blame this on a short attention span, but why can the same audience watch movies for hours on end? Apparently, actors and playwrights have found a way to engage their audience better. So, why not use their tools to learn how to present better? In this three-day course you will learn to engage your audience with theatrical skills and shape your content with storytelling and style tools. Master your performance skills and let your content take centre stage!

Learning objectives
During this course you will learn the fifteen signals necessary for effective communication. You will learn how to get attention at the start of your presentations and how to keep the audience attentive by using style and transitions. You will learn to design a presentation using story tools and supportive slides that allow you to be the main act on the stage and you will learn how to respond to questions effectively.

Instructional method
You will discover the necessary tools and apply them to your presenting. Various methods will be applied, such as theatre exercises, individual presenting exercises, group discussion, peer review, story design exercises and interactive lecturing.

Trainer
You will be trained by one of the professionals of Artesc.

Max. number of participants
7

Number of credits
1.0 EC

Course schedule
Courses still have to be planned. If you are interested in this course, please fill out the form below:

https://www.formdesk.com/universiteitutrecht-beta/phdcourses

Course certificate
You will receive a course certificate if you attend and complete at least 2.5 course days. You cannot miss the first morning session.

Course fee
€750.

Cancellation/no-show
You may cancel your application free of charge up to four weeks before the start of the course. If you cancel your application within four weeks before the start or if you do not meet the attendance requirements of the course, you(r department/research group) will be charged a no-show fee (€375 for this course). Unfortunately we cannot make any exceptions to this policy.

Quotes

  • This course offered me a broad set of tools that will make my future presentations more exciting and interesting for both me and my audience
  • I learned how to bring myself into a presentation, to speak in a way that makes people listen. I also learned to really make contact with my audience and not just deliver information
  • Even though I thought I could already present pretty well, this course taught me many useful tips and tricks that can get your audience to really listen to what you are saying. This will greatly increase the impression you make.