Read the latest news from the VU Graduate School of Social Sciences.

News October 2018

The Graduate School and the Graduate Council organized the PhD Induction Conference for all FSS’s first year PhD candidates. Theo van Tilburg and Naná de Graaff gave an introduction to the Graduate School. The Graduate Council organized a workshop on how to develop a research network. Participants were challenged to find common grounds between their various research topics and create a network in which they can benefit from each other’s knowledge. Ideas ranged from creating app groups to book clubs and shared Dropbox folders. The day ended with dinner at restaurant Loetje. On Saturday participants followed the workshop Efficiency Skills and Project Management in PhD Projects organized by Hertz Training for Scientists.


Margo Veenstra, Dianka Zuiderwijk & Jilong Yang left the Graduate Council to make room for the new council members Wenhui Ding (B&P), Caroline van Slobbe (SCA) and Karin Kee (ORG). Nadia Bij de Vaate will stay in the Council for another year.


I am Wenhui Ding, second-year PhD candidate from the Political Science and Public Administration department. I know that a bit more help from the university could facilitate both international and local PhD’s to adapt and grow a lot better. I hope I can contribute to the faculty, and I wish prospective candidates could likewise enjoy the support from the Graduate Council like I did.


My name is Karin Kee and I work as a PhD candidate at the Department of the Organization Sciences. I am happy to announce that I became a member of the graduate council, as I like to interact with PhD’s from other departments and organize social events, such as writing workshops and the annual PhD day. I am looking forward to seeing you around!


My name is Caroline and I am working at the Anthropology department, doing comparative research on environmental movements in Ecuador and the Netherlands. By joining the Graduate Council, I hope to contribute to a fruitful environment for all PhD’s, and maybe especially for those who follow the (actually not so) ‘exceptional’ trajectory of doing an external PhD.”


On 1 November the course Teaching Practice and Supervision will start. The course comprises of 3 different modules which can be followed separately. Participants who follow all three modules and pass the final assessment receive a partial VU-BKO-certificate (or: University Teaching Qualification, UTQ). Check our Study Guide [link:] for more details. Junior teachers can also sign up. Please register through

The first Pizza Session of this academic year will be about the very exiting final phase of your PhD: the defense! While you are eating your pizza, Barbara Zegveld and Ellis Verkerk from the Beadle’s Office will tell you everything you need to know about the final phase of your PhD trajectory – from submitting your manuscript to the defense ceremony. Location: HG 7A36, time: 17:30-19:00. Sign up for this pizza session before 6 November by sending an e-mail to

Advice: If you have never attended a defense ceremony, you can attend the ceremony of FSS PhD candidate Irene Sinteur about Autonomous groups between power andempowerment on 6 November, 11:45, Auditorium.


Hi everyone! My name is Karin Kee and I work as a PhD candidate at the Department of Organization Sciences. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Organization Sciences here at the VU. As of July, I started working on my PhD-project called ‘Resilient Caregivers’, supervised by prof. dr. Bianca Beersma, prof. dr. Henk Nies and Marieke van Wieringen. During the next four years, I will look at how the individuals that are involved in care provision (e.g. professionals, managers, informal caregivers and clients) start to work together and share their ideas and perspectives. More specifically, I will look at how the different parties involved use their voice, which can be defined as the different ways and means through which stakeholders attempt to have a say and potentially influence issues that affect their work or lives. Especially individuals lower in hierarchy and with (perceived) less power (e.g. auxiliary nurses) often hold valuable insights as they are close to the care seekers, but these professionals are often afraid to speak up to higher-ups (e.g. general practitioners). This project aims to yield insights that will enable theory building on the micro-processes underpinning voice behavior and – effectiveness, as well as practical insights into which specific interventions at the work floor are necessary to facilitate voice behavior.


Are you supervising a PhD candidate who is about to finish his/her dissertation? Please write 13 November, 15.00-16.00 (HG- 2A59) in you calender for the next Hora Finita presentation! The Graduate School will give a presentation about the last phase of the PhD trajectory. During this presentation we will focus on how a manuscript is uploaded in Hora Finita, how to appoint the Assessment Committee, how to finalize the promotion and more. Please let us know if you want to attend through

From 7-18 January 2019 the VU International Office organizes the VU Graduate Winter School 2019. More information and an overview of all (PhD) courses can be found on their website. Deadline for enrollment is December 10, 2018.

The VU will be present at the upcoming recruitment workshops in China, Indonesia and Boston. Naná de Graaff is going to China on behalf of the Faculty of Social Sciences. FSS professors and assistant professors will receive more information on the recruitment of Chinese PhD’s with a CSC scholarship soon. Do let us know if you are interested in recruitment in Indonesia and Boston as well! If you have any questions you can approach us, or Naná de Graaff: or Sandra Hasanefendic from International Office, at