News April 2018

Second Amsterdam PhD Career Event for Social Sciences

After a successful first edition, AISSR, ASCoR (research institute communication science) and the VU graduate school Social Sciences (VU GSSS) welcome you to the second PhD Career Event, with speakers, trainers, experts and alumni from the academic and non-academic sector. The aim is to provide you with perspectives and practical advice on how to prepare for your future career after obtaining your doctorate.

The event is initially aimed at PhD candidates from VU GSSS, ASCoR and AISSR. If spots remain available, registration will be opened to PhD candidates from other departments.
What can you expect? Speakers/workshops on:
•    Reflecting on your Dream Job
•    Presentations by alumni on their career trajectories
•    Translating your academic skills into practice
•    Getting the best out of Linkedin
•    Funding opportunities for an academic career
Day: Wednesday 6 June, 2018
Time: 12:00-17:00 (start with coffee and sandwiches, drinks and snacks afterwards)
Location: Crea, Muziekzaal
If you wish to participate, please send an e-mail to: before May 6. There is a limited number of spaces, make sure to sign up in time.
The full programme will follow soon.

Meet Lisa-Marie Kraus & Kim Knipprath, New PhD Students

Hi everyone, my name is Lisa-Marie and I’ve recently joined the Becoming a Minority (BAM)  project as a PhD candidate under the supervision of Maurice Crul. Before I became part of the BAM team, I graduated from a Master in Arts, Culture and Society, which was followed by a Research Master in Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts, both at Erasmus University.

During my time in Rotterdam, I became interested in how socially mobile people negotiate different socialization contexts and the varying cultural aspects those entail. In this regard, I’m interested in the habitus of socially mobile individuals and, particularly for the BAM project, to what extent primary socialization determines one’s perception of growing diversity. I want to research how different and sometimes contradicting embodied political dispositions can reside within one individual and which of those dispositions people eventually act up on. Overall, I aim to explain why often times open attitudes towards cultural diversity are verbally expressed but in the end not pragmatically lived.


Hi, my name is Kim Knipprath. I am originally from Germany - although my family on my father’s side is from the Côte d'Ivoire. I have a background in Organization Science and last year I completed my Research Master in the Social and Behavioral Sciences at Tilburg University. My master thesis was about the socially situated emotion of resentment and its relationship to political cynicism/populism among Muslim minorities living in Belgium.
This April 2018, I started my PhD within the Becoming a Minority (BAM) project under the supervision of Maurice Crul at the Sociology Department. Our group will examine how people of native descent respond to becoming a minority in majority-minority city contexts. My own research within this project is about varying forms of ideological expressions that members of the dominant ethnic group use to maintain political and economic control over ethnic outgroups.
I guess my interests in ethnic relations are mostly due to my own family background and my experiences growing up in an ethnically mixed neighborhood. I believe that the BAM project will contribute towards a better understanding of some of the historically deep-seated ethnic tensions within Europe’s rapidly changing cities. Working at VU, placed in one of the ethnically most diverse cities in the world, seemed to be a good choice.

Kim Knipprath

PhD association in the Global Room

VU is very diverse, faculties are worlds in themselves, but it is very easy to find unity among PhD candidates. Therefore, with the support of the International Office, FSS PhD candidate Juliana Rodrigues de Senna and Sauvik das Gupta (Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences) have launched a PhD association at VU. The objective is to work as a hub among faculties to discuss our common issues, meeting (at first) once a month at the Global Room.

Based on the outcomes of a survey held throughout March/April, the PhD association is divided  focused on four main areas:
1.    PhDiscussions, coordinated by Yagmur Amanvermez, will promote events and activities related to Academic and Career-oriented issues (Pitching competitions, Seminars and Conferences.
2.    PhDrinks is coordinated by Francis Ostermeijer, Bouke Klein Tesselink and Milan Jelisavcic. Being the social branch of the organization, it is aimed at making sure PhDs integrate and discuss in an informal environment (language café, drinking quizzes).
3.    Doctor’s Appointment, on the hands of Angelo Romasanta, deals with practical issues, bringing in relevant stakeholders to work them out (can I stay in the Netherlands after I finish my studies? How does a graduation ceremony look like?)
4.    PhD Family, coordinated by Ikenna Ebuenyi, will promote activities that integrate families through outdoors activities, tours and the like.

The main goal of this division is to make sure this organization is effective in representing aspirations and rights of PhD candidates. To do so, they need all VU’s PhDs to join and participate, either by actively helping them organize or simply by showing up to their activities. If you want to sign up, please send an e-mail to or keep an eye on the GSSS website and the FSS newsletter for any updates.

Save the date:
Kick off: a Doctor’s Appointment focusing on credits (how to get them, when, alternatives, etc.).
24 May: the first PhD-family activity: a visit to Artis Royal Zoo & drinks at the LGBTQ district.

Pizza Sessions

During our last pizza Session Thijl Sunier (SCA) and Theo van Tilburg (SOC) shared their ideas about monograph dissertations and article-based dissertations. In addition, they shared their experiences and ideas about co-authorship and first-authorship. The session triggered many questions. If you also have questions but could not attend the Pizza Session, please feel free to ask for the presentation slides by sending an email to

New Component

The Next Pizza Session will be about the final stages of your PhD - from finishing your dissertation to the defense. Date: t.b.a.