top of page

GSSE PhD Council -  Policy Plan




The GSSE PhD Council, henceforth known as ‘The Council’, was established in April 2011 and comprises a collection of PhD candidates that act as the official representatives of the PhD community in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Groningen.

Mission and Vision


Mission: To improve the quality of PhD education and training in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering through its educational and social events and outreach. Moreover, to discuss the issues that arise from PhD candidates and bring it up to the attention of the Graduate school and advocate for equal treatment of PhD candidates faculty wide as well as acting as a link between the Graduate school and the PhD community. 


Vision: To be an open channel for all PhD candidates to rely on, act as a facilitator for them to get to know each other and have a great time in Groningen 




The Council will meet on a monthly basis to discuss the ongoing activities and plan for future events. The monthly meeting is coordinated by the Chairperson with the Secretary taking minutes of the meeting to share among council members. At the meeting, the Coordinator of the PhD Academy also joins to provide input and feedback on our suggestions.

The Council organizes scientific, career-oriented, social and/or networking events for GSSE PhD candidates. The aim is to provide the PhD Students with an embracing opportunity within their PhD, to provide an opportunity to be outside of research and meet like-minded individuals from different departments.

The monthly borrels aim to facilitate communication and social connections between GSSE PhD candidates. The first drink is paid by the Council. Once a year in summer, the borrel is replaced by a barbecue. These borrels are occasionally organized in collaboration with PhD councils from different faculties.

The PhD Supervisor Award, taking place annually, is organized to recognize and celebrate great PhD supervisors within GSSE. Supervisors can be nominated by their PhD candidates. The council prepares a shortlist based on the responses and the top 4 is finalized in consultation with the Sounding Board. A ceremony is organized within the program of the opening of the academic year.

The Managing your Supervisor workshop focuses on the communication between you and your supervisor. We aim for this workshop to help PhD candidates to see that they can play an active role in building and maintaining good relationships with the supervisors.Furthermore, the workshop strives to provide an opportunity for participants to share their current hurdles in achieving clear communication with their supervisor. 

The Council participates in the Sounding Board to provide input towards policy of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and management of graduate students. 

The PhD Introductory event takes place on a monthly basis and a council member will present the work undertaken by the Council, providing a platform for incoming PhD candidates to know who to contact in case of questions.

Coordinates with GOPHER and GRIN on the dissemination of non-GSSE activities and information to PhD candidates within GSSE. The activity is mainly conducted through the Communication channels (outlined below)




The Council will communicate with PhD candidates of the GSSE via the monthly email newsletter which is drafted by Council members. Promotion of events is conducted via the monthly email, but also through the Council’s Facebook page and website as well as via the digital information screens that are spread in the different buildings of the FSE.




The Council receives its funding annually from the Faculty of Science and Engineering to conduct its activities. A budget is presented, outlining the costs for events (e.g. PhD Supervisor Award, workshops, Alumni lunch talks, Borrels, etc.), administration and unforeseen costs. 


Council Roles



Main coordinator and point of contact of the Council. Organizes the monthly meeting and ensures the smooth running of the Council.


Internal communication is organized by making sure the right people react to emails and other messages. Takes minutes during the monthly meeting.


Ensure the Council is financially stable to meet its annual event targets and safeguard the organization’s finances for its scheduled activities.

General Council Member

Provides input and commentary on topics discussed within the monthly meeting. Helps with the smooth organization of the Council and provides assistance to other Council members.

Last update: 19/01/2023

bottom of page