PhD colleagues

You are not alone!

As a PhD student, you conduct independent scientific research. Independent, however, does not mean that you are left completely on your own.

The University of Antwerp is home to around 1700 PhD students. They often face similar difficulties: isolation, precarious work prospects, pressure to publish, juggling work and family, and so on. Sharing your experiences with other PhD students can help ease the burden.

  • "My colleagues were great supporters and acted as a sounding board."
  • "It has been extremely helpful to get feedback from colleagues in my research unit. Often we just talked during our lunch break, but it was very useful!"

ADS offers you a whole range of opportunities to get to know your colleagues. An ADS course, for example, could be the ideal opportunity. You will meet fellow PhD students from various faculties who often have surprisingly similar experiences. This also allows you to take a look beyond your own research. Furthermore, the Antwerp Doctoral School organises various information sessions and workshops and an annual PhD day.

Organised by PhD students

In various faculties and departments, PhD students organise scientific activities such as conferences and lunch seminars. Those initiatives are organised and coordinated entirely by the PhD students themselves. ADS provides financial support (OJO-call).

  • "We eat whenever we meet, every 5 or 6 weeks. The informal, personal aspects are very important. PhD students decide for themselves if and when they want to talk about a PhD-related or personal problem with their colleagues. We have a wide variety of people in the group, from different backgrounds and in different stages of their research, who try to offer solutions. We also meet outside the university. It is not a lot of work to organise: just find a classroom and keep your colleagues informed. Antwerp Doctoral School funding is there - make sure to use it!"  (Pim Verhulst, PhD student and organiser of PhD lunches in the Department of Literature).