New Graduate School seminar is a great success

For the first time ever, the Graduate School held a seminar for PhD students and supervisors on 6-7 October. The theme was well-being during a PhD programme, and the seminar offered two interesting and enjoyable days for participants and the head of the graduate school, Vice-dean David Lundbek Egholm.

Photo: Rikke J. Ljungmann
Photo: Rikke J. Ljungmann

The Fuglsøcentret conference centre was buzzing with activity and expectation when around 50 PhD students and supervisors from the Graduate School at Natural Sciences arrived for the first seminar ever on 6 and 7 October.

The object of the two days was to bring together all stakeholders across the faculty to talk about the future and visions of the Graduate School. The programme included presentations, debates, and group work on important themes in the PhD programmes.

For example, support from the Graduate School for orientation days, development of independence, PhD student well-being and the Graduate School's action plan.

"It was great to gather PhD students and supervisors from all the departments to talk about how they are trying to improve life as a PhD student. Being able to talk together across departments and share experiences. This was the most valuable aspect for me," says Henriette Rübsam, PhD student at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and representative on the PhD committee, who participated in the seminar.

"There were five PhD students from our department. Several of the others said that, before the seminar, they didn’t know much about what the Graduate School is all about. After the seminar, they could really see the importance of the work, and two of them want to take over from me in the PhD committee when I finish my PhD next year."

Inspiring more PhD students to take a more active part in the Graduate School was one of the main objectives of the seminar. Furthermore, the nomination model for the PhD committee has been changed and now the committee has to include representatives elected from among the PhD students at all eight faculties.

"I had a couple of really good days and I got a lot out of them. I was especially pleased to see so much commitment and interest from our PhD students. They came with great insight and very relevant suggestions for how we can make the Graduate School even better," says David Lundbek Egholm, vice-dean for research and head of the Graduate School.

The PhD committee and the programme committee for the Graduate School will work further on the good points from the seminar.

The Graduate School is going to repeat the success, and plans to invite PhD students and supervisors to a similar seminar every other year.