PhD Community & Representation

The MHeNs’ PhD Community consists of approximately 300 PhDs, who are represented by six PhD candidates from the three MHeNs divisions. The PhD representatives play an important role as the contact persons for PhD students of MHeNs and gives them a voice in the school. Their role is to facilitate communication between the PhD students, the PhD coordinator, and the MHeNs Board; and to help develop PhD grassroots initiatives. The PhD representatives are taking part in the Educational Committee meetings of MHeNs. In addition, the PhD representative for MHeNs is also member of the Faculty PhD Committee (FPC). The FPC of the FHML advises the Board about the broad domain of PhD related issues. The committee is also a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experiences and the discussion of relevant developments and operational issues within and between Schools/Institutes.


MHeNs PhD Committee

PhD representative for MHeNs
Emma de Brabander

PhD students representing each division:

MHeNs PhD Activities

MHeNs PhD candidates meet 4-5 times a year during the so-called 'MHeNs Pizza meetings'. They invite speakers on diverse topics like "Publishing in high impact or open access journals; Networking; Ethics and Transferable Research Skills" etc. Afterwards they close off the event in a more informal setting by eating pizza together. In addition, the PhDs organize annually a MHeNs Mingle day, to stimulate informal and formal exchanges between MHeNs PhDs of the different divisions. They also meet during the annual MHeNs Research day and the EURON PhD days.

In addition, at Maastricht University, there is a vibrant PhD community. There are many ways to connect with your peers on a social and professional level, for instance through the PhD Academy and there is a UM-wide platform, the Central PhD Candidates Platform (CPCP) that discusses interfaculty and (inter)national issues that concern PhD candidates. This includes topics such as workload, contractual and other statuses, teaching duties, psychological health and the duration of PhD tracks.

Buddy Programme

Are you a new incoming PhD candidate and would you like to be connected with someone who can help you settle and get introduced to your new life in Maastricht?
Then the Buddy Programme is perfect for you.

Easy transition

The MHeNs Buddy Programme seeks to facilitate an easy transition for new incoming PhD candidates into academia and life in the Netherlands. By being a social point of reference, a buddy plays a key role in helping a newcomer feel at home and welcomed into our community. The buddy may invite the new colleague for cup of coffee, a tour around the city or show them the social and cultural habits of our country.

Would you like to participate? All interested PhD candidates at MHeNs can register to receive a buddy as newcomer or volunteer to be a buddy. Both internationals as Dutch nationals are welcome to sign up.

Buddies will be connected to a newcomer for a period of three months but are of course free to stay in touch after the programme. Buddies will receive 0,5 EC points for their effort (up to 1,5 EC for 3 PhD candidates), which can be used to apply for a MHeNs certificate at the end of their PhD trajectory.

More information
Interested to volunteer as a buddy to incoming international staff members? Find more information here

Sign up
If you wish to sign up as a newcomer or as a volunteer, please contact your division's buddy coordinator(s). 

Division 1:   Cognitive Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience
                        Astrid Quist:

Division 2:   Mental Health
                        Maud Daemen:
                        Nele Soons:

Division 3:   Translational Neuroscience
                        Rachelle Capponi:
                        Tim Vanmierlo:

Please contact your division's buddy coordinator.