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Yoga, inclusiveness and dilemma game at first Science PhD Day

Morning yoga, having your resumé checked at the information market, or dancing for inclusiveness: just a small selection of the activities of the first Science PhD Day on Thursday 18 April. Around 120 PhD candidates from all eight institutes of our faculty attended the day. 'A great success', according to one of the attendees.

A zen start of the day

After the opening speech by KNAW president Wim van Saarloos, the day started with five different workshops. Many participants opted for a sporty start at the workshop 'Morning yoga at the office' of the Leiden University Sports Centre. From the Butterfly Pose to the Crescent Moon, a whole arsenal of yoga poses passed by. One floor higher, Aminata Cairo gave an inclusivity training aimed at to connecting with and relating to others. 'This turned out to be a very interactive course where we even went dancing and singing', says LACDR PhD candidate Muriel Heldring.

What has the university to offer?

Besides fun, Heldring's interactive morning also turned out to be useful during lunch. 'The workshop made it easier to make contact with PhD candidates from other institutes.' In addition to lunch, there was also an information market around noon, where the PhD candidates could discover what facilities the university had to offer at fourteen stands. PhD candidates could have their resumé checked by Science Career Services, the news editors told about the outreach possibilities and alumni officer Annette Heijn informed the PhD candidates about the Mentor network.

Dilemma game brings grey areas to light

After lunch and the information market there were two more rounds of workshops. In an interactive session, Kick Moors explained to the participants how to deal with stress. Two doors away, at Scientific Conduct, Heldring learned about the grey areas of science using a dilemma game. 'This course is a mandatory course within the PhD curriculum, so the possibility of attending this course during such a day is ideal.' In addition, Carlo Beenakker gave tips for applying in the scientific world. A good teacher, as he recently won an ERC Advanced Grant for the second time: a fairly unique achievement.

'A successful day'

Finally, Dean Geert de Snoo addressed the visitors and asked some PhD candidates how they experienced the day. During the closing drink the visitors could speed date with former PhD candidates. Heldring found it a successful day: 'The decoration of the day with coffee, lunch and inspiring talks made it very successful'.

Image: Liesbeth Dingemans

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