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Graduate School of Science


This page offers the schedule for the Science PhD Day (18 April 2019), as well as information about the workshops included. Apart from participating in workshops, there will be ample opportunity to meet your peers in other institutes of our faculty over a bite and a drink, and to get a clearer idea about possible future careers by speed-dating with alumni.

Note: You can find a zoomable pdf in the menu to the right.

Science PhD Day Schedule

Please click here to see the full schedule.

Opening address

The day will start with an opening address by prof.dr. Wim van Saarloos. He is not only a physicist affiliated to LION and Instituut Lorentz, but also the president of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Join us to learn about his personal experiences, listen to his words of advice, and ask him your burning questions!

Workshop Sessions

Scroll down to see more information about the workshops offered. The idea is that you choose one workshop per workshop session, so you can take part in a maximum of 3 workshops. Scientific Conduct covers two consecutive sessions, so if you choose to sign up for Scientific Conduct, you can participate in at most 1 other workshop.

Alumni Sessions

You can sign up for speed-date sessions with alumni. You can find more information about the participating alumni down the bottom of this page. You will be speed-dating with one alumnus and a maximum of five PhD candidates per speed-date round. There will be 4 15-minute rounds in total.

Information Market

During lunch, there will be an information market that offers information about various facilities at Leiden University that you can make use of as a PhD candidate.

Workshop Session I

Aminata Cairo

Aminata Cairo is Lector of Inclusive Education at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. In her daily work she is responsible for assisting the institution to create a climate where everybody is welcome and performs to the best of their abilities.

Imagine a world in which you are able to comfortably deal with the diversity of people you are meant to encounter and inspire. How do you do that? Whether in a leadership position, or member of a working team, the world is looking for people who can engage and create change. Aminata will take you on an experiential (and experimental) journey to give you some hand on tools to address some of the interpersonal interactions that might be difficult at times. Come open to experience and learn something different. In order to make it in your career, you need more than intellectual capacities, you need to be able to connect with and relate to others as well.

Henk Snijders, LUF, Leiden University

This workshop will provide an overview of different types of grants you can apply for during your time as a PhD candidate at Leiden University. That is, it will not talk about felllowships to continue your career after your PhD, but it will rather inform you about (smaller) travel grants etc. for during your PhD. At the same time, you will be offered some tips and tricks as to what committee members are looking for when reviewing your application.

Yvonne Dexel and Tineke Rutgers, HRM Learning & Development, Leiden University

After your PhD a new world will open up.
How do you orient yourself on, and prepare yourself for, your next career step? How do you find out where your talents and motives lie, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and what is especially important to you in life and future career? Have you ever thought about this? Knowing yourself well will enable you to make the right choices in terms of the ideal job(s) in or outside of academia. And, you will also be able to present yourself in a better way.

Prepare yourself in time!
In this workshop we will show you our new PhD career platform and offer you some tips on how to use this portal. With the help of the portal you can make a start in exploring your talents. If you are more aware of your talents, you can transform certain behavioural patterns into successful behaviour. Search for your talents and use the PhD career portal!

University Sports Centre (USC)

Office yoga focuses on strengthening and relieving your back, shoulder and neck muscles, which often get overloaded, if you spend many hours working at your PC. In addition, we will go over some breathing and mindfulness exercises for relaxation. This reduces chances of getting RSI, it improves your posture, and reduces stress. As an additional advantage: a relaxed brain performs better!

This workshop will offer tips and tricks that you can use in your office or at your desk.

We advise you to bring a towel to this workshop.

Sissy Hofmeester, Leiden University

This workshop will focus on all (or at least a lot of) HR matters which employees of Leiden University can encounter during their employment. Always wanted to know more about the terms and conditions of your employment, about annual leave, about the different choices offered in our choice model, about performance and development interviews, pregnancy, or pension? We will provide you with some useful guidelines to find your way through the HR regulations and procedures at Leiden University. Especially for our international employees, Marlon van Leeuwen of the Service Centre International Staff (SCIS) will also give a short presentation on health care and health insurance in The Netherlands. If you feel like this workshop was a good appetizer, but you still want more; feel free to come and meet the Personnel Shared Service Centre (PSSC) and the Service Centre International Staff (SCIS) at the Information Market!

Most HR topics are mainly interesting for PhD candidates who are employed by Leiden University (those who receive a salary from Leiden University). The health care and health insurance presentation, however, will be interesting for all international PhD candidates (both employed and self-funded (contract)). Please feel free to join if either of these topics is of interest to you!

Workshop Session II

Kick Moors, Faculty of Science, Leiden University

In life, we develop negative and/or positive thoughts about ourselves on the basis of our nature and experiences, our inner narrative. These thoughts may spontaneously arise in particular, for instance stressful, situations, and can give rise to certain feelings, to a physical reaction, as well as affect your behaviour. As a result, this automatic response can have a negative impact on your performance, for instance, during a presentation. On the flip side, these thoughts could also stimulate you to perform to the best of your abilities by making you behave authentically and enthusiastically. In this workshop, we will investigate what your inner narrative is in order to reduce negative responses, and stimulate positive responses. This will help you perform optimally even in stressful situations. If desired, we could spend some time going over relaxation and breathing exercises.

Carlo Beenakker, Lorentz, Leiden University

Applying for academic jobs, whether it’s a postdoc or tenure-track position, requires lots of time and effort. Many applications include a cover letter and a research statement, in addition to your CV and referees. But how do you write a solid research statement that shows you’ve got research potential and you will be leading many important research projects in the near future? What do you generally include in a cover letter and how do you tailor your writings to a particular institution to demonstrate your interest in the specific position advertised?  How do you choose your referees wisely? This workshops offers some tips and tricks for academic job applications and, as such, provides some insight into the search committee’s points of interest when evaluating applications.

Geertje Janssen, People in Science

Did you know that about 70% of PhD-candidates find a job outside academia after obtaining a PhD? But how do you find suitable opportunities for PhDs and convince possible employers of your value? Dr. Geertje Janssen from People in Science will provide a hands-on workshop and an inside out perspective on recruitment of science professionals. Geertje obtained her PhD in Biophysical Chemistry from Leiden University and previously worked as a business developer and strategy consultant. She currently works as a recruiter, speaker and trainer and in that role supports academics to gain awareness of, and get the most out of, their innovative potential. 

Centre for Digital Scholarship (CDS)

Open Science: just science done right. Right? What does Open Science actually mean? What is in it for you and how can you make it work? In this workshop we will explore how Open Science can be rewarding for researchers and the research community alike. We’ll give you some practical guidance on tools and ways of opening up your work from the start of your research project to the final conclusions and beyond. We will explore opportunities to increase your impact and visibility. We highlight the debate on new reward systems in science and how they may open new career paths.

Faculty of Science

A number of cases of scientific fraud and misconduct were bad publicity for the scientific world. Are these cases signs of a system in crisis or just some anomalies in an otherwise good scientific framework? This workshop will discuss the grey areas and your role as an individual scientist to prevent misconduct by means of a dilemma game.

The workshop takes two hours and therefore covers workshop sessions II and III.

We advise you to take this course in the third year of your PhD track.

Workshop Session III

Marieke Bos and Anika Bexkens, Psychology, Leiden University

How to stay connected to yourself and fulfill your dreams and ambitions?

Work-life balance is a trending topic in society. Having the opportunity to stay connected to everyone 24-h a day may fade away this traditional distinction between work and private life. In academia the workload is high; pressure to publish, teaching load, and job uncertainty contribute to this. These issues may put the mental well-being of a (young) scientist at risk. How to deal with this pressure and stay a happy young scientist who is able to realize his/her own ambitions?  

In this workshop we focus on how to stay connected to yourself! We will encourage you to think about your strengths and difficulties and how these match with your work environment. How are your soft spots triggered in your work and does this affect your well-being? In this workshop we aim to encourage you to reflect on how to healthy reach your goals and ambitions. 

Homework: We would like to ask you to keep a daily diary for one week (including weekend) and keep note of the following:

  • Rate three times a day (morning, noon, evening) your stress-level at a VAS scale from 1 (no stress) – 10 (intolerable stress).
  • Rate three times a day (morning, noon, evening) your positive mood at a VAS scale from 1 (no positive mood) – 10 (very positive mood)
  • Record at the start and end of your working day:
    • Which activity will give/gave you energy
    • Which activity cost/costed you energy
  • Which activities do you do after your working day?

A general question: Please write down in a few sentences what the (unwritten) rules are in your lab/department concerning work hours/ working at home/output.


Centre for Digital Scholarship (CDS)

Your research is going well, you’ve collected lots of data, you’ve started writing your thesis, you’re almost ready to publish, or you have already. What can go wrong? Good research data management can help you save time and stress during your research, help others (including you!) re-use your data in future, and bolster your reputation and career. We take a fun look at why good data management is important, and how to do it. Have you thought about making your data more FAIR? Sometimes it just takes a few steps.

Yuliya Shakalisava - LACDR, Leiden University

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship is an excellent opportunity for researchers to get personal funding to conduct research in Europe and beyond. Researchers from any discipline can apply. Along with valuable international experience, researchers receive high quality technical training and develop transferable skills. This talk will provide practical information about the Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship, the application process and insightful advice on the key elements of the successful application.

Dr. Yuliya Shakalisava is a researcher at Leiden University. Yuliya held a Marie Curie fellowship and now is a project coordinator at Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research where she is developing novel analytical methods for metabolomics research. Yuliya has worked in multidisciplinary research teams, management and administration in The Netherlands, Ireland and France. With her non-academic activities, Yuliya has extensive experience developing and writing research proposals in different disciplines – with a particular focus on Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowships. She is a proposal evaluator for the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions of Horizon 2020.

University Sports Centre (USC)

Office yoga focuses on strengthening and relieving your back, shoulder and neck muscles, which often get overloaded, if you spend many hours working at your PC. In addition, we will go over some breathing and mindfulness exercises for relaxation. This reduces chances of getting RSI, it improves your posture, and reduces stress. As an additional advantage: a relaxed brain performs better!

This workshop offers tips and tricks that you can use in your office or at your desk.

We advise you to bring a towel to this workshop.

Faculty of Science

A number of cases of scientific fraud and misconduct were bad publicity for the scientific world. Are these cases signs of a system in crisis or just some anomalies in an otherwise good scientific framework? This course will discuss the grey areas and your role as an individual scientist to prevent misconduct.

Various moral dilemmas in scientific conduct will be discussed by means of a dilemma game.

This workshop takes two hours and so covers workshop sessions II and III.

We advise you to take this course in your third year of the PhD track.

Alumni available for speed-dates

During drinks you will have an opportunity to meet alumni from the Graduate School of Science. If you sign up for speed-dating, you will have the opportunity to informally chat with several alumni, together with other PhD students. During the speed-dates, you and your fellow PhD's can ask the alumnus questions about their career, the transition from being a PhD student to their current job, and their experiences, over a drink. Below you find the alumni available for a speed-date. 

Gertjan obtained his PhD in 2005 from the Leiden Institute of Physics. After his PhD and a postdoc at Leiden University, he’s successfully joined a spin-off company, Leiden Probe Microscopy BV, at an early stage, of which he is currently the managing director.

Francesca obtained her PhD in 2017 from the Leiden University Mathematical Institute. She currently works as a quant at ING, and specifically in the field of risk modelling. Her role focuses on the validation of market risk and operational risk models.

Caroline obtained her PhD in behavioural biology in 2012 from the Institute of Biology. After her PhD she worked for an animal welfare organisation and the national government. She currently works as a policy maker for nature and biodiversity at the municipality of Zoetermeer

Erica obtained her PhD in 2015 from the Leiden Institute of Chemistry in the group of Prof. Lies Bouwman. After her PhD she worked for about 2 years at the Dutch funding agency NWO. Since 2017 she is employed by Avantium as an Operations Manager and Team leader in the Renewable Chemistries department.

Olivera obtained her PhD in astrophysics in 2012 from the Leiden Observatory. She currently works as a data science manager and a senior data scientist for Entis. Entis supports asset managers in building sustainable investment portfolios and achieving better investment results. It is a spin-off from Deloitte and is an independent business unit of APG, the biggest Dutch pension investor.

Philippe obtained his PhD in 2013 from the Leiden Insitute of Biology. He currently works as a senior scientist/manager PDMS API LM for The Janssen Pharmaceutical of Johnson & Johnson.

Maarten was born in the city of Leiden but studied Biology at the University of Groningen,  where he also obtained his PhD in Ecology in 2012. After that, he worked as an ecologist at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and as a research fellow at the University of Manchester. So not a Leiden alumnus exactly, but he is currently affiliated to Leiden University's Institute of Environmental Sciences as an Assistant Professor. 

Harmen obtained his PhD in 2010 from the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science. After his PhD, he has worked on various topics, including high-level synthesis tools for FPGAs and business applications.

He successfully set up his own company and is currently CTO at IBANC SEPA Software and CEO at Numerator BV, a company that invests in promising software products and by active participation takes software projects to the next level.

Geert obtained his PhD in 2013 from the Leiden Institute of Physics. He currently works as a process engineer for Shell. In his first assignment, he has worked on the development and deployment of new catalytic reaction technologies for the Pearl Gas-To-Liquids plant in Qatar. Currently, he is responsible for the maintenance and development of economic optimization models of a major refinery.

Maarten obtained his PhD in 2000 from the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research. He currently works as a coordinator for private-public collaborations for the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the Science domain.

Information Market

At the information market, you will be able to find out more about various facilities offered at Leiden University. There will be various stands that can provide you with information on specific topics. You can browse around during lunch. You can find out who will be present at the information market below.

Find out how you can connect with, and learn from, Leiden University Science PhD alumni.

Do you want to know what the difference is between research schools, the graduate school, and institutes? Find out at the Casimir Research School stand! They can also tell you how satisfied PhD students are with their PhD track!

Learn what our university has to offer in terms of support in data management, open science, and more.

Bring a copy of your CV and have it checked at the CV check stand during lunch!

Meet Margriet van Laere from the Graduate School Office and ask any question you may have about the PhD procedure and LUCRIS Graduate School Management.

Do you know what facilities you can make use of as an employee, or what things are availbale at a discounted rate? Find out at the HR stand!

Get up to date with the events the Leids Promovendi Overleg, LEO, organises and become a member!

LUF can tell you everything about travel grants and other possibilities for funding during your PhD track.

Meet the people from the Intellectual Property office for all your quetions concerning Intellectual Property!

Find out what possibilities there are to share your research results with a wider audience.

Meet our PhD Career Advisors, Yvonne Dexel and Tineke Rutgers, and learn more about the online Career Platform for PhD students!

Ask all your questions about living and working in The Netherlands at our International Office Stand!

Learn what classes and facilities are available at the USC and how you can become a member!

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