Current Council Members
Nico Naus, Faculty of Science
After completing both my Bachelor and Master at Utrecht University, I started as a PhD candidate in 2015. I’m part of the Software Technology (for Learning and Teaching) group at the department of information and computing science (faculty of natural sciences). In my research, I focus on software analysis, compiler technology and generic end-user feedback systems.
From the start, I have been a member of the PhD council of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences, to improve the position of PhD candidates. The council is in constant contact with policy makers to represent the interests of PhD candidates. I am also part of the PhD council of the national graduate school IPA, and currently I’m founding a departmental PhD council as well.
All graduate schools have PhD councils, which is great, but it is very important that PhD candidates are also represented at university level. The University Council is a great instrument for this, since it has a definitive say in policy decisions.
As we have also stated in our party programme, there are some issues regarding the quality of the PhD experience. Not every PhD candidate has access to good, affordable courses, for example. It is our mission to improve the situation, both for bursary and employed PhD candidates.
Lieke Schrijvers, Faculty of Humanities
My academic background is in gender studies and religious studies. At Utrecht University I started my PhD in 2016, after graduating from the research master in Gender & Ethnicity. I am currently a member of a research project about religious conversion, at the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Besides my academic interests, I am committed to intersectional feminist and queer social movements, where I can combine academia with politics and concrete actions. Over the past years, I have come to realize that there is a lot to improve in the rights of PhD candidates. Increasing numbers of temporary workers in academia – such as postdocs and teachers – are added to this group of precarious employees in times of financial crises. With UPP, I devote myself to improving the transparency and accessibility of PhD rights and responsibilities. Moreover, I am particularly devoted to meaningful accessibility and inclusivity, and will work together with (amongst others) the Task Force Diversity to counter exploitation and discrimination on the workfloor.
In the University Council, I am member of the committee on Finance, Staff and IT, as well as member of the PR committee and spokesperson for the Faculty of Social Sciences. In addition, I am a representative of Utrecht’s independent PhD network PROUT.
Anne van Veen, Faculty of Science
I first entered Utrecht University back in 2003 as a Interdisciplinary Social Science student, returned in 2010 for a masters at the Humanities department and came back again in 2016 to the Natural Sciences department for a PhD. My research is on histories of animal testing and alternatives in the Netherlands. Since starting my PhD, I have noticed that there is room for improvement when it comes to the position of PhDs. Therefore, I decided to run for university council. Besides PhD rights, I am also passionate about the other issues UPP stands for. Through my work at the university council, I hope to contribute to making UU a sustainable university which is proactive about being inclusive and accessible.
In the University Council, I am member of the committee on Education, Research and Students (OOS) and vice-chairperson of the staff delegation. In addition, I am a representative of Utrecht’s independent PhD network PROUT.