Utrecht PhD Party (UPP) is a University Council party at Utrecht University. It is our mission to represent PhD candidates, to protect their rights and to improve the quality of the PhD experience. This is not only in their best interest, but improves the quality of research and education of the whole university. We currently have two seats in the council.
Why a party for PhDs and other temporary employees?
The University of Utrecht has approximately 3000 PhD candidates many of which are employed at the university with a temporary contract. At the end of their contract, PhDs defend their dissertation, obtaining a doctorate degree. This type of employment makes PhDs a group of employees with specific interests and needs, which should be represented in all levels of university participation bodies. Until a couple of years ago, PhDs, post-docs, and other temporary employees have been underrepresented, especially in the university council. Therefore, their interests were not taken into consideration well enough. To prevent this from happening again, we proudly announce a new party for PhD candidates, and other temporary employees: the Utrecht PhD Party (UPP).
The UPP has been founded with the aim to bring together PhD candidates with an interest in participation and to offer them an election program that is aimed at their needs. The UPP will look for PhDs and temporary staff willing to participate and support them during their campaign and their time in university council. To this end, the UPP will coordinate closely with Prout (PhD network Utrecht).
Topics that are important for PhDs and temporary staff, among others, are obtaining the balance between research and teaching obligations, the preparation of PhDs for the job market within or outside of academia, the rights of bursary PhDs and solid supervision. What is more, internationalisation on all levels of the university is important and should be expanded by way of bilingual language policy (NL-EN) in participation councils to include foreign employees and PhDs. The so-called bursary PhDs which have neither employee or student status, finally, will, of course, also be represented in the UPP.
In the past three years, PhDs were represented within the university council by one or two members. During this time, topics that were discussed included setting up courses for teaching on a university level, the importance of the PhD regulations, and the right to vote for bursary PhDs. With the new PhD and temporary staff party UPP, a foundation will be laid to anchor participation of PhDs and temporary staff within the university of Utrecht and make sure their interests are looked after now and in the future.