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.

From April – August 2021, Lieke replaces Anne as vice-chairperson of the staff delegation and acting chair of UPP.

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.

Iris Yuping Ren, Faculty of Science

From April 2021 until August 2021, Iris replaces Anne as University Council member.

2012 is the first time I came to Utrecht University for a short summer school of two weeks. Five years later, I came back for a much longer time: in 2017, I started my PhD at the Department of Information and Computing Sciences. My research topic is musical pattern discovery, whereby I compare annotated patterns and algorithmically extracted ones. During my PhD, I have learnt and am still learning a lot about research, but also noticed that there are many more influencing factors from life than objective intellectual pursuits. What fuels me includes a range of unfortunate experiences, such as RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), discrimination, and inappropriate behaviour towards me, as well as a range of fortunate ones, including a considerate supervisory team, supporting friends, colleagues and students, and great learning and teaching opportunities. I would love to do what I can to eradicate some of the existing issues and provide a voice for people and for myself that can be helpful, speaking up for diversity, cultural and language awareness, innovation and technologies, and effective communication. I hope to represent a diverse range of PhD candidates, connect with students, and facilitate communication with other employees.

In the University Council, I am a member of the committee on Education, Research and Students (OOS).
I’m also a member of the Science Faculty Council.


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