‘I am still related to the UvA as a PhD candidate. Very soon after graduation I was asked for the job of teaching assistant. During six months after my graduation I assisted different courses. I had applied to a number of PhD-positions, but things did not work out as expected. There was nothing clearly available in Amsterdam. But one thing led to the other and in February 2010 I started with my PhD-position at the UvA. I was already acquainted with the people I work with now. My supervisor supervised my Master's thesis.
involves different things. The main thing is research: In the first month you define the project and there is a lot of reading. After getting acquainted to the state of the art, you start working on the problem yourself. This means writing as there is no experimental component in my research. You read and write by yourself and with a group. The second thing that is part of the job of a doctoral researcher is teaching. I supervise Bachelor's and Master's students one day a week with two courses. Another thing that I do is help with social activities in the academic world, like organising workshops and meetings. This is not every day of course, but some time.
I am focusing on the problem raised by expressions like 'tasty'. This involves questions like: What is tasty? In what ways is tasty related to expressions like 'expensive'? A price is simple to look at, but how do you know if something is tastier than the other? What are the similarities and differences between tasty and expensive?
You need a lot of creativity in my current position. You have to define problems yourself, because problems are rarely out there. You also need to be self-standing: independent, it is you who is responsible. Ultimately you need a certain trust to develop that trust in yourself.’