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The Central PhD Council (CPC) of the University of Amsterdam serves the interest of all PhD candidates at an administrative level, and is a sounding board for organisational developments concerning PhD candidates within the university.

The board of the Central PhD Council consists of 7 members representing the different faculties of the University of Amsterdam.

The CPC represents at the central level over 4000 UvA PhD candidates from these 7 faculties. The Central PhD Council also advocates for the interests of PhD candidates at a national level through its membership in the PhD candidates Network of the Netherlands (PNN).

What do we do?

  • Monthly CPC meetings: the CPC board meets once a month to discuss current topics and exchange information between PhD councils of each faculty. PhD candidates who are not a board member, or other university staff members, may attend the board meetings to discuss and put issues on the agenda. Would you like to attend a board meeting? Send us an email!
  • Quarterly meetings with the University’s Rector Magnificus, a representative of the department of academic affairs, and a representative of the faculty deans. 
  • Meetings with various people within the organisation, depending on the topic discussed. For instance, we’ve had or are part of meetings with the COR, the taskforce for social safety, the ombudsperson, UvA confidential advisers, the committee on recognition and rewards, the workgroup 'PhD trajectory', the health week committee.
  • The bi-annual PhD survey and PhD survey report.
PhD survey

To monitor the experience of PhD candidates on a number of topics, a bi-annual survey is held by the CPC among all PhD candidates. This survey is distributed among all faculties, including the Faculty of Medicine. 

The survey includes questions on several general topics; employment conditions, research environment, supervision, education, teaching, support, progress and wellbeing, social safety, finishing your PhD and career development.

The results of the PhD survey is summarised in a PhD survey report, which is publicly available on the UvA website. The aim of this report is to monitor experiences of PhD candidates of all faculties, and to identify points for improvement.

2023-2024 Focal Points

Based on information, for example from the PhD survey report, the CPC selects focal points that could benefit from added attention or require improvement. In the 2023-2024 academic year, we have divided our work into the sections 'PhD trajectory', 'Diversity and inclusion', 'Wellbeing and social safety', 'Work conditions', and 'Career development and education'.

Infographic in words
  • PhD trajectory
    • Participate in workgroups that develop new policies to improve PhD supervision, career orientation and transferable skills.
    • Explore good practices in annual progress meetings.
  • Diversity and inclusion
    • Represent interests of diverse groups of PhD candidates to the university administration.
    • Promote equal access to the university facilities and services.
  • Wellbeing and social safety
    • Discuss the availability of the student psychologists for PhDs with the university.
    • Support university initiatives like a PhD mentor or the social safety awareness campaign.
    • Provide information on PhD characteristics and risk factors to the ombudsperson and confidential adviser. 
  • Work conditions
    • Collaborate with academic affairs to create an overview on different PhD/contract types to clarify which conditions apply.
    • Host a seminar by PNN on the Dutch labour agreement for PhDs.
    • Promote the PhD candidates’ representation at the Works Council.
  • Career development and education
    • Share the survey results with faculties to enhance the existing PhD education or skills system.
    • Motivate the university and faculties to provide stronger support for PhD career development.
    • Discuss about Recognition & Rewards program in the context of PhD candidates with an aim to promote a motivating research culture that goes beyond the completion of thesis.