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Central PhD Council

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.

2021-2022 focal points

Based on information, from the PhD survey report for example, the CPC selects focal points that could benefit from added attention or require improvement. In the 2021-2022 academic year we have divided our work into the sections 'PhD trajectory', 'Recognition and reward', 'Work conditions', 'Wellbeing', and 'Information provision'.

Icons from the Noun Project ( by Andrey Vasiliev, Edwin PM, Amy Morgan, Jaqlyne Ooi, Vectorstall, and AomAm.
Infographic in words
  • PhD trajectory
    • Participate in workgroups that develop new policies to improve PhD supervision, career orientation and transferable skills.
    • Discuss delays and compensation due to the pandemic with the university and faculties.
  • Work conditions
    • Collaborate with academic affairs to create an overview on different PhD/contract types to clarify which conditions apply.
    • Strive to get the defence's wardrobe costs covered by the university.
    • Host a seminar by PNN on the Dutch labour agreement for PhDs.
    • Take over official representation of external PhD candidates.
  • Information provision
    • Improve the information on the CPC availabel on the UvA website
    • Create an overview of different PhD communication methods within faculties.
  • Recognition and reward
    • Discuss with the committee recognition and reward within the context of a PhD project.
    • Discuss differences in graduating cum laude with the university.
  • Wellbeing
    • 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.