​The big PhD debate

Promood and the Graduate School get ready to answer some tough questions at the first PhD Debate being held at the end of the month.

On November 28, a room full of PhD candidates will get the chance to vote on the future of the doctoral experience at TU Delft. The PhD Debate will feature a panel of representatives from the Graduate School and PhD representative organisation Promood who will debate the pros and cons of the doctoral process at the university. In turn, the audience participates by voting for the way they feel the university should move forward.

Being organised by Promood, in conjunction with the Graduate School, the closed door event will also be attended by the Rector Magnificus. The topics for the evening were chosen on the basis of a survey conducted by Promood, based on a model used by the 2005 board of the organisation.

“There is no middleman in this dialogue. It’s directly between the Graduate School and the candidates. We approached the Graduate School and worked on this together,” said Jonas Teuwen, the chairman of Promood.

The panel will comprise the Dean of the faculty of Aerospace Engineering, four Directors of the Faculty Graduate Schools and two members of Promood. “One thing we really pushed to ensure is an even number of men and women on the panel and that’s the case now.”

The topics under discussion range from what candidates feel about their supervisors to whether Promood is a relevant organisation for the university. “We are calling it a debate, but the Graduate School likes to call it a dialogue. I definitely anticipate differences in opinion, not just among different parties but also from within the Graduate School. There are always multiple opinions in an organisation, so it will be interesting to see what comes up.”

On the basis of the discussion, the audience will vote in using a technology called FeedbackFruits. Created by a Yes!Delft initiative, FeedbackFruits is platform that allows live interaction, dialogue and sharing between students and teachers. Which means that tricky points under discussion at the debate can get instantaneous shout outs. “Even so, everyone was very supportive about the dialogue. There was discussion about the content of questions and we tried to include local topics as well.”

The debate will be held in English and is open to PhDs from any faculty. However, only 50 people can be accommodated so those interested have to register in advance by writing to Graduateschool@tudelft.nl . Registration is free.

When: November 28 2014

Where: Science Centre, TU Delft, Mijnbouwstraat 120, 2628 RX Delft

Time: 10:00 – 13:00 (lunch included)