The Dutch network for PhD students, Promovendi Netwerk Nederland (PNN) examined 1872 vacancy texts. Not all of them mention the duration of the appointment, the salary or whether the PhD student is expected to teach.
Some universities score better than others on this criterion too. At TU Delft, more than 98 percent of the vacancy texts are sufficiently transparent. At the other end of the spectrum are Radboud University Nijmegen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Wageningen University & Research, where no more than 15 percent of vacancy texts provide sufficient information.
This is the first PNN monitor to reveal differences between institutions. “Universities love rankings,” says network chairperson Lucille Mattijssen. “When they score at or near the top, they shout it from the rooftops. But perhaps more importantly: no one wants to be ranked at the bottom.”
The problem with dubious contracts was certainly present in years past, Mattijssen explains. “But no one really seemed to care. Now you can plainly see which universities are playing by the rules. Hopefully the others will take notice and mend their ways.”
HOP, Evelien Flink