What is a PhD/PD Council?

All well organized Universities have them, but what is actually a PhD/PD council?

In short: The PhD/PD council is a group of PhD candidates (and postdocs)  that act as representatives of the PhD/PD community within an Institute/Faculty/University etc.

The PhD/PD council can vary in size and responsibilities from place to place, but has as its main objective to look to the best interest of the PhDs and Postdocs.

The PhD/PD council of QuMat includes 6 PhD students and postdocs, and represents the consortium’s young researchers. They will advise and act as a sounding board for the executive board (EB). They will appoint two representatives to the talent committee (TC).

A new PhD council is elected every year, so the minimal term time for a member of the council is one year. Members of the council may be re-nominated for multiple years.


The PhD/PD council serves a dual purpose within QuMat.

On the one hand, it serves an academic and educational purpose by ensuring that the interests of the young researchers are taken into account in the consortium’s policies and education program. Here, the two PhD/PD representatives in the TC will be the natural channel for communication.

For this purpose, the PhD/PD council can propose scientific topics and personal development skills to incorporate into the education and career development programs.

On the other hand, it serves a social function. It is instrumental in building a healthy network of QuMat PhD’s and postdocs around the Netherlands.

Here the PhD/PD council will organize teambuilding and career development activities for the young researchers of QuMat.

Frequency of meetings

The PhD/PD council will initially meet at least twice a year during the Pillar Meeting and the Yearly Meeting. However, the council may choose to meet much more frequently if desired.

The Independent counselor

At the start of the program, the PhD/PD council will choose an independent counselor for the PhD students and postdocs in case of work-related or personal problems. Ze will act as a mediator in case of conflicts.

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