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The PhD Buddy Project

With this project we aim to broaden the support network for beginning PhD students. Whether you have questions on where to find the best coffee, how to acquire a staff ID or just need someone to talk to who has been where you are, your buddy is there for you.

A buddy is...

  • there to support you with any practical issue concerning your doctoral research (for example: your (re-)enrolment at SAC, problems with the HR department, getting around the campus, etc)
  • experienced with the opportunities and pitfalls of a doctoral trajectory as they pursue or have pursued one themselves
  • is someone you can trust with your doubts or concerns about your doctoral progress (or the lack thereof); buddies have gone through the same phases of the doctoral trajectory and can reassure you that you are doing fine!
  • is preferably working in the same faculty, but in principle you can also choose a buddy outside your own faculty or field of study
  • has active involvement in the research group, department and/or faculty or at least this is of added value to introduce the new researcher to the broader community of VUB scientists
  • should preferably not support too many starting researchers at once, with a maximum of three researchers
  • should support starting researchers at least six months up to one year, but of course you can keep contact afterwards

A PhD Buddy is NOT...

  • a problem solver between you and your supervisor. Of course you can ventilate about these issues to your buddy, but if you are in a situation with your supervisor that prevents you from doing your research in proper manner, you should contact the ombudsperson for doctoral candidates (see https://my.vub.ac.be/en/phd/ombudsperson)
  • someone who gives technical support. In the first place, it should be someone who can assist you in practical or personal concerns. It might be an added value if he or she also understands what you are working on, but this should not be the main interest
  • your personal assistant. He or she can help to seek the necessary information, but you should do the actions yourself

Interested in being a buddy?

Let us know!

Buddy Events?


Check our page regularly for new events!

VUB PhD DAY - 9/10/2018

Looking for a buddy?

Sign in here!