Introduction Day for new PhD students 2020

The Doctoral Schools are pleased to invite all new PhD students to the Introduction Day to be organised on 6 February 2020 in the Aula/Het Pand.


Research & Valorization

Preliminary programme 6 February 2020

8:30-9:30 Registration

Aula, Ceremoniezaal, Campus Aula,      Volderstraat



OPENING SESSION (moderated by Dr Jamie McDonald) Aula, Ceremoniezaal, Campus Aula

Prof Dr Johan Van de Voorde, director Doctoral School of Life Sciences and Medicine (UGent)

Welcome address

Dr Nele Bracke, Research Policy Advisor (UGent)

All advice is useless. So, how to prepare for an academic career?

Times are changing. Universities are rethinking their career and evaluation policies for academics. More diverse criteria to assess researchers’ careers are being developed and the way to evaluate these criteria is changing. The end goal is clear: more emphasis on the individual talents of academics, more diverse career paths, more focus on quality and content. The timing, pace and uptake across institutions, however, are uncertain. So, how to build an academic CV, when you don’t exactly know how it will be evaluated, what kind of activities will be highly appreciated, etc.? Advice is useless (?), but an insight into the basics of research and researchers’ assessment clearly is helpful.

Presentation slides (ppt)



Q & A
10:30-12:30 HOT TOPIC LECTURES Aula, Ceremoniezaal, Campus Aula
10:30 Ms Inge Van Nieuwerburgh, Coordinator Scientific Communication University Library (UGent) Getting your research out there: scholarly communication

You spend your days doing research and are eager to report your findings. How can you increase the impact of your publications?

Presentation slides (ppt)

11:00 Dr Myriam Mertens, Policy advisor Data management University Library (UGent) Research data management: Why care about it?

This session will introduce doctoral candidates to the topic of research data management (RDM), the range of activities to ensure that research data are reliable, secure, sustainable, accessible, and reusable. It is a subject that is currently high on the international scientific agenda. In this lecture doctoral candidates will learn what RDM is and why they should care about it.

Presentation slides (ppt)

11:30 Ms Stefanie Van der Burght, Research Integrity and Ethics Advisor (UGent) Research Integrity and Ethics at Ghent University

This lecture acquaints you with all the basics and buzz words in relation to research integrity and ethics and gives a full overview of all obligations that go along with it, in order to become a professional researcher.

Presentation slides (ppt)

12:00 Q & A
12:15 Mr Tom De Moor (UCT, UGent) Transferable skills @ UCT Presentation slides (ppt)
12:25 PhD Community Introduction to the Ghent University PhD Community Presentation slides (ppt)
12:30-13:45 NETWORKING LUNCH Peristilium, Campus Aula, Volderstraat
Various locations
Option 1

Dr Jamie McDonald

Resilience, research and zen - the effective PhD


“In nature, there is no such thing as half a wave” - Alan Watts

The same is true for a PhD. We need tools and approaches for surfing the waves effectively - to make the most of the forward momentum and to use the lulls to rest and recuperate, rather than paddle manically.

This interactive workshop dedicates time to practicing a resilient mindset and to meeting challenges and successes with grace and energy (well, as much as we can manage, anyway) and so learn from the experience, rather than wrestle with it.

Looking forward to seeing you in the waves.

Presentation slides  (pdf)

Academieraadzaal, campus Aula, Volderstraat
Option 2

Ms Stefanie Van der Burght, Research Integrity and Ethics Advisor (UGent)

Become R.I.CH at Ghent University

Always looking for ways to improve your research? Look at your daily research practice critically and detect its strengths, respond to pitfalls better (maybe even avoid them in the future) and have a positive effect on the quality of your research! In this regard, this short dilemma training is an eye opener and touches upon a number of general research topics such as integer publishing (co-authorship, plagiarism, …), research data management, conflicts of interest, research ethics etc. Become aware, use the basic tips and tricks and become a real Research Integrity Champion!

Presentation slides (pdf)

Ceremoniezaal,    campus Aula, Volderstraat
Option 3

Dr Nele Bracke, Research Policy Advisor (UGent)

Start to discover your competencies

During this workshop you will discover the competencies that you acquire during your PhD. You will use a competency profile designed for PhD researchers to identify and name your competencies. You will develop strategies to grow your competencies and you will get a clearer picture of your individual strengths.

Presentation slides (pdf)

Room Jan Gillis, Het Pand, Onderbergen 1

Option 4



Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail: what to expect from your supervisor?

The working relationship between supervisors and doctoral candidates plays a pivotal role in the timing and quality of the doctoral project and can influence the candidates’ well-being. Both the PhD candidate and the supervisor are responsible for establishing a productive working relationship. One of the key elements in developing a good relationship with your supervisor is how you communicate and discuss your expectations.

In this interactive workshop I will discuss what you can expect from your supervisor in terms of guidance, coaching and support with regard to managing the doctoral project. At the end of the workshop you will have a set of strategies and concrete tools at your disposal to discuss your expectations with your supervisor when you go back to work.

Presentations slides (pdf) - questionnaire (pdf)

Room Dormitorium,   Het Pand, Onderbergen 1
Option 5

Mr Dan Steer


What to know, see and do about burnout

In the history of PHDs, nobody ever started one with the intention of having a burnout. Yet, it happens. And as you start your own inspired journey full of motivation and positive energy, it is likely that you don’t imagine having a burnout yourself.

But the journey is long and there are all sorts of monsters on the way. And although you are still more likely to achieve your PHD without having a burnout yourself, somebody else will.

If you know about it, put some attention on it and take actions where you can, maybe we can all make the burnout story go a little better for anyone concerned.

In this workshop, we will take some time to find out what burnout is all about. There will be stories and a little theory, discussion and individual reflection. We will brainstorm and move. And you will meet some cool people just like you.


•    Discover the mechanisms, risks and impact of burnout in the world of PhDs

•    Think about yourself and where to pay attention

•    Learn the signs and what to look for in the environment and behaviour of others that suggest the need for some action

•    Learn that there are things we can (start) do(ing) today)

Presentation slides (pdf) - references (pdf)

Room Prior, Het Pand, Onderbergen 1
Option 6

 Dr Edwin Hoffman

Diversity sensitive communication: Cultures don’t meet, people do.


In an international context you come into contact with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Communication has become therefore an intercultural matter. The importance of diversity competence: the ability to understand and manage human social interaction in culturally diverse contexts of working, studying and living is rapidly increasing.

The workshop “diversity sensitive communication” teaches you how to approach diversity in multicultural and multilingual interactions and equips you with tools - the TOPOI-model - to apply theory to intercultural practice.
After the workshop you

  • are diversity sensitive: aware of your own customs and values at work and how other people might perceive you from their cultural background
  • are diversity competent: able to deal with differences in interpersonal interactions and cooperation

Presentation slides (pdf)

Room Oude Infirmerie, Het Pand, Onderbergen 1




City walk guided by the Ghent University PhD Community

The Introduction Day will be concluded with a walking tour (± 1 hour) through the vibrant and lively historic centre of Ghent, guided by members of the Ghent University PhD community. Those of you taking an afternoon workshop in Het Pand can join the tour which starts from there around 17:00. Those of you taking an afternoon workshop in the Aula can start from there also around 17:00.


Plenary sessions: Campus Aula, Voldersstraat 9, 9000 Gent

Workshops: Campus Aula & Het Pand

Doctoral Training Programme

PhD candidates who did not attend the previous edition of the Introduction Day and who now attend the full day (the morning session as well as an afternoon workshop) can include the Introduction Day in the curriculum of their doctoral training programme.


Registration through

The deadline for registration is 23:59, 29 January 2020.

PhD candidates can register for the full day or only for the morning programme. Full day attendance is required in order to include the Introduction Day in the curriculum of the doctoral training programme.

Due to the limited capacity of the event, PhD researchers who register for the Introduction Day but fail to attend, will be charged a no show fee of €100 (except for valid reasons, e.g. illness with doctor's certificate).