EGSL Kick Off meeting

On Wednesday 28 September 2016 the annual EGSL kick off meeting took place. The EGSL Director professor Klaus Heine welcomed approximately 35 guests, consisting of ESL professors, senior (support) staff and new and current PhD researchers.

Professor Heine started off with telling about some of the challenges that PhD researchers can encounter in their PhD trajectory and how the EGSL courses Reflections on Social Science, Research Lab, Writing Clinic and Collaboration with your Supervisor provides them with the necessary tools to develop their skills to be able to deal with these difficulties. He proceeded with an elaboration on the meaning of doing a PhD, the protected environment in which PhD researchers can exchange ideas, how research integrity is incorporated in the programme and the responsibility for one’s productivity and ranking. And last but not least, the employability of PhD researchers was mentioned as one of the priorities of EGSL. 

Following this welcome, professor Heine gave the floor to PhD coordinator Dr. Wouter Verheyen who invited the new and present PhD researchers to shortly introduce themselves.

  • Alberto Quintavalla, he started his PhD research in 2015 as an external PhD researcher, but received last July one of the four ESL financed PhD positions. His supervisor is professor Klaus Heine and the title of his doctoral thesis is “Building a new Water Policy: Giving Water its 'Full Value'”.
  • Michelle de Vries, her research is about the role of the damage expert in insurance law and she is supervised by professor Mop van Tiggele.
  • Yahan Wang, she is a PhD researcher with a scholarship from the Chinese Law Council. Her research topic is “A Comparative Study of the Judicial Comity in International Civil Litigation”. Yahan receives guidance by professor Xandra Kramer.  
  • Eleanora di Molfetta has obtained one of the ESL financed PhD positions. Her research topic is about “Sentencing and correction of irregular migrants: a comparative analysis of (extra) legal disparities”. Eleanora is supervised by professor Richard Staring.
  • Lea Massé is one of the four selected candidates who obtained an ESL financed PhD position. Her supervisor is professor Richard Staring and her topic is “Allah's radical subculture: explaining youth Islamic radicalism in France and in the Netherlands”.
  • Last but not least, Femke Ruitenbeek. She has also obtained one of the four ESL financed PhD positions. The title of her doctoral thesis is “But what about the tortfeasor? Understanding the missing link in the relational restoration of personal injury victims”. Femke is supervised by professor Siewert Lindenbergh.   

From left to right: Dr. Wouter Verheyen, Femke Ruitenbeek, Lea Massé, Eleonora di Molfetta, Yahan Wang, Michelle de Vries and Alberto Quintavalla.

After the introduction PhD researchers Eva Eijkelenboom (she is in the final year) and Sohail Wahedi (just finished the first year) were interviewed by Dr. Wouter Verheyen on how to deal with challenges during the PhD trajectory. The presented questions were provided by the association for ESL PhD researchers: PILAR. They shared their thoughts on the importance of being open for critical feedback, the collaboration with their supervisors, the added value of the doctorate committee, how to prepare for an evaluation meeting, how to stay on track etc.

After the interview round, it was time for two joyful and celebratory moments:

  • Professor Heine handed out the EGSL Certificates to: Marta Kołacz, Alberto Quintavalla, Aster Schreuder, Elize Niemeijer, Gerald Hopster, Timo Peeters, Margaux Raynaud, Sohail Wahedi and Yayun Shen. The EGSL Certificate was also awarded to Titiaan Keijzer and Tite Niyibizi who could not attend the Kick off meeting in person.
  • Dr. Karin van Wingerde, PhD Dean of the educational programme, announced the winners of the Call for Ideas, Marta Kołacz and Alberto Quintavalla on their proposal “Integration of online presence in the development of academic careers for PhD candidates”.

Lastly, the floor was given to the new PILAR board with Mieke Kox as chair of PILAR. She introduced the new board (Titiaan Keijzer (treasurer), Marta Kołacz (secretary) and Alberto Quintavalla (general board member)), gave a brief explanation on the tasks and goals of PILAR and gave a thank you to the former board members.