Why a PhD committee?

  • Inform, connect and involve current PhD-students and attract and inform future PhD-students
  • Reach out to the VITO PhD community and connect between various VITO disciplines
  • Share experiences about their PhD life with current and future VITO PhD students
  • Organise events for VITO PhD-students
  • Shape and improve the PhD-programme at VITO
  • Contact point for potential PhD candidates

Get to know the PhD comittee

The PhD committee is an international group of PhD students at VITO, which represents the community of PhD students currently performing their PhD at VITO. The committee works in close cooperation with the Scientific Relations team, which is co-ordinating the VITO PhD programme.

Nor Kamariah

PhD at KU Leuven, Belgium
Started on 1/12/2019

"The PhD committee can be a good opportunity for me to connect with PhD students from different VITO units; building networks and sharing experience with PhD fellows will make the PhD journey more meaningful and enjoyable. I hope to get more actively involved in the PhD events; ranging from professional-focused events which will allow me to broaden my research perspective, to non-academic program such as ‘PhD Buddy’. I personally have great experience with the PhD Buddy; not only I got help with the practical information during the program, but also I get a good friend who supports me during my first year of PhD. Contributing to the PhD committee is a way to pay it forward :)."

Lina Silva Rodriguez

PhD at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
Started on 1/11/2019

"Starting a PhD can be an overwhelming process, full of challenges and expectations. One of the things that facilitated my integration as a PhD student at VITO was the support of one of the members of the PhD committee. It was also very nice to discover that the VITO PhD program, which we all are part of, is in a continuous improvement process in which the scientific depart and the PhD committee work together. I am very excited to be part of this multidisciplinary team that encourage and support the VITO PhD community. I hope to be of help to current and new PhD students, as someone was for me a year ago."

Rebekka Van Hoof

PhD at UHasselt, Belgium
Started on 1/12/2017

"The PhD-committee is a nice initiative to bring PhD-students together. Every PhD-student faces various challenges throughout his project. I strongly believe that sharing these experiences with other PhD-students is an important part of completing the journey successfully. At VITO, the PhD- students are very dispersed, working at different places, which can impede the communication. Through the organization of PhD-events, the PhD-committee helps them to meet their fellow PhD- student."

Tu Nguyen

PhD at University of Hasselt, Belgium
Started on 01/12/2021

"PhD-ers in VITO are special: they are a part of their associated university and also a part of VITO. Sometimes there are unique experiences that I believe only PhD-students in VITO might relate. Therefore, the VITO PhD committee is there to bring PhD students together and to support each other. It is meaningful for me to be a part of the organization that creates a sense of belonging for other PhDs at VITO and makes them feel “at home”. Doing a PhD at VITO has been an enjoyable journey to me so far, and I would love to help spread the spirit to other fellow VITO-PhD students as well."

Erik Bollen

PhD at university of Hasselt, Belgium
Started on 01/10/2020

"I think doing a PhD is hard work, but it should be or can be fun too. The PhD committee helped me with both facets. For example, the committee helped me to get started and make sure I could find my way within VITO. Besides, the committee ensured that I did not feel left alone in this new chapter of my career. The social events and the buddy program are nice examples of that. The PhD committee ensured a smooth start for me, thank you. Now, I want to return this favour to the colleagues already here and the ones that will join in the future. I hope that I can help with the organisation of the events and programs so that others have an equally nice experience starting and working at VITO as I did. Being part of the VITO PhD committee is also an excellent opportunity to meet as many of my colleagues and get to know their interesting research."

Kobe Van Doorsselaere

PhD at University of Antwerp, Belgium
Started on 01/11/2022

"I like to think that certain success factors such as feeling good in the environment and having good contacts can increase the success rate of a PhD. The accomplishments of the PhD committee can greatly enhance both of these success factors. The PhD committee is a wonderful initiative to bring PhD students together and make them more comfortable in VITO. For me, for example, the PhD buddy program helped with my integration into the VITO Team at the beginning of my PhD track. On the other hand, the PhD Events are a great way to build both friendly and professional contacts as part of a network. I am very excited to be part of this team and hope to help other PhD students in their journey, where needed. Everyone in this PhD community needs to feel supported and connected, and I think this is where the PhD committee can help. We should never forget that success is more likely if we have the right resources and people to support us."