From 17-21 May, there will be elections at the University of Groningen. It is vital to have as many PhD candidates in the councils as possible, that is why we call for all PhDs to vote on a PhD candidate on the list! We call this the PhD Rally. To make it easy for you, we have placed hem all on this page. On 17 May, GRIN organized the PhD election debate, where we discussed PhD issues with the candidates and the audience.

Depending on the type of contract you have, you are eligible to vote for either the staff section or student section of the councils. Employed PhD candidates vote for the staff section and scholarship PhDs vote for the student section. More information on the elections can be found here. If you are interested in learning more about the role and responsibilities of the councils, you can find more information here.

University council

Everyone can vote for the University council. See your options below:

Alexine de Wit

List: Personnel faction (staff section)
Place on list: 8

My goal is to ensure that management decisions are made in the service of the academic community. It is important to hear and represent everyone at the university, in the broadest sense possible.

This means focusing on a working environment where everyone can flourish and work at their best. Essential elements are, for example, a healthy workload, a safe workplace, and sufficient access to facilities. Moreover, everyone should be valued for their contributions, from professors to supporting staff.

In particular, I want to be the voice of a large and important group employees/students: the PhD community. Being embedded there will help me to represent their needs.

I believe the best input comes from the people who need to carry out those policies, so let’s hear these voices. I am PF!

Taichi Ochi

List: Dougnut Party (student section)
Place on list: 1

The Doughnut Party aims to raise awareness on the situation facing scholarship PhD students and provide a voice to their concerns.

Personally, I aim to improve the situation for students affected by the ongoing situation as its impact will last for the coming years. As a firm believer in doughnut (circular) economics, I believe in building sustainable policy to facilitate positive growth throughout a students journey at the University. As such, I will work towards ensuring a student’s experience at the University is engaging, challenging and preparing one for a bright career.

In addition, I am concerned with the deterioration of mental health during these uncertain times. Therefore, I strive to improve the support systems available to students to manage their well-being.

Faculty councils

Each faculty has a faculty council where faculty-specific issues are discussed. You can only vote for the faculty council where you are enrolled.

Student sections

If you are a PhD scholarship student, you can vote for these candidates. If you are an employed PhD, please scroll down at bit.

Campus Fryslân

Taís Fernanda Blauth

List: CF student faction PhD1
Place on list: 1

Throughout my studies, I have been part of student representation organisations. Being able to voice student’s concerns while also collaborating with other governance bodies to take action is really important to me. I believe that, through the Faculty Council, it is possible to create a positive impact in our student community.

If elected, I would like to focus on two main topics. Firstly, as a non-EU student myself, I would like to address the issues/difficulties international students face. This is important because, as Campus Fryslân grows, more internationals will likely join our community. Secondly, I wish to discuss ways of making CF even more inclusive. To this end, it will be vital to also collaborate with other parties (eg DEI Committee).

Together we can accomplish great things!

Science and engineering

Alva Bechlenberg

List: List FSE
Place on list: 3

Hi there!
I’m an international PhD Scholarship student currently in the second year of my project at the FSE and I would like to represent you in the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. I would like to be part of the team that continuously improves the experience for students and staff in our faculty by adapting to new conditions and keeping the quality of learning and working high. Personally, I am also interested in raising awareness of sustainability measures. In the past year, I have gained experience by being part of the PhD Council where we meet with other councils and the graduate school to discuss issues and improvement ideas; try to stay connected and connect our community through virtual events; create a user-friendly website for PhDs that need to find information regarding university, PhD life etc.; organize sustainability projects; and much more.
A vote for me is a vote for the PhD community of the FSE; I want to represent all my fellow PhDs!

Theology and religious studies

Thao Nghiem

List: Student faction GGW
Place on list: 1

My name is Thao Nghiem. I am a first year PhD candidate at the Department of Christianity and the History of Ideas, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies. My project investigates the secularization process in Vietnam, the communist state’s religious laws and policies, and church-state relationship in the Vietnamese context.

Coming from Asia and having studied in the USA and Europe, I understand the challenges and struggles that minorities face when they embark on a new academic journey. Upon joining the faculty council, I will be committed to promote diversity and inclusion in the student body. My main focus will be community building, to create a space where all students are recognized and heard. I will also dedicate my work to the enhancement of research conditions and support systems for all students, especially the PhD candidates, enrolled in our faculty.

Staff sections

If you are an employed PhD, you can vote for the following candidates.


Teja Rebernik

List: Personeelsfractie Letteren
Place on list: 8

As a Faculty Council member, I will strive for the following:

More representation for PhD candidates: PhDs are a large and important part of the Faculty of Arts, with their numbers only set to increase in the upcoming years (according to the draft Strategic Plan 2021-2026). Therefore, I think it is vital that the interests of my fellow PhDs are also more actively represented within the Council.

An inclusive academic community: based on my experiences as an international staff member, I wish to promote an environment where language barriers are no longer an issue.

Dynamic outreach: I believe research at our faculty should be brought closer to the broader public by stimulating and organizing more outreach opportunities (such as the Arts Festival).

Behavioural and social sciences

Jonas Stein

List: Staff section BSS
Place on list: 4

I am a PhD student working mostly in sociology at RuG since 2020. This is my agenda for the BSS Faculty Council:

– have PhD students’ perspectives in mind and voice their matters

– have an open ear for internationals and Dutch staff members alike

– emphasize interdisciplinary cooperation, as is present in my own work

– bring in my experience with committee work from previous jobs

What are you waiting for?