Course theme

Type of course


Working on your PhD research in times of crises – FREE for SENSE PhD candidates

  • 10 - 24 June 2021
  • 9:00-13:00
  • Online
  • Current and future career
  • 0.6 ECTS

10, 16 and 24 June 2021

Course description

Doing a PhD can be quite a challenge. Besides times that things go well and you feel like you have the best job in the world, one can also be confronted with an array of challenges along the route to become an independent and critical scientist.

These challenges may significantly increase the moment a crisis occurs (e.g. family issues, illness, financial dilemmas or the current pandemic) as it amplifies the factors that lie in front of the PhD candidate or it reveals unexposed challenges. Moreover, generally crises generate a high degree of uncertainty. These factors combined can cause an initial reaction of freeze or flee, while before the candidate was in full flow of doing the PhD. So, when you are confronted with a crisis and you do not know how to tackle it, the question is how to tackle the situation. This certainly can be the case in the current times of the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected daily life, work and relaxation and that may have brought you in a downwards movement.

In this short, interactive and peer-driven training, we will jointly discuss experiences, identify new or amplified challenges as well as means and methods to tackle these to finally translate this in a (SMART) plan of action to get you (back) on track. Central elements that will be addressed:

  • Typical crisis response modes
  • Stress / fear management
  • Analysis and reality check of challenges (past, present and future)
  • Dealing with and management of uncertainty
  • Adopting a pro-active approach
  • How to make a SMART Plan of Action in times of crisis

General Information

  • Course duration: 3 half days (10, 16 and 24 June 2021)
  • Language: English
  • Name lecturer: Claudius van de Vijver (PE&RC) and Barend van den Broek (Valley Consult)


Day 1 (10 June): Introduction and identifying (new) challenges

  1. Introduction of course leaders
  2. Introduction of participants
  3. The PhD in normal day life
  4. The PhD in times of crisis
  5. The SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats):
    –   Identifying one’s challenges in this time of crisis
    –   Identifying strengths and opportunities to tackle the challenges
    –   Discussion about the SWOT
    –   Plenary feedback and synthesis

Day 2 (16 June): Tackling challenges

How to tackle these challenges? (focus on the main challenges of the group, determined by the SWOT). Elements that can be addressed via short lectures, discussions and workshops:

  • Stress management
  • Project/Time planning and management Increasing your domain of influence
  • The essence of good and transparent communication in times of crisis

Day 3 (24 June): Final actions

  1. Making a SMART Plan of Action or adjusting the existing Plan of Action to the current situation
  2. Translate the SMART Plan of Action in an OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures)
  3. Synthesis and presentation of Plan of Action and OGSM
  4. Peer coaching


Go to registration form


Free for SENSE PhD candidates


  • Up to 1 (one) week prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • In case of cancellation within one week prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 75,- will be charged.
  • If you do not show at all, a fee of € 180,- will be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions)


For more information please regarding:

  • 12-16 participants
  • 6 June 2021