PhD Basecamp

Are you currently confronted with a challenge that seems hard to solve, and are you open to share and work on this with peers in an informal setting after office hours? 

A few examples of cases we’ve handled before are: making choices in direction of research, getting the attention of a busy supervisor, setting priorities in the sea of opportunities in PhD research, saying ‘no’ to colleagues asking favours, expanding your professional network, conflicts with colleagues, and minimising the ‘over-involvement’ of a sponsor.

Sometimes your PhD progress doesn’t benefit from working even harder during the day, but from honestly sharing your thoughts and being open to new ideas after office hours. PhD Basecamp offers just that. By inviting you over for pizza after a hard days work to share your PhD experiences, and then apply proven creative and problem solving techniques, you create the mental space to adequately deal with your PhD struggles. If attaining your PhD is like climbing a mountain, this course is the basecamp that allows you to nourish yourself, reiterate your plans and spar with likeminded people, in a relaxed atmosphere.

PhD Basecamp is not a regular course. It’s an informal platform that you can use to share your challenges with peers, and translate them into actionable solutions under professional guidance. The only requisite upon entering this "course" is the willingness to be open about things that are important to you, bringing in a challenge that you are currently dealing with and the willingness to help out others who do the same.

Course objectives

Apart from nourishing yourself with food and good company, you can attain from this course:

  • A set of creative and problem solving techniques that you can apply to life in general, and to your PhD progress specifically
  • A clearer view of what you can expect from yourself and others during your PhD, based on how your peers assess your situation
  • The attitude and the technique to leverage the strength of an interdisciplinary and culturally diverse PhD community.

Teaching method

PhD Basecamp starts of with sharing food and experiences together. A set of questions about PhD life invites you to be as honest as possible about your sources of inspiration, about your progress, about things that make you laugh and about what might be troubling you as a researcher.

After that, you and your peers will be guided in sub-groups to ‘dismantle’ possible challenges that you have. Through co-active work via peer-to-peer discussions you will use Design Thinking as a potential strategy to reach solutions. Before the night is over, all participants will have realised a ‘prototype’ of their solution, ready to be tested and implemented. The creative and problem solving techniques used during PhD Basecamp are an extension to the several Creativity, Problem solving and Decision-making course Graduate school offers: following either of them is no requisite for this course and if you have followed the other courses, this course would still provide you with new information and techniques.

GS Credits

The first time you enroll to PhD Basecamp, you can obtain 0,5 GS credit. After your first PhD Basecamp, you are more than welcome to enroll again, but no credits will be awarded.