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Graduate School FRT VU Community

At our Graduate School, there are several ways to get involved in our community of over 250 PhD candidates.

See below for examples

Join our PhD community!

  • FRT Graduate School Canvas page

    PhD candidates are invited to join the Graduate School FRT VU Canvas page. On this page, all information about the FRT VU PhD trajectory is available (via modules). Additionally, the Graduate School FRT VU can communicate upcoming events to PhD candidates (via announcements) and facilitate collaboration among PhD candidates by creating discussion pages. Members of a cohort also get their own page in the Canvas environment, so they can reach out to each other, share experiences, information and so forth.

  • Graduate School FRT VU network

    In the autumn of 2022, the Graduate School FRT VU will launch a new website on which portfolios of all member PhD candidates are visible. Besides providing a short bio and summary of their research, PhD candidates will be asked to choose a number of key terms to describe their research focus. Only portfolios of PhD candidates who explicitly consent will be published on the website.

    The Graduate School FRT VU network will be structured using the key terms thus enabling visitors to search for PhD candidates based on research foci. By means of the website, the Graduate School FRT VU hopes to encourage PhD candidates to connect and work together, enable VU research teams to find PhD candidates whose research topics lie within their research focus and to make the research efforts of our PhD candidates more visible to the outside world.

  • PhD newsletter

    The Graduate School FRT VU sends out a PhD newsletter every other month. In the newsletter, among other things, PhD candidates are updated on the most important developments at the Faculty of Religion and Theology. The Graduate School FRT VU puts one or two of their members in the spotlight by publishing their portfolio in the newsletter. In their TSP, PhD candidates can indicate whether they want to subscribe to the newsletter. PhD candidates who are already members of the Graduate School FRT VU can subscribe by filling in this form.

  • PhD activities

    At VU, a number of activities are organised for PhD candidates. On this website, more information about activities for all VU PhD candidates can be found

    FRT organises the annual PhD conferences and encourages research teams to organise other events and activities for their member PhD candidates. Besides this, there are at the moment no regular meetings or activities organised by FRT especially for PhD candidates. The Graduate School FRT VU encourages their members to engage in further activities with peers themselves, e.g. by forming a PhD activities committee. The Graduate School FRT VU is willing to facilitate a committee like this and is open to looking into funding for activities. The Graduate School FRT VU strives to structurally facilitate community building by means of activities for their members.

  • Social support

    PhD confidential advisers

    There are a number of ways in which PhD candidates can receive social support from VU. First of all, there are PhD confidential advisers available at FRT. In 2022, the advisers are Hans Alma (, and George Harinck ( who can be contacted for matters concerning well-being, research integrity, disputes, etc. All matters discussed with the PhD confidential advisor are treated confidentially.

    PhD psychologist

    At VU, there is also a PhD psychologist available. In 2022, the VU psychologist is Victor Kraak ( The PhD psychologist is available for all PhD candidates at the VU who experience psychological problems during the PhD trajectory. This may concern for example feeling overstressed, sadness or anxiety, feelings of insecurity, sub-assertiveness and negative ideas about yourself.

    The PhD psychologist offers short-term treatment in line with scientific guidelines. In time, the PhD psychologist will also be offering (preventive) workshops. Find more information about the PhD psychologist here.

  • Annual PhD Conference

    Every year, the Graduate School FRT VU organizes a PhD conference. During this conference, PhD candidates are invited to attend presentations, workshops and other activities at the Faculty of Religion and Theology. 

    In 2023, the PhD conference will take place on March 30 and 31st. The conference is taking place in the FRT Month of Sacred Nature, and some of the activities are related to this theme. Please find the programme of the PhD conference on this webpage