A PhD, is that for me?

Registration is now closed and we received an overwhelming number of registrations. As we only have limited capacity, we will make a selection. Students will be informed a.s.a.p.

Are you thinking about your future? Do you want to apply your mathematical knowledge in a company, or continue your education first by pursuing a PhD degree?

With this one-day event for students in both theoretical and applied mathematics (e.g. econometrics, statistics, etc.) we aim to showcase the benefits of doing a PhD to help students to make their choice whether they want to apply for a PhD or not. We have invited speakers from many different areas in mathematics.

When: February 3, 2023, ±10.00h – 18.00h

Where: Koninsbergergebouw, Utrecht University

Target audience: (3rd year) bachelor students and master students in mathematics studying at a university in the Netherlands. Especially students from minority groups are encouraged to join.


Plenary speakers

  • Hester Bijl, Rector magnificus Universiteit Leiden
  • Ka Yin Leung, RIVM

PhD panel

  • Mireia Martinez i Sallares, Utrecht University
  • Jorge Becerra Garrido, University of Groningen
  • Nandan Malhotra, Leiden University
  • Reem Chaalan, CGI Consultancy
  • Francien Bossema, CWI


Do’s and don’ts when applying for a PhD
Speaker: Karen Veroy-Grepl

Having trouble writing a motivation letter? How long should it be? What to include and what to omit? Our speaker, full professor at Eindhoven University of Technology, will give advice on what to focus while writing a CV and motivation letter for a PhD position. She will also share examples of good and bad practices.

The next two workshops run in parallel, and students indicate which they prefer to attend.

Self-analysis for career orientation
Speaker: Marjolein Bovens

Are you unclear on what kind of career will suit you, what you are passionate about, or what is possible with your educational background? 

Brief content of the course: 

  • find out what is your area of expertise
  • look at different aspects of yourself and your life
  • map out your interest, capabilities, motives and career values

After that, you will be better able to consider the direction of you career path, organizations and tasks that fit your preferences with more self-knowledge and more self-confidence.

Outcomes of a PhD
Speaker: Chiat Cheong

Common myth: “After 4 years of a PhD I only developed skills to continue with research.”

In this workshop we focus on a wide range of skills that PhD students develop throughout their research years. Our speaker, Chiat Cheong, is a scientist who made a transition from academic career and her professional mission became: making PhDs and postdocs aware of their potential and providing support in their career development.

Organising committee

Mar Curcó-Iranzo – Utrecht University

Mia Jukić – TNO

Sanne Willems – Leiden University

Contact us via: phdeventmath@gmail.com


Last year

  • […] it was great and I really appreciate the effort you put into this 🙂
  • thank you very much for organising it, it was so helpful!!
  • Thank you so much for organizing it, it was wonderful! 🙂
  • Thank you so much for organising this! I didn’t realise the impact that it would have on me (female Bachelor of mathematics student), and how much I needed that impact to change the way I see my future. I always thought that having male professors didn’t influence my feelings of doing a PhD or anything like that, because they have never expressed any sexist behaviour or remarks, or made me feel like I couldn’t do it. But answering the questionnaire before the event made me realise that I did feel isolated and I didn’t think that I could do a PhD. And this event really changed my whole view and made me realise that seeing women actively enter the field, be a part of it, not have to “become men” or whatever, was so joyous. I think that in simple terms, *seeing representation in this field* and hearing stories of women in the field and their feelings, meant a lot more to me than I thought it would. So thank you!!!
  • Thank you for the event! I really liked it

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