Rector Kummeling receives the petition from PhDs. Foto: Prout

Possibility for own psychologist for PhDs after all

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Utrecht University will investigate how PhD candidates with mental problems can be helped in a better way. A psychologist with specific expertise is one of the options. This was announced by Rector Kummeling when he received the petition from the Utrecht PhD students.

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Up until now, the position of the UU Executive Board has always been that PhDs can make use of the facilities that are available to all employees, such as the company doctor and the company welfare department.

Many PhD candidates believe this is not enough. They point to the numerous researches that show an increased risk among PhDs for burnout and depression. These psychological problems would, among other things, be a consequence of the dependent position in which they find themselves and the uncertain prospects of their future. In Delft PhD candidates can therefore go to a PhD psychologist.

The Utrecht PhD student consultation Prout and PhD party UPP therefore launched a petition in which they demand low-threshold access to psychological support. This petition with 1021 signatures was handed over to Rector Kummeling last week.

On this occasion, Kummeling said he was prepared to work out some scenarios together with PhDs to improve support for PhD students. The use of a psychologist who focuses on their specific problems could be one of the possibilities. At the beginning of next year, the Executive Board wants to decide which scenario will be followed.

Prout expressed that they are happy with the involvement of the rector and with the promises he made.

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