PE&RC First year's retreat - December 2022

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PE&RC First year's retreat

Wednesday 7 - Friday 9 December 2022

Parkhotel De Bosrand - Ede


The idea of this retreat is to make PhD candidates more familiar with what to expect during the PhD track and how to avoid major catastrophes and disappointments. Focus will be on the PhD process and pitfalls you can encounter along the way as well as the criteria for a successful PhD within 4 years. Furthermore you will be informed about the PhD Programme itself and the role that the Graduate School plays as a process facilitator. Finally, the retreat is meant to get to know fellow PhDs and learn from them how they tackle issues. In this way PhDs will be able to identify themselves within a larger group of PhDs who they can turn to in the future. This is of particular importance for the foreign PhDs but also for Dutch PhDs who are not from Wageningen. Thus, significant time will be spent on leisure and social activities.

Preliminary programme
Day 1: The PhD trip  
9:30 - 10:15 Arrival at the hotel for all participants
  • Get settled
  • Coffee/Tea
10:15 - 11:15 Welcome & introduction to the retreat
  • Introduction PhD programme coordinators
  • Programme of the retreat
  • What are your expectations
  • Presenting yourself with a PhD-shirt
11:15 - 12:00 PE&RC and the PhD Programme
  • Introduction PE&RC
    • PE&RC Mission, research themes, participating groups
    • Structure / organization
    • Tasks
    • PPC
  • The PE&RC PhD Programme
    • What is expected?
    • What does it entail (T-shaped skills)?
    • Timelines (R&O form, Go-No-Go form)
    • The different PhD categories
    • TSP (Guidelines and value)
    • Support and facilitation in the PhD programme/process
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 15:30 Doing a PhD
  • Why do you want to do a PhD?
  • The PhD trip: challenges along the way
  • Introduction to the SWOT Analysis
15:30 - 16:00 Short Break
16:00 - 17:30 The Duplo Game
  • Workshop on working in a team and issues that are related to this (responsibilities, collaboration, (intercultural) communication and deadlines)
  • Reflection on Duplo Game: Communication, Planning and Management
17:30 - 18:30 Drinks in the bar / Leisure time
18:30 - 19:30 Dinner
19:30 - 20:45 Evening Lecture and discussion
20:45 Free evening / Drinks at the bar


Day 2: Managing your PhD to become a good Scientist (Tackling challenges – the road to solutions)
08:30 - 09:30 Breakfast
09:30 - 10:30 Seek to understand before you are understood

The heart of communication 

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee / Tea
11:00 - 12:30 SWOT Analysis
  • Finalise personal SWOT
  • Group discussion of the SWOT
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 16:00 Outdoor activity
  • Walking and talking about the SWOT
  • Group assignment (All groups receive a map of the area)
16:00 - 17:00

Presentation of Group Assignment during the Outdoor activity

17:00 - 18:00 Drinks in the bar: Interaction with mid and last year PhD and Alumni discussing nice and challenging things of the PhD and how challenges can be solved
18:00 - 19:00 Dinner
19:00 - 20:30 Interaction and discussion with PE&RC PhD Council (PPC)
20:30 - 24:00 PE&RC Party and fun activities


Day 3: Your PhD plan 
09:00 - 10:00 Breakfast
10:00 - 11:00 Scientific Writing: The basis of good science
11:00 - 11:15 Coffee / Tea
11:15 - 12:30 The SWOT Analysis of you as a PhD candidate
  • Group discussion of the SWOT continued
  • Plenary feedback on the SWOT
  • Tackling challenges
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 16:00 Tackling challenges - Making a SMART Plan of action
  • Make a plan of action for your PhD (including coffee break)
  • Reflection on expectations mentioned on day 1
  • Plenary discussion / Take-aways
  • Last round of questions and closing of the retreat
16:00 - 17:00 Farewell drinks with all groups together
17:00 Departure back home
Target group

This retreat is primarily meant for PhDs in the first phase (first 1.5 years) of their PhD.


The retreat will be held at Parkhotel De Bosrand, Bosrand 28 in Ede.


The retreat is free of charge for all PE&RC PhD candidates (all others pay 175 euros). Do note that beverages are on your own account.

Logistical issues

Bring outdoor clothing and a rain coat, since we will be taking a walk in the forest. Also bring along sportswear. Food and drinks are catered for. Beverages are on your own account.

More information

Claudius van de Vijver
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485116



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