Graduate School in Holland: What (Learning Workflow)

    A few months ago, I became a graduate student (PhD student) of the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands and wrote a general algorithm for admission .

    Since then, I managed to endure some of the joys and burdens of studying / working and to realize what I have to do. This baggage (but rather a small piece of hand luggage) of experience I want to share today.

    Again, the disclaimer, I am an IT specialist by education, but my research has nothing to do with Computer science. Nevertheless, the general organization scheme is the same for everyone, and then the diversity is no longer even from the faculty, but from the research group where you will be. And just by the way, coder and analytical skills have already helped me, because who else will write me software that conducts the experiment?

    Graduate school

    First, about the general: recently, every TUDelft graduate student (probably other university students in a similar way), regardless of the topic of study, is enrolled in the Graduate school. As part of this school, progress is being monitored, as well as additional education.

    During the first month, the student must go through an interview with this Graduate school, which is rather formal in nature. It tells the general principles of graduate school and checks the originals of documents, such as translating a diploma. If you don’t really absorb at that moment, then you can consider looking at the pictures on the page of the “school”.


    Then, in three months, you need to write a research plan and dock your promoter (according to the idea of ​​your chief boss), daily superviser (the person who kicks you more often than the promoter) and the mentor (a procedural consultant from the outside) to get together, trynd about your plan and approved it.

    In the ninth month, a meeting takes place, comparable, perhaps, only with the defense of the GO-NOGO meeting: a decision is made to continue the project or dismiss the student back home. However, the mentor told me that if there are doubts about the student, he (a) will find out about this long before this meeting.

    Farther from Graduate school there will be only annual checks of progress according to the declared plan, so until the very end you will have little to do with them. Well, except for the entire period of graduate school you need to get 45 credits for15 courses in the direction : related to discipline, teaching to conduct research correctly, and completely general. 1 credit is about 8 hours of course or preparation, so it’s not so difficult.

    I got a GO decision just a month ago, so now my next milestone is related to in-project obligations.

    Marie curie project

    My graduate school is carried out (paid), mainly not from a university, but from a grant issued by the European Union to a group of professors for a specific project. Its objectives and expected results are described in the grant application. It is funny that in accordance with it, we, the post-graduate students of the project, are at the same time the output product, as trained graduate scientists, and actors who must perform research and make several publications about them.

    The type of project is good for a bonus carriage when free trips to universities and partner companies for project meetings are added to the standard 2k euro salary (after taxes of about 1.7k), for example, we have already been to Bordeaux and on excursions in Philips, again free rides at a conference, for example, a large one in Florida, as well as additional money for travel-mobility allowance trips still count in the amount of your salary twice a year.

    Of course, this is not just that. For the money it will be necessary to report. Because of this, you have to work relatively dynamically. So, a girl who started working almost two years before me wrote her first article just now, that is, she was busy for more than two years. They demand from me for a year, but it would be good by the end of August (my 11th month).
    But really, it's worth it.

    A bit informal

    Delft University of Technology is the oldest and largest university in the Netherlands. It has 19.5 thousand students, including 2.3 thousand graduate students (PhD). The university is quite advanced, for example, the recent quantum teleportation was carried out with us. And by the way, somewhere on the campus there is a training nuclear reactor.

    And yet, many times I heard the opinion of graduate school as a purely theoretical work. Here, basically, not so. If someone gave money for your research, then someone needs it) So, for example, one acquaintance works on nanofilters of molecular thickness, and the other checks how much police attention is reduced to transmitted messages depending on the type of activity and noise radio. The third girl examines the transfer of matter on the bends of conductors, the fourth - how to scan a better picture in order to print it taking into account surface irregularities.

    So join in, it’s very nice to do science here.

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