PhD Day!

Welcome to a new academic year!  

Save the date!
4th of October - Register now!

Whether you took some time off this summer or spent your time focusing on your research, the fact is: the quiet summer months are over. The university has come to life again, which is a great time for us to kick-off the new season of P-NUT activities. As is tradition we will do that with our annual PhD day.

This year’s theme will be ‘Professional Career Development – your PhD as a stepping stone in your career’.

The keynote will be given by a (P-N)UT alumnus who was very successful in that – Björn Harink. He will tell his story about post-Ph.D. life, his adventures in The Silicon Valley, crazily (private) funded research universities, and moving back to living like a ‘student’ in his 50+ people co-living house in San Francisco.

The rest of the day we will provide inspiring professional workshops that will give you the tools to broaden your career perspective. Whether at the beginning or at the end of your PhD, whether looking for a job in academia, business, industry or even in politics, this day covers it all. In the evening, you have more time to connect with fellow PhDs during our social dinner. This year will be extra special because we will invite PhDs from the three other technical universities: Wageningen, Eindhoven and Delft, which provides an extra opportunity to expand your social and professional network!

Keynote speech

Living Inside the Real “Silicon Valley” House – Björn Harink

I will try to give you a glimpse into how ended up here by telling this in a three-part story:

  • Post-Ph.D. life, entrepreneurship, and the importance of getting involved
  • Research, advocacy, and living in the U.S of A.
  • Living Inside the Real “Silicon Valley” House

Björn Harink moved to Enschede, The Netherlands, to be among the first to study biomedical engineering as a core curriculum, earning his BSc. in 2006 and MSc. in 2008 at the University of Twente, with specializations in biophysics, biochemistry and microfluidics for biomedical applications. In 2014, he received his Ph.D. on researching microfluidic screening methods for regenerative medicine. After, he started working as a R&D project engineer, developing a wireless climate sensing system, while initiating a freelance consulting business. As of 2015, he lives in San Francisco, California to explore the mecca of entrepreneurship and science: The Silicon Valley, starting as postdoc at the University of California, San Francisco, and currently at Stanford University.

As a researcher, he is interested in massively increasing the speed and accuracy we do science by engineering in vitro models, multiplexed (micro-)platforms, and point-of- care systems for healthcare and microbiology research.

As an entrepreneur, he is interested in initiating, pioneering and setting up organizations and teams for advocacy, networking and research.

As a strong believer that the academics and the entrepreneurship need to be closer, he likes to create opportunities that bridge these.

As a human being, he enjoys working in international interdisciplinary teams, which comes from his passion for travelling, meeting and connecting people, and international cuisine. He also loves organizing socials sharing an home-brewed beer, food, combined with Latin dancing.


Personal branding – ‘Mindsetter’ Cees Harmsen

You will absolutely enhance your chances in achieving your career goals and enjoying a fulfilling scientific career when you learn to promote yourself convincingly and strongly within a diverse network of relationships.

This is called authentic personal branding. This workshop is specially designed for Ph.D. candidates wanting to use personal branding in order to make a difference and getting the kind of influence and results they aspire.

use personal branding in order to make a difference 

We will first discuss some commonly made mistakes and misunderstandings about personal branding and than introduce a unique branding concept. This will be followed by small exercises to formulate your own personal brand. The end result will be that you have an elementary insight about this fascinating topic and a lot of inspiration to follow a workshop about personal branding later on during your PHD.

Topics that are covered include:

  • What is personal branding and why is it important? 

  • Applying the 4-steps model of Personal Branding. 

  • Using personality strengths to profile yourself. 

  • Providing a brief, attractive 'pitch' about yourself and your work. 

About Cees Harmsen

Cees Harmsen helps people to deliver their strongest version in order to enrich the world and obtain a fulfilling career. He is the owner of Mindsetter and CEO of Van Ede and Partners in Groningen, a leading company in Career Management. His professional career is built on an experience of 30 years, during which he conducted multiple workshops and seminars for leading companies like IBM, Ahold, Philips, Unilever, RIVM and Technical Universities in the Netherlands and Belgium.

He is one of the first persons who introduced the concept of personal branding in the Netherlands and at the University of Twente. Up untill now he published three books about personal branding and several prizewinning articles. A new book will be published later this year.

Cees can be reached at 

Presentation skills - 'Twente Toastmasters’ Ines Nijman and Irfan Mohamed
How to make'em love your research 

As a PhD student, you speak to many different audiences. You give talks at conferences, you network, and when your contract expires, you send out a job application. How do you make all these different people understand your work and establish your reputation as a scientist?

At the end of this one-hour workshop by Twente Toastmasters,

  • You will be able to figure out how to talk to your various audiences,
  • You can tell them your key message,
  • You know which elements greatly improve a presentation,
  • And you can add fun to your next talk!

This one hour workshop compresses theory from various speech projects that Toastmasters members use to build their speaking skills, and helps you to put these skills into practice immediately (in other words, already during the workshop).

About Toastmasters

Toastmasters helps people to become more effective communicators and leaders. Our clubs provide a supportive and positive learning experience. Our members develop communication and leadership skills that result in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Twente Toastmasters in Enschede is part of a network of 16,400 clubs in 141 countries.

Blueprint to find an industry job after your PhD - Julio Peironcely from 'Next Scientist'

When most people think about a job in the industry, their only option is a job in the same field as their PhD research.

PhD in Anthropology? The only possible job is an Anthropology business. 

But there are smart PhD graduates that use their transferable skills, they double down on networking and master LinkedIn, to launch a successful career in the Industry. In whole new disciplines!

When you join us, you’ll learn:

  • Why going to the industry is a smart move - learn what are your prospects if you stay in Academia and if you start a career in the industry.
  • Common mistakes PhDs do when looking for a job in the industry.
  • The right job search flow - focus on the most effective action for every step of the way in your job search.
  • The power of a resume - learn what to include (and exclude) in a resume so you get selected for interviews.
  • LinkedIn profile optimization - we'll teach how to create a LinkedIn profile that will be a magnet for recruiters (regardless of industry).

Julio Peironcely received his PhD from Leiden University for his research on automated de novo metabolite identification with mass spectrometry and cheminformatics. After graduating, he started working as a data science consultant in companies like Deloitte and Microsoft. He recently started his own company, Data Fitter,  where he provides freelance and consulting services in data science. From his blog Next Scientist, he helps PhD students stay motivated, graduate on time and find a job or position after graduation.

Linkedin – Alex Den Haan from 'Academic Transfer'
Personal qualities – ‘Gort Coaching’

This workshop will help you find your future job, by looking into your qualities. 

do you know where you want to be after your PhD life? 

This workshop is focused on your qualities;

  • what are your qualities and how do I use them efficiently?
  • What kind of job will fit me?
  • What is your passion and how does it fit into a job?
  • What do I do best, and what do I like?

You, as a PhD student, are surrounded by many opportunities. But do you know where you want to be after your PhD life? This workshop will help you find your future job, by looking into your qualities. You will set your first steps towards your dream job.  

Gort coaching is a specialist in coaching in many areas, focused on your professional life.

Business development – ‘Imocean academy’
How did the greats like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk became first-class entrepreneurs? 

Everyone wonders about enterpreneurship:

  • What do I need to become an entrepreneur?
  • How can I develop myself as an entrepreneur?
  • What strategies can I apply to achieve my goals?
  • How did the greats like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk became first-class entrepreneurs?
  • What are the fundamental steps toward my ultimate success?

Join this workshop, offered by the Imocean academy, and you will find it out!

Extra: Job, Career, Dream – Claartje van Sijl


Uncertainty about your next career step may cause anxiety, pressure, and stress. The ensuing love/hate relationship with your PhD negatively impacts your ideas about your next job.

turn your work into a life pursuit that you are passionate about. 

Loving your job implies that your talents thrive and that you feel drawn to your job from a sense of purpose deep within you. In this workshop you learn powerful first steps to turn your work into a life pursuit that you are passionate about. Whether this is about your current job, your next job, or your career as a whole.

The workshop is suitable for both beginning PhD candidates as for those who are almost done. Take a different approach towards your career. Realizing a dream is not like solving a problem.

Claartje van Sijl has a PhD in philosophy and 7 years of experience as an independent coaching and training professional ( She has assisted many academics with questions of purpose, direction, balance and confidence in life and career. Clients list as main results from working with Claartje: courage, confidence, clarity on career wishes and motivation, depth and harmony through connecting the voices of reason and of the heart, and practical tools to determine sustainable direction in life and career.


Registration and lunch

12:30 - 13:00

Vrijhof Theater

Opening speech by Academic Transfer

Keynote Speech by Björn Harink

13:00 - 14:00

Parallel workshops - Session I

14:00 - 15:30

Parallel workshops - Session II

15:30 - 17:00

Evening programme - Social dinner

17:30 - onwards