About us

Ph.D. Academy History

In 1988, several Ph.D. candidates from Maastricht University decided to organize themselves in an association. Since the beginning of 2000, this association goes by the name of ProVUM, which stands for Promovendi Vereniging Universiteit Maastricht. This association set as its goal to represent the interests of all Ph.D. candidates at Maastricht University and its Social Committee opened up socializing space by organizing Ph.D. Parties and institutionalizing the ‘first Thursday of the month Ph.D. drinks’. The founding mothers and main drivers behind these activities were Saskia Bonjour and Mariolina Eliantonio, helped by other very active members of ProVUM such as Gjalt-Jorn Peters and Kees Saarloos.

In September 2007, the former Social Committee of ProVUM (SocCom) has been split off to found the Ph.D. Academy. The main reason was the introduction of a budget from the University supporting networking and education of Ph.D. candidates, while ProVUM’s political actions remain independent of University funding. At this time, the first Board was established by Erik Pot, Daniel Vértesy, Marco Zinzani, and Adrienne Goebbels. This board was active from September 2007 until the end of 2008, when Adrienne left the board and Siu Hing Lo and Stéphanie van Nispen joined. This transition period lasted until September 2009, when Erik and Daniel left the board.

Current board and coordinators

Evelyn Smit Chair and Coordinator Social committee
Adam Kuczynski Treasurer
Nienke Verzaal Secretary
Elisa Calza Coordinator Movie Committee
Gintare Mazeikaite Coordinator Dance Committee
Shared responsibility committee Coordinator Theatre Committee
Olivia Waring Coordinator Academic Events
Martijn Moorlag Coordinator Sport Committee

General structure Ph.D. Academy


The primary objectives of the Ph.D. Academy board are the coordination of committees, promoting and supporting events and the Ph.D. Academy, and taking care of the finances and other executive tasks. The board consists out of the Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary.


The chair prepares and moderates board meetings and the general internal communication. Represents the association with other official bodies, and distributes emails to the contact network.


Keeps books and provide an overview of the budget to the other board members. Ensures a balanced and defendable budget.


Moderates social media and external communication, make minutes of board meetings and if needed replace chair during board meetings.


Head of one or more committees, tracks the progress and supports the realization of activities from budget planning to execution.


The following committees are formed to realize upcoming activities:

  • Academic committee
  • Movie Night committee
  • Social  committee
  • Sports committee
  • Theatre committee
  • Dance committee