PE&RC First year's retreat - 27-29 November 2024

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PE&RC First year's retreat

Wednesday 27 - Friday 29 November 2024

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.

Day 1: The PhD trip  
9:00 - 9:30 Arrival at the hotel for all participants
  • Get settled
  • Coffee/Tea
9:30 - 10:45 Welcome & introduction to the retreat
  • Introduction PhD programme coordinators
  • Programme of the retreat
  • What are your expectations?
  • Presenting yourself with a PhD-shirt
10:45 - 11:00 Short break
11:00 - 12:30 PE&RC and the PhD Programme
  • Introduction PE&RC
  • The PE&RC PhD Programme
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 15:00 Doing a PhD
  • Why do you want to do a PhD?
  • The PhD trip: challenges along the way
  • Introduction to the SWOT Analysis
    • Splitting in groups
    • Fill in your SWOT personally
15:00 - 15:15 Short break
15:15 - 17:00 The Duplo game
  • Workshop on working in a team and related issues (responsibilities, collaboration, (intercultural) communication and deadlines)
  • Reflection on Duplo game: communication, planning and management
17:00 - 18:00 Drinks in the bar / Leisure time
18:00 - 19:00 Dinner
19:30 - 20:00 Evening lecture 


Day 2: Managing your PhD to become a good Scientist (Tackling challenges – the road to solutions)
08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 - 10:30 Seek to understand before you are understood. The heart of communication 
10:30 - 10:45 Short break
11:00 - 12:30 SWOT Analysis continued
  • Finalise personal SWOT
  • Start group discussion of the SWOT
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 16:30 Outdoor activity
  • Walking and talking about the SWOT
  • Group assignment 
16:30 - 17:30

Presentation of group assignment from the outdoor activity

17:30 - 18:30 Free time. Drinks in the bar
18:30 - 19:30 Dinner
19:30 - 20:00 Presentation by PE&RC PhD Council (PPC)
20:00 - 24:00 Pub quiz, PE&RC Party and fun activities


Day 3: Your PhD plan 
08:30 - 9:30 Breakfast
9:30 - 10:30 Scientific Writing: The basis of good science
10:30 - 10:45 Short break
10:45 - 12:30 The SWOT Analysis of you as a PhD candidate
  • Compilation group discussion/report
  • Plenary feedback 
  • Tackling challenges
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 15:00

(incl. short break)

  • Making a plan of action for your PhD
  • Plenary discussion / Take-aways
  • Reflection on your expectations 
  • Last round of questions, synthesis and closing of the retreat
15:00  Farewell drink  and 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 300 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 and snacks are on your own account. 

More information

Miriam van Heist
Phone: +31 (0)6 28521546


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



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