Party tips for the brand-new PhD!

Gepubliceerd op 3 mei 2024 om 12:00

And then it is all over. Years of doing research, writing and defending a dissertation, and then it is done. Hora finita. You have your doctorate. Now you are officially a researcher, congratulations! So, now what?


First and foremost, let us start with a party, because such a great milestone obviously needs to be celebrated! How you want to celebrate it is pretty much up to you, but there are some unwritten rules. First of all, it is nice to have a moment immediately after the defense where everyone present has the opportunity to congratulate you. This is often done in the form of a reception in the building where the defense was held. This will also allow your opponents and those a bit further away from you to congratulate you, in case you won’t be able to invite everyone to the party. In addition, most PhD candidates opt to host a dinner. It is up to you how big or small you want the guest list for this dinner to be, but your promotion team will of course be on the top of that list. After all, this is a work-related celebration and they are the ones who have coached you to this milestone during all these years! This dinner if often used as an opportunity to thank them for their help, sometimes accompanied with a small present of some sorts. Some PhD students also decide to throw a private party on top of that, but of course this is optional.

Put your paranymphs to work

The post-defense celebration is also the time to put your paranymphs to work. They can take care of all the practical organization, such as putting presents away neatly and keeping an eye on the time when you need to change locations, while you can receive the well-deserved congratulations in peace. The paranymphs have often already been included in organizing the festivities beforehand, so they are aware of everything. From welcoming the photographer, your grandparents needing some help to get into the auditorium, having those who want to give a speech in the picture, to bringing all the flowers and gifts to your home.

Please take a day off!

You often hear from people who have recently obtained their doctorates that they were very nervous before the defense, but looking back it was actually not that bad and that they really enjoyed it. That is how it is supposed to be! After such an intensive day, it is nice to be able to relax for a while. So take a day off (Stynke) or go on holiday for a month (Jojanneke. Enjoy reading all the cards people have written to you, smell all the flowers you were given, take a look at the gifts you have received and enjoy your amazing performance. Tomorrow is another day!

Anecdotal evidence

Recently, we encountered someone at a symposium who had defended his dissertation literally the day before. He was not only present at this symposium, but was also co-organizer and had to give a presentation himself. During the break, this brand-new doctor admitted with rather tired eyes that it probably would have been better if he had scheduled this symposium on a different day...

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