Organisation - May 14, 2020

Support from WUR for PHD students in need

Albert Sikkema

WUR will give some foreign PhD students who have got into problems because of the coronavirus crisis a gift of 1250 euros a month.

©Guy Ackermans

The recipients are 10 to 15 Wageningen PhD candidates who were not able to fly home in March and April and who no longer have a grant. As a result, they had no income to cover the costs of food and rent in the Netherlands.
The WUR science groups have given these students compensation in the form of a gift. ‘The rules didn’t allow the PhD students to be given support through other channels. We had to act quickly because the students were facing urgent problems,’ says Dean of Research Wouter Hendriks. There are other foreign PhD candidates whose grants end in May and June and who are also unable to return home as yet.

Cost of living

WUR is also supporting a group of five or six foreign PhD candidates who were supposed to start their PhD research in Wageningen and had therefore given up their jobs in their home countries. The coronavirus crisis means they are now unable to start their PhDs in the Netherlands and are left without any income. They too are getting a contribution from WUR towards the cost of living.
Hendriks is assessing whether other PhD candidates are experiencing delays in their research because of the pandemic. ‘A PhD student at the writing-up stage will be less affected by the coronavirus measures than a PhD candidate who can’t continue their experiments.’ The university hopes it will then be able to offer tailored solutions in its compensation measures for PhD candidates. AS

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