ABOUT CASIMIR

Results Casimir Wellbeing Survey 2020

[21-12-2020]

Last October, we received many responses to our PhD and postdoc wellbeing survey. For an overview of the questions and the model we used to analyze the data, see the images below. We would like to thank you for participating, the feedback we received was extremely useful in our discussions with the several departments! In the below, we briefly summarize what was discussed in faculty meetings last month, and which actions you can expect from them. We, the members of Casimir PhD Platform and the Casimir office, will keep the discussion going in the coming months, and we will see to it that the actions have the right effect. If you want to give us more input, or if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We cannot do without your help! 

Then, last, but definitely not least, we would like to share a crucial insight with you: YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR in your own wellbeing! If you share the problems you face, you will notice that there are many people there to help you!

We wish you all the best in the coming weeks, and hope that you can be in contact with the people that are dear to you as much as possible. Stay safe, we are looking forward to see you again in real life next year!

Casimir Wellbeing Survey Results

For the Kavli/Quantum Nanoscience department we've identified the following five main points:

  1. more in-person contact with colleagues, including supervisor/PI, both socially as work-related; 
  2. clarity about the (im)possibility of contract extensions due to delay caused by the lockdown(s);
  3. better equipment at home; 
  4. more network opportunities outside the own institute; 
  5. actions to relieve the general stress level.

These issues have been discussed with the QN Faculty on 10 November and we are happy to let you know that they immediately took the following actions/found the following solutions:

  1. More contact: QN has asked all PIs to increase the time they spend on supervision their PhD students and postdocs. They also have been informed that there are options to have virtual social meetings like playing an online game together, especially needed now that there will be no group-outings.
  2. Contract extension: please consult your PI and department manager Etty van der Leij if you want more clarity about your current contract;
  3. Home office: TU Delft has made a university-wide arrangement so you can borrow the equipment you need for your home office (you’ve received a separate e-mail about this, but please contact department manager Etty van der Leij if you need more details);
  4. Network opportunities: each QN-PI knows of several examples (online conferences, job add pages etc.), so please talk to them about it! The university also offers help here: check the links on these websites: https://www.tudelft.nl/en/student/counselling/managing-your-career/ and https://www.tudelft.nl/en/student/counselling/meet-us/career-counsellors/.
  5. Actions to relieve stress: apart from more contact in general, and more supervision time, QN has urged the PIs to make their group members aware of the fact that there are possibilities to share problems/solutions, such as https://forum.kavli.tudelft.nl. There are also options to many online workshops you can attend to acquire more stress coping strategies. Contact Casimir Coordinator Marije Boonstra if you want to receive the hand-out of the Casimir mental health workshop and/or need more guidance on this topic. 

For the Kavli groups at QuTech we've identified the following four main points:

  1. more in-person contact with colleagues, including supervisor/PI, both socially as work-related; 
  2. better equipment at home; 
  3. more network opportunities outside the own institute; 
  4. actions to relieve the general stress level.

These issues have been discussed with QuTech’s Director Research Lieven Vandersypen and Director of Operations Charlotte van Hees on 3 December. We are happy to let you know that they immediately took the following actions/found the following solutions: 

  1. More contact: They have asked all PIs to discuss with their group members how life is going in general, and in particular to discuss the findings of the survey in the group, including the difficulties regarding traveling (so to be flexible about the time off) and about not being able to travel to your loved ones at all. They also have been informed that there are options to have virtual social meetings like playing an online game together, especially needed now that there will be no group-outings. In case you want to broaden your social network in the Netherlands, sign up for the lunch walk buddy system, organised by Casimir.
  2. Home office: TU Delft has made a university-wide arrangement so you can borrow the equipment you need for your home office (you’ve received a separate e-mail about this, but please contact Denise Bijleveld, management assistant operations if you need more details).
  3. Network opportunities: each QuTech-PI knows of several examples (online conferences, job add pages etc.), so please talk to them about it! The university also offers help here: check the links on these websites: https://www.tudelft.nl/en/student/counselling/managing-your-career/ and https://www.tudelft.nl/en/student/counselling/meet-us/career-counsellors/.
  4. Actions to relieve stress: apart from more contact in general, and more supervision time, QuTech has urged the PIs to make their group members aware of the fact that there are possibilities to share problems/solutions, such as https://forum.kavli.tudelft.nl. There are also options to many online workshops you can attend to acquire more stress coping strategies. Contact Casimir Coordinator Marije Boonstra if you want to receive the hand-out of the Casimir mental health workshop and/or need more guidance on this topic.

For the Kavli/Bionanoscience department we've identified the following four main points:

  1. more in-person contact with colleagues, including supervisor/PI, both socially as work-related; 
  2. clarity about the (im)possibility of contract extensions due to delay caused by the lockdown(s);
  3. better equipment at home; 
  4. working more at the institute instead of at home, and more availability of office spaces for video calls.
These issues have been discussed with the BN Faculty on 16 November and we are happy to let you know that they immediately took the following actions/found the following solutions: 
  1. More contact: BN has asked all PIs to increase the time they spend on supervision their PhD students and postdocs. They also have been informed that there are options to have virtual social meetings like playing an online game together, especially needed now that there will be no group-outings.
  2. Contract extension: please consult your PI and department manager Chantal Brokerhof if you want more clarity about your current contract;
  3. Home office: TU Delft has made a university-wide arrangement so you can borrow the equipment you need for your home office (you’ve received a separate e-mail about the procedure, please contact department manager Chantal Brokerhof if you need more details);
  4. Office space: BN will arrange more office space for videocalls, as soon as the situation allows it (but please follow the current guidelines to see if you are allowed to work on campus at all). For more info please contact department manager Chantal Brokerhof.

 For LION we've identified the following four main points:

  1. more in-person contact with colleagues, including supervisor/PI, both socially as well as work-related; 
  2. clarity about the (im)possibility of contract extensions due to delay caused by the lockdown(s);
  3. better equipment at home; 
  4. working more at the institute instead of at home, and more availability of office spaces.

These issues have been discussed with LION's scientific director on 26 November and we are happy to let you know that the management immediately took the following actions/found the following solutions: 

  1. More contact: LION has asked all PIs to increase the time they spend on supervision their PhD students and postdocs. They also have been informed that there are options to have virtual social meetings like playing an online game together, especially needed now that there will be no group-outings.
  2. Contract extension: LION is well aware of the fact that the current situation can cause severe delays in your project, also if you only just started. Please consult your PI and scientific director Jan Aarts if you want more clarity about (the expiration date of) your current contract and how to file an extension request;
  3. Home office: LION has made an institute-wide arrangement so each employee can borrow the equipment they need for their home office (please contact Barry Cats if you need more details);
  4. Office space and lab access: there's dedicated office space for PhD students in the Leiden University Library; https://docs.okku.io/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Quickstartguide-Studenten-Eng-01-1.pdf. Please check Jan Aarts' latest e-mail on the LION rules for lab (and office spaces) accessibility. 

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