Who are we?

ASAP is the association for Amsterdam UMC PhD candidates. ASAP organizes a variety of events throughout the year, where you can learn, develop yourself, have fun and meet fellow PhD candidates. 

Pimp My:

Fail your
way forward

A new exciting workshop from Mind Elevators!

June 24th | 12-14 pm | Online

Pimp My:


Get in shape for the 21k run under supervision of a trainer

July–October| offline


Skills lab:

like a boss

            Become a boss in presenting!                          

September 16th | from 16 pm | AMC

Alexandra Cloherty from Amsterdam UMC wins the national finals of FameLab

Another winner of the finals is Mohammad Jouy Bar from TU. Alexandra and Mohammed, congratulations from ASAP! Very well done! And lots of luck at International finale!

Click here  or here if you want to find out more about the winners and watch their inspirational pitches! 

We have asked Alexandra some questions about her experience, see her answers below.

How was your experience of the national finale?
It was a great evening – the organizers did an amazing job of hosting the event online. I had never before attended a more smoothly orchestrated online event! At first I was very nervous, but in the end I forgot my nerves because the other pitches were so well done that I was totally engaged in the presentations of the other participants the whole time. I am still curious to see what comes from the other FameLabNL participants – it was an extremely talented group of science communicators at the Dutch National Final. When it did come to be my turn, it was just a lot of fun to answer the questions from the jury and see their reactions.

What did you learn so far from your FameLab adventure?
Well, quite a lot! My top three tips that I’ve gathered so far were: 1) Streamline your story, and stick to one main point (from Marc van den Broek at the AMC External Communication team), 2) Add in extra jokes or tidbits of information that are not essential to your story, and that perhaps only some of your audience will get to add some extra “spice” –  like how Disney adds in some jokes for adults in their kid’s movies (from Quentin Cooper, who led the Communications Masterclass that all of the FameLab NL participants attended), and 3) Not to over-memorize your pitch – it is good if you can adapt it a little every time to suit the moment at which you’re giving your pitch (from Barry Fitzgerald, Science Communication Officer at TU Eindhoven).

Why would you recommend others to join the FameLab pitch competition?
Definitely. It will give you tools to talk about science to all the non-scientists in your life – and help you develop public speaking skills in general. And, it’s a lot of fun.

How are you going to prepare for the international finals?
Since the finals will be online, I will have to send in two pre-recorded pitches – one for the semifinal and one in case I make it to the final. To challenge myself, and to build up a portfolio of video pitches, I would like to make two completely new pitches. I still have to decide on exactly what, but I have a big pool of ideas to pick from – since 2017 I have been writing a science communication blog called “Microbial Mondays” (https://www.microbialmondays.com/), so I have some interesting stories partially thought out there that I could turn into a pitch. And, the FameLab NL organizers and other participants have been very kind and offered  to help me prepare. So, I am looking forward to the preparations as well as the International Final itself.

Results: PhD questionnaire working from home

How did the pandemic affect our work routines?

In the beginning of 2021 PhD candidates were asked to fill in a questionnaire relating to the current working from home situation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 370 PhD candidates from the Netherlands filled in this questionnaire, of whom 146 work for the Amsterdam UMC. We would hereby like to share the results of this questionnaire.

In short, more than 50% of the PhD candidates experienced a delay in their PhD trajectory. Furthermore, more than half of the PhD candidates indicated to work less efficiently and have less joy while working from home due to reasons such as working better surrounded by colleagues and having an inadequate workspace at home. Also, some PhD candidates started experiencing physical complaints since working from home. Therefore, we recommend that the Amsterdam UMC and/or supervisors help facilitate contact between PhD candidates and the arbodienst in case of problems relating to the working from home space. Furthermore, given that the majority of PhD candidates spent more than €200 to improve their workspace from home, and the likelihood that after the COVID-19 pandemic we will be working from home more often, we recommend that the Amsterdam UMC re-evaluates possibilities for facilitating the work from home space.