Julia Gumula- Julia Gumula was meber of the PhD students’ representationr 2015-2017 -
I am doing my PhD at the Georg-Elias-Müller-Institute of Psychology, Department VI 'Social and Communication Psychology', under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Margarete Boos. In my PhD project, I explore the influence of major changes of perspective in idea development processes on the quality of the ideas in an experimental way.
Luckily, I am a grant holder of the Hans Böckler foundation. I would not have been able to finance my PhD project by any other means, as I am also a mother of three children.
Before starting my PhD project, I co-founded and -coordinated a binational master study program at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg in cooperation with the Pedagogical University in Mozambique. I have been a PhD students' representative at the university in Magdeburg as well.
I studied cultural engineering: cultural studies, knowledge management, and logistics.
PhD students not only need resources in terms of their research, as it is also their environment and factors such as financial endowment, tasks and activities that can be very demanding. When in conversation with PhD students last year, e.g. at the Welcome Day, I particularly felt that it is important for them to feel that they are understood and valued by their fellow PhD students and fellow students. Working in competitive academic life, it feels good to see that others have to face the same challenges as much as I myself. Everyone needs support from colleagues and I am so happy that the GGG provides us with resources and offers enabling the PhD students to develop and maintain a network of collegial support beyond their own research.
The amendment of the Lower Saxony Higher Education Act has brought about some changes for PhD student body last year. PhD students finally have a status at universities and can now be represented by their peers within the committees and organs of higher education self-administration. Gone are the days when PhD students' interests were represented indirectly via students' representatives or representatives of the junior academic staff, it seems. The PhD representatives of the graduate schools have been working on developing a construct for every faculty of the Georg August University in Göttingen with great commitment for more than a year. In the end there will be two PhD students' representatives per faculty.
I developed a network with the PhD students' representations of the universities myself in Leipzig, Halle, and Jena back when I was a PhD students' spokesperson at the university of Magdeburg. We are benefitting from this network in building a local PhD students' representation for the whole university.
In the coming term of office I intend to be in frequent contact with my fellow PhD students. Additionally, I am still fighting for a (even more) family-friendly university with free childcare for PhD students with children. And we will keep helping form the PhD students' representation for the whole university, so that the interests of PhD students who do not feel represented by either the junior academic staff or the student body are given a voice in the senate and the faculty council.