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PhD Defence Ceremony - The Thank You Post

The PhD Defence ceremony in the Netherlands is a ceremony lasting exactly one hour - it's called Hora Finita for this reason - during which opponents ask questions regarding the PhD research. You can view the whole ceremony here.

The PhD has two paranymphs - historically, the paranyphs could help the PhD defend by being able to answer questions the PhD could not answer themselves, but now, the paranymphs mostly help the PhD organise the defence ceremony and the party afterward.

At the end of the defence, the primary supervisor delivers a speech. After the defence, there is usually a dinner, followed by a party. Gifts and drinks and food are exchanged. It's, in some ways, more than a wedding - it celebrates an individual achievement which arguably is more difficult than finding and retaining a partner because one is finding and retaining science.

So I'd first like to thank the people who made this possible - you can also find them in my acknowledgements page (here). My three supervisors, Jan-Willem, Ymkje, and Onno, and my mentors along the way, Traian, Adriana, Sally, Ulrika, Dominik, Deliana, Chris, Shikha, Zohar. And on this note, I'd like to thank my opponents. You might not know this, but a lot of defences end up as very awkward affairs. Mine was perfect in this regard. It was a discussion amongst peers and I frankly did not want it to end.

Then, I'd like to thank my paranymphs, Renate and Laurent. I chose them as paranymphs because they are the people who have been with me in this PhD through thick and thin and they understand the best what it means to go through this experience as they also defended in 2023.

My weird, extended family - mom, Jorj & Ana (you can't see her because she was taking the photos), and Ben, who even though knew me for merely a month when I defended, understood the importance of the day more than people who knew me for years.

Going further, I'd like to thank all the people who were there in person or in spirit. Over the years and on the day, I had the fortune of being very supported by my friends, old and new alike.

Last but not least, I'd like to thank my pedel. The pedel (beadle) is the person helping guide the PhD through the ceremony. Lunsing, who I met during Renate's defence, came from his day off specifically for my defence because we got along so well and honestly, I could not have asked for a better person to guide me through the process.


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