GOPHER stands for ‘Groningen Organisation for PhD Education and Recreation’. GOPHER is an organisation run by PhD students and funded by the Dean of the Graduate Schools, Prof. Lou de Leij (the GGS is complemented by Dr Marjan Koopmans (project manager), Dr. Alicia Brandt and Henriette Niewold (secretary)).

As an organisation, we arrange recreational and educational events that bring PhD students from different faculties together. Many of GOPHER educational events are beneficial for the development of PhD students, but are not offered in the educational programmes of the Graduate Schools, HR services and related institutions.



GOPHER is run by an organising committee consisting of PhD students acting on a voluntary basis.

The members of GOPHER 2018-19 board are:

  • Everhard Tilstra, chair

  • Carla Roos, PR manager

  • Fatemeh Fereidooni, secretary

  • Laurent Legrand, manager for educational events

  • Arezoo Shajiei, manager for recreational events

  • Zhen Chen, website and social media manager

  • Suzanne Lanooij, treasurer