Graduate Students' Society

The Graduate Students' Society (GSS) consists of and represents over 160 CentER graduate students from both the Business and Economics programs. The main goal is to support you in your professional development while enabling you to enjoy your time at Tilburg University.

The GSS is active in three main areas:

  • Organizing social events and sporting activities
  • Planning professional events and promoting communication among graduate students
  • Voicing your concerns on matters and issues

Every year, the GSS elects graduate students to the GSS Board which serves as a hub for all three areas. The GSS consists of students who form a Board and Representatives. You can find who they are on this website.

logo Graduate Students' Society

Join us

We invite every graduate student to contribute ideas, join seminars or support the GSS in general. In order to be able to do so please read our newsletter, join a seminar or join one of the on- or off campus meetings. We inform you below on all of this. Please have a look!

GSS Newsletter

Political Economics Reading Group

Political Economics Reading Group & Seminar Meetings

The GSS plans to install frequent group meetings for all those interested in Political Economy and Economic History from an empirical perspective. These meetings could come in the form of a reading group and/or presentations of work in progress or research ideas. Should you have any thoughts on the format please contact the GSS.

We look forward to your input!

Social life, Education and Discovery Program

The SED program is specifically designed to make sure that students are keeping up with their regular academic activities as well as to ensure that they are enjoying their student lives. The program consists of both ‘on-campus’ and ‘off-campus’ events. These events are created in order to boost the social interaction among students regardless of their current location.

*The Academic events and the buddy program can take place either online or on-campus.

The program consists of:

  • Social Events
  • Academic Events
  • On Campus Social Events

Social Events

Buddy Program

The Buddy Program is a casual mentorship program created by the Graduate Students’ Society (GSS). In this program, you will be assigned to a second-year Research Master student or a PhD student who will become your buddy. We have noticed that many incoming students have questions which their Education Coordinator or the CentER administration may not be able to answer. Furthermore, going into a new environment where there are many new things to learn can be challenging without knowing an insider. To address these issues, we have created the Buddy Program.

Your buddy will be a student just like you and someone who has already experienced (part of) the same Research Master program. The Research Master is intense and sometimes you will have the feeling that you are lost in the piles of work ahead of you. A buddy will support you by clarifying things, helping you set priorities. Also for non-research master related questions you can always contact your buddy. Most likely this will be your first visit to Tilburg and it can be overwhelming to get to know a new city. Where to find the best bars? What is a ‘worstenbroodje’? Why should I celebrate ‘carnaval’? Where to get a bike? These questions may come up, and your buddy is an excellent person to answer such life-changing questions. 

Book Club

Heartily welcome to our GSS bookclub. Reading a good book is fun but nothing can be better than reading with friends and sharing thoughts together. Lots of you are probably longing for such an experience. Here we are. To ensure the best reading experience and involving discussion, I longlist a selection of books that already receive popularity. There are four genres for this reading period: science, fiction, biography, and philosophy. Of course, more genres and way more interesting books should be here. What listed below is only a start. Please do not be disappointed if your favorites are not present and feel free to write down your favorites at the end of the questionnaire, under the question "Something else".

About the structure of our book club: before each reading period, we will shortlist three books from longlisted books using a survey like the one below. During the first meeting, a brief introduction is given to each of the three shortlisted books and people vote for the most preferred one. This is then followed by a series of regular meetings to exchange opinions and comments. A person, let's call him/her the chair of the reading period, is in charge of working out a reading schedule so that everyone is on the same page before regular meetings. This person will also lead discussions by throwing some ice-breaking questions.

  • Science

Are you a nature lover or always curious about science? Here is something for you. Part biography, part memoir, part scientific adventure, Why Fish Don’t Exist reads like a fable about how to persevere in a world where chaos will always prevail. Vesper Flights invites you to contemplate the lessons we human beings can learn from animals and be aware of things that we don't really understand when we think we do. Being small is not being unimportant. In fact, small fungi have a marvelous world that is often ignored. Merlin Sheldrake's entangled Life is surely the best guide to this hidden treasure.

  • Fiction

Fascinated by magic, curses, and witchcraft? Then don't miss Alice Hoffman's Magic Lessons where you will get all the fantasy and many more. Or having a taste for the dark atmosphere in medieval stories? Then try Ken Follett's The Evening and the Morning where you are going to adventure with characters from various backgrounds and witness how their fate tangle in dark-age England. Or perhaps you are looking for something modern? The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett explores how the past shapes a person and why people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. What if a mother has all the good intentions of caring and loving but failed in many ways due to addiction? Douglas Stuart's Shuggie Bain is the place to find the answer.

  • Biography

In political and social chaos like the one we are currently in, a true leader is in great need more than ever before. Eric Larson's The Splendid and the Vile takes us back to a time of true leadership, Churchill. In the face of unrelenting horror, Churchill's eloquence, strategic brilliance, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together. Many people think it is a blessing that America has George Washington as its founding father. Ron Chernow, one of America's foremost writers and historians, takes us back to the life of this great leader and brings us to a page-turning journey through all the formative events of America's founding. As the whole world is struggling with discrimination and civil rights, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's attitude and effort influence not only feminists but also anyone trying to make the world a little better and a little freer. If you don't know her battle for gender equality, check out the Notorious RBG. An economist, an anti-authoritarian thinker, a moral philosopher, a statesman, and a man with good taste for art. If these labels do not give you enough reasons to know more about Keynes, then you should definitely read Zachary D. Carter's new book on Keynes.

  • Philosophy

To some people, philosophy is one of the most useless subjects, while to others it is the most valuable asset human beings ever possess. In her book, At the Existentialist Cafe, Sarah Bakewell takes us to the heart of a philosophy about life that also changed lives, and that tackled the biggest questions of all: what we are and how we are to live. In an interview, Yuval says: "we now live in a world where old stories are invalidated while new ones are not yet established". His famous book, Sapiens, will tell exactly what kind of new story Yuval has in mind.

GSS Interview Series

The aim of the GSS Interview Series is to explore the diversity of the professors at CentER. These 20 minute interviews - hosted by GSS members - aim to get to know the personal, not merely the academic, side of the guests as well as briefly discussing their research and what they look for in students as PhD supervisors.

Academic Events

GSS Weekly Seminars

The GSS organizes a seminar series for graduate students to present their (preliminary) work. It is also open to external graduate students (i.e. from other institutions). Depending on the demand and organizing capacity, every other week there is a one-hour slot in which there are two presentations. For more specific information, see the responsibilities of the seminar organizers. 

Academic Skills Workshops

The GSS organizes academic skills workshops for all RM and PhD students in courses such as Latex, R, Matlab, Python, etc. The main goal is to equip students with new skills to accelerate their learning process and help them conduct their research. Besides, we are looking forward to providing workshops on psychological topics to better overcoming extra stress caused by long and exhausting quarantine days. In light of that, we hope everyone gets an advantage when facing difficult times.

Research Ideas Jamboree

The purpose is for Research Master Students to share their research ideas with Ph.D. students and other fellow RM students and get feedback. The research idea could be for your RM thesis, field paper, or Ph.D. proposal. You can also ask for advice on your choice of supervisors and Ph.D. application process.  You will have 5 minutes to present your idea and it will be followed by a 10-minute discussion. During your pitch, students can either introduce a couple of ideas that you have in mind and ask for guidance in how to pursue one, or if you have a well-established idea, you can describe it and you can talk about your motivation, possible identification, datasets, contribution. The sole purpose of this is to provide you a safe space in which you can share research ideas and get feedback, which could be very helpful for your research process. 

GSS survey

In the beginning of the second semester, GSS holds a survey (using Qualtrics 3generally) to survey the graduate student population about among others, their wellbeing, evaluations of the program, and teaching load. An important focus the last two years has been surveying the mental health situation and teaching load. 

Q&A Session

The series of Q&A sessions are designed for Research Master Students to ask their questions from PhD students and Professors in their field. And, benefit from tips and guidelines experts provide them. Occasionally, these sessions start with a 10-minute speech by a professional psychologist to help students go through their intense program.

Social Events

Introduction Week

In the first week of the academic year, when the new cohort of RM students start with their Quantitative Methods courses, the Graduate Office organizes together with GSS the introduction week.

Monthly Drinks

The GSS organizes every second Friday of the month social drinks. These drinks are generally held in the Campus Café, the small café in the same building as the Mensa.

End-of-the-Year BBQ

The GSS organizes a BBQ event to celebrate the summer at the end of every academic year. This is the time when all students come together to both celebrate their success during the semester and welcome new incoming Research Masters and direct PhD students.

City Tour

One of the essential activities when studying (abroad) is to travel around the country and explore the culture. In GSS, we request one of our members to guide you through different cities and explain you their history. “Glow Eindhoven” is a wonderful place to visit and enjoy the artistic show of lights in the city center of Eindhoven.

Movie Nights, Sportclub

More information on Movie nights, Sportclub and GLOW Eindhoven will follow soon.

Board Members and Representation GSS

Within Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TiSEM), the GSS also represents graduate students by voicing your concerns on matters ranging from department policies to university-wide issues.

  • Part of the GSS board consists of a team of representatives for the various academic disciplines at TiSEM, who regularly meet with the directors of graduate studies and education coordinators to discuss student concerns.
  • Representation also includes talks with the faculty and university managementabout school and university-wide issues.
Board Members

Seminar Organizers:

Social Event Members:


PhD Representatives:

 Research Masters Representatives:



If you want to contact us, you can either use the GSS forum, or you can send an e-mail to the board's mailing list,

Facebook: Fb: Graduate Students’ Society

Instagram: @gsstilburg