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Get to know the student representatives in the CIRCLE board

Annika Ralfs and Cecilia Garcia Chavez are PhD-students and, as of this year, new student representatives in the CIRCLE board. Let's hear from them!

– Published 25 October 2023

Photo portrait of two people outdoors.
Cecilia Garcia Chavez and Annika Ralfs, student representatives in the CIRCLE board. Photo: Pernilla Daws

Why did you join CIRCLE?


– I am particularly interested in the interdisciplinary, collaborative, and friendly environment that CIRCLE provides to their members.  Finding a network that promotes knowledge sharing amongst local and international researchers who specialise in innovation studies was fascinating from the start.


– When I started my PhD remotely because of the pandemic, my supervisor suggested engaging with CIRCLE to get inspired through research talks and to form more connections. I am particularly interested in topics like inclusive or responsible innovation. Therefore, I am happy to often join the theme on “Innovation in the Global South” where we discuss these topics in book clubs.

Why are you interested in being part of the CIRCLE board?


– I hope I can voice the concerns and wishes of other PhD students and become an advocate for growth opportunities for other early career researchers. From my own experience as a PhD candidate, I believe that increasing early career researchers’ engagement and participation in CIRCLE could be highly beneficial. Especially having access to a growing network of scholars who can give valuable input on one’s ongoing research. It can also be valuable for the more experienced researchers to interact with new talent.


– I’m happy to represent students and young researchers in the network and hopefully contribute to further building an active and supportive community. It is very interesting to get insights into the decision-making processes in the university, and CIRCLE is particularly interesting as it spans three faculties.

Their research interests lie within different areas. Broadly speaking Cecilia Garcia Chavez’s research focuses on the governance and study of science. Annika Ralfs’ interest is in inequality in academia, specifically in the context of research collaborations between high-, middle-, and low-income countries. 

Student representative

A student who is elected to represent the common student voice in a certain body is a student representative. Their main task is to present the students' opinions at meetings with the body in which the representative is elected.

Circle board

The board meets a couple of times per semester in a hybrid meeting.