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PhD program

All PhD students employed at the UMC Utrecht Brain Center in principle enroll in the PhD program Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience. This program is part of the PhD curriculum of the Utrecht Graduate School of Life Sciences and is being carried out by the scientific staff of the UMC Utrecht Brain Center.

Overview of the program

The PhD program director is responsible for the terms of the educational part of the training program, the chair of the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus for the research part. In addition, an educational committee and a program coordinator advise and assist the director regarding all matters of the PhD training program. 

The Brain Center offers an extensive training program to its PhD students. The program consists of a research training, leading to a PhD dissertation, combined with an educational part. 

The research training is provided by the research groups of the Brain Center and is the responsibility of the PhD program director. Progress is monitored at the end of the first and third year by an independant senior scientist of the institute that is not directly involved in the project.

Additionally, the program consists of the obligatory educational part of the PhD program 'Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience', which is part of the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS). The chair of the Brain Center is highly involved in the content of the educational program.


0.5 EC introductory course

During this course the PhD students starting in the same half year are getting acquainted, the program itself is explained and the research done on Neuroscience in Utrecht is highlighted.


2.5 EC (minimum) Broad Neuroscience training

This part consisting of specific meetings in which the PhD students get a broader and overall view on the neurosciences on campus. With the aim to show them that it is important to have a broader knowledge in neuroscience (and techniques used) then their own niche.


3 EC (minimum) in-depth neuroscience training

This encompasses courses picked by the students themselves as long as they are on PhD level and give an in depth training in the field of neuroscience. This might be in their own specific field, but also in another field in the neurosciences. As PhD program we organize a couple of courses and we have a close collaboration with our counterpart ONWAR on courses.


4EC (minimum) general skill training

As PhD program we provide an elaborated spectrum of general skill workshops e.g. time management, career orientation, guidance of master students, scientific communication for the broad public, grant writing. Furthermore our students can follow all courses provided by the GSLS course center  all oriented at general skill training. 


Remaining EC

The remaining EC up to at least 20 EC can be gained in several categories:

• 5 EC (maximum) for conference and symposia visits

• 2 EC (maximum)  for attendance of journal clubs

• 1.5 EC (maximum) for training abroad

• 6 EC (maximum) for the training to become a medical specialist like neurologist, psychiatrist etc.

• Any other scientific relevant courses at PhD level.

Graduate school of Life Sciences

The obligatory educational part of the PhD program 'Clinical and Experimental Neuroscience'. This part is provided by the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS). The program consists of a core program of 20 EC.

PhD-students' platform

The PhD-students’ platform acts on behalf of all PhD-students of the UMC Utrecht Brain Center. One or two students per department are delegated to the platform. The students’ platform bi-monthly discusses matters concerning the PhD-education with the coordinator of the program. Events, like the annual UMC Utrecht Brain Center PhD Summerschool, but also the program’s introductory course and workshops, are discussed. The PhD-students’ platform is chaired by the coordinator of the PhD program (Geert Ramakers). Current members of the platform can be found in the PDF students’ platform.