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PhD Programme Cardiovascular Research

PhD Programme Cardiovascular Research

Opleiding

Welcome to the Cardiovascular Research PhD programme website of the Utrecht University Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS). You will find here information on all ins and outs of the programme, the admission criteria and the latest news on courses, seminars, PhD thesis defenses, etc.

About us uitklapper, klik om te openen

In general

In the western world, cardiovascular diseases are still one of the most prevalent causes for morbidity and overall mortality. On a global scale, research performed in this area aims to enhance knowledge on acquired and inherited cardiovascular diseases in order to improve therapeutic options for these disorders. Within the context of the PhD programme Cardiovascular Research, research in Utrecht is focused on a selected number of cardiac (e.g. cardiomyopathies, myocardial infarction, heart failure) and vascular diseases (e.g. atherosclerosis, aneurysms, stroke). PhD candidates enrolled in the programme are engaged in research towards the prevention, diagnosis, molecular mechanisms, gender differences and therapeutical leads for these diseases. Their approaches include the whole spectrum from clinical activities to basic research: clinical epidemiology / clinical trials, imaging, data science /artificial intelligence, regenerative medicine / stem cells, disease modeling in cell systems and animal models, and molecular approaches like genomics / transcriptomics / proteomics. The PhD education offered by the programme reflects these interests.

Mission and objectives

The programme aims to challenge PhD candidates to gain more in-depth knowledge of (pre)clinical cardiovascular research. In a multidisciplinary setting PhD candidates participate in research and in meetings, symposia and courses on the (patho)physiology of heart and vessels. Topics include state-of-the-art methodology (including cell systems and animal models), disease modeling, therapeutic options and valorisation. Via this, PhD candidates are offered the opportunity to explore the areas from the level of molecular biology to patient care. Besides theoretical education the programme aims to train academic researchers in exceeding the limits of their own project.

After completion of the programme, the PhD candidate:

  • has profound knowledge of cardiac and vascular diseases and disease mechanisms;
  • is able to communicate and collaborate with peers and other scientists in the Netherlands and abroad;
  • can operate independently;
  • can formulate new research questions and write grant proposals;
  • is able to communicate with the broad scientific community on an academic level, and with the general public;
  • will have insight into the various possibilities to develop his/her career according to personal interests.

Organization uitklapper, klik om te openen

Programme director:

Prof. Marc A. Vos, PhD (Dept. of Medical Physiology, UMC Utrecht): M.A.Vos@umcutrecht.nl

Programme coordinator:

Marti F.A. Bierhuizen, PhD (Dept. of Medical Physiology, UMC Utrecht): M.F.A.Bierhuizen@umcutrecht.nl

Associated research groups

Cardiology, Division Heart & Lungs, UMC Utrecht

  • Cardiothoracal Surgery, Division Heart & Lungs, UMC Utrecht
  • Central Diagnostic Laboratory, Division Laboratory, Pharmacy & Biomedical Genetics, UMC Utrecht
  • Child Oncology, Prinses Maxima Center
  • Experimental Cardiology, Division Heart & Lungs, UMC Utrecht
  • General Practioning, Julius Center, UMC Utrecht
  • Geriatry, Julius Center, UMC Utrecht
  • Global Health, Julius Center, UMC Utrecht
  • Medical Physiology, Division Heart & Lungs, UMC Utrecht
  • Nephrology, Division Internal Medicine & Dermatology, UMC Utrecht
  • Neurology, Division Brain, UMC Utrecht
  • Nursing Sciences, Julius Center, UMC Utrecht
  • Radiology, Division Imaging & Oncology, UMC Utrecht
  • Thrombosis & Haemostasis, Poli Van Creveld Clinic
  • Vascular Medicine, Division Internal Medicine & Dermatology, UMC Utrecht
  • Vascular Surgery, Division Internal Medicine & Dermatology, UMC Utrecht

Admission uitklapper, klik om te openen

Prospective PhD candidates should have a MSc degree (either Dutch or a foreign equivalent) in Life Sciences to obtain a PhD position at Utrecht University (how to obtain such PhD position is specified on the Utrecht University website). After obtaining such PhD position, PhD candidates conduct research which eventually evolves in several articles, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and a PhD thesis. During their research period, PhD candidates receive thematic training in the area of their research topic (offered by a PhD programme) and in professional development (via general courses offered by the PhD Course Centre) within the GSLS.

Admission to the PhD track of Utrecht University and to the GSLS

Within 3 months after starting their PhD study, PhD candidates have to register themselves via MyPhD, Utrecht University's registration system for PhD tracks. All formal stages of the PhD journey need to be recorded in MyPhD in accordance with the rules and guidelines of the Board for the Conferral of Doctoral Degrees. Via MyPhD it is also possible to register for the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS), by indication on the registration form.

Admission to the PhD programme Cardiovascular Research

Along the registration process in MyPhD a choice has to be made on which PhD programme of the GSLS to join. If the PhD programme Cardiovascular Research is chosen the programme coordinator automatically will receive, after completion of the complete registration procedure, a notification of the registration. The programme coordinator will then invite every new PhD candidate for an introduction meeting, in which all ins and outs of the programme are discussed. During this meeting also the mandatory Training and Supervision Agreement (TSA) will be discussed.

Training programme during PhD track Cardiovascular Research uitklapper, klik om te openen

In general

PhD candidates engage in training and education during their entire PhD period, particularly during the first few years. The proposed training programme should be constituted as follows:

  • Training and education should comprise a minimum of 5 credits for each year of research appointment, which will be at least 3 years and no more than 4 years.
  • A minimum of 40% of the total credits should be spent on cardiovascular-specific education.
  • A minimum of 20% of the total credits should be spent on general courses.
  • A maximum of 20% of the total credits may be spent on symposia/conferences.
  • (1 credit or EC = 28 hr, 1.5 credit or EC = 1 week, 1 day = 0.3 EC)

When the requirements of the GSLS with respect to training and supervision of PhD candidates are fulfilled, candidates receive a formal training certificate from the Graduate School. PhD candidates can apply for this certificate at the end of their PhD study (at least 2 months before the thesis defense) through a specific application form.

General education

PhD candidates can choose, free of charge, general courses from the list of the GSLS PhD Course Centre(e.g. Introductory biostatistics for researchers; This thing called science; Writing for academic publication, etc.). Externally organized general courses may also be followed, but costs may be required.

Cardiovascular-specific education

Cardiovascular education is offered to PhD candidates by the Cardiovascular Research programme itself or by other sources through retreats, seminars, events or courses. In order to apply for the training certificate of the GSLS, PhD candidates registered with the Cardiovascular Research Programme should have demonstrably followed an appropriate mixture of the following cardiovascular education:

  • Jongbloed seminars: monthly from September - June; 5 seminars = 0.5 EC; maximally 1.5 EC total; registration via attendance list.
  • Cardiovascular Research lunch meetings: 5 lunches = 0.5 EC; registration via attendance list.
  • PhD retreat(s) organized by the Cardiovascular Research programme: 1 day per retreat (0.3 EC per day).
  • PhD course(s) organized by the Dutch Heart Foundation: Cardiac function & adaptation; Vascular biology & pathology; Next level cardiovascular course (each 1.5 EC).
  • PhD course(s) organized by the Cardiovascular Research programme and alternately offered: 1. Sophisticated laboratory techniques in cardiovascular research; 2. State-of-the-art animal models and cell systems in cardiovascular disease; 3. Innovations in clinical cardiovascular medicine (each 3.0 EC).
  • Other cardiovascular education at the appropriate level: e.g. cardiovascular master courses followed during the PhD traject; AIOS course Vascular Medicine of the Dutch Vascular Forum; PhD course of the Netherlands Society on Thrombosis & Hemostasis (EC's according to duration / study load).

In case of doubt whether a course is eligible for the educational programme, please consult the programme coordinator.

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