PhD Programs

Every PhD student carrying out research in a field related to medical sciences within the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) will be registered with the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (GSMS).  This also applies to every student writing a PhD thesis (dissertation). There are several categories of PhD students registered with the GSMS, ranging from regular 4-year PhD students to research fellows and external candidates.

Research Portfolio

As a prospective PhD student, you should first of all check to see whether we here at the UMCG offer expertise in your preferred area of research. You can do this by consulting the UMCG Research Portfolio.

Secondly, you should consider the financial support opportunities available for pursuing a career as a PhD student; will you need to be dependent on the UMCG for financing or will you be able to apply for scholarships offered by your own national government? Or perhaps you will apply for European Union funding, through the Erasmus Mundus Action 2 program for example? Follow the link to find information on some of the most common external scholarship opportunities.

All of these factors are crucial to consider when applying for a PhD position. We have summarized the information in a short brochure and if you need further help or advice, please contact the Graduate School of Medical Sciences. Please always enclose an English-language CV and a summary of your research interests when contacting us!

Types of PhD training programs

Generally speaking, the GSMS offers five different types of PhD training programs. See also the FAQ section for more information about PhD and double degree PhD programs.

  1. Within the UMCG regular four-year PhD positions may be available (offered by individual researchers or research groups) and these positions are posted on the UMCG website.
  2. The Abel Tasman Talent Program offers PhD Sandwich Scholarships (two + two years) for collaboration with strategic partners. The typical structure, although dependent on the type of research, is that PhD students first pursue a two-year PhD education and training program at their home university followed by a two-year program in Groningen (funded by the UMCG) where they will complete their thesis.
  3. Upon successful completion of their Research Master programs, GSMS Research Master students have the opportunity to apply for a three-year PhD education and training program within the GSMS.
  4. You bring your own funding, from for example governmental scholarship programs or Erasmus Mundus Action 2 projects. Depending on the type of funding, you apply to do a full or sandwich PhD at the UMCG.
  5. The MD/PhD program offers medical and dental students the opportunity to combine the last two years of their Master phase with PhD training (two additional years of research training financed by the UMCG) in order to obtain a (D)MD and PhD degree upon completion.

PhD curriculum

The GSMS PhD curriculum offers an extensive program of more than 70 diverse courses and activities to choose from, therefore allowing each PhD student the opportunity to tailor their program in relation to both the particular research institute they are a part of and to their own personal research interests. As a PhD student you will conduct your own independent research while the Graduate School provides you with a balanced mix of expert supervision, tailor-made graduate training and the freedom to pursue your own ideas within an approved field of research. In some cases part of your research may be carried out abroad. Download here our PhD Study Guide.

Five research institutes work together to organize and provide the GSMS courses and activities, each contributing based on their own field of expertise:

You can find out more about the UMCG's particular research themes and expertise through its research portfolio, which can be found here.

Registration with the GSMS provides you with access to the courses and activities offered on the Graduate School’s Teaching program. Once registered, participation in the courses on this program is free of charge.

As well as taking courses, it is important that PhD students become familiar with and actively take part in activities which not only further their own knowledge but also facilitate the transfer of knowledge within the scientific community. Some examples of such activities could include, but are not limited to, keeping up to date with the literature of one's field, participating in professional discussion and reference meetings and actively participating in national and international scientific conferences.

Singapore student presentation
Singapore student presentation
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