Lei Zhu, China

Graduate of Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology Master Program, now PhD Student, UMCG

"Lectures are interactive in format, allowing for a lot of communication between students and lecturers and each student gets the opportunity to work with leading scientists"

My name is Lei Zhu and I come from China. During my bachelor studies in psychology I became interested in how psychology and medicine interact and how this interaction can  help people. It was this interest that made me decide to move to Groningen in 2009 to begin the research-oriented master program in Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology (CPE), offered by the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (GSMS). The CPE program is in fact embedded in the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and because of this it is in a uniquely strong position to combine the disciplines of psychology and medicine.


During the CPE program lectures are given in an interactive format, which allows for a lot of communication to take place between students and lecturers. Most importantly, each student gets the opportunity to work with leading scientists during their master thesis project and through this is able to learn and gain experience in how to best perform scientific research.


After finishing the CPE research-oriented master program, I started my PhD project in the department of Health Psychology in the UMCG and am currently in my final year. My PhD project focuses on cancer patients who receive psychosocial care in psycho-oncology institutions. I am interested in examining the underlying mechanisms of psychosocial care, for example, how patients’ personal resources change during the psychosocial care they receive. Without the CPE research-oriented master program, it would not have been possible for me to undertake this research. The CPE program not only offered me the state-of-the-art knowledge I needed in the field of health sciences, but also provided me with the necessary skills to perform quality research (i.e., analytical thinking, scientific writing, presentation of data).


Overall, I have really enjoyed the program and my experience here in Groningen! If you have any questions regarding the program please feel free to contact me!