As of January 1st, 2015, the new VU Doctorate Regulations apply. The education (as of April 1st) and supervision requirements are therefore tightened, aiming to enhance the quality of the PhD trajectories, and to clarify the rights and obligations concerning education and supervision (for more information, see the PhD manual).

PhD candidates are entitled to, at least, 30 ECTs education. Education consists of required courses by the VU(mc) such as a course on scientific integrity, the introductory clinical research organization (BROK) course (if applicable) and attendance of a conference. Courses required by the EMGO institute can be categorized into three types of courses:

Domain Course ECT(s)
Compulsory courses selected by the VU Course on scientific integrity 2
  Conference attendance 1 or 2*
  BROK (if necessary, mandatory for projects that are covered by the Human Research Act (WMO)) 1.5
Compulsory courses selected by the EMGO+ institute Courses focused on advanced (methodological) research skills 6
  Transferrable skills 1
  Research meetings, expert meetings, seminars 1
Elective courses Courses focused on advanced (methodological) research skills  
  Transferrable skills  
  Courses that are subject-specific and related to the PhD project  












*1 ECT without, 2 ECTs with (oral or poster) presentation

For more information on the Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) please consult our PhD manual.

Please click here for two examples of a course list of a TSP.

Advanced (methodological) research skills

Since 1989 the department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and EMGO+ organize a Postgraduate Epidemiology Program. This program includes a full Master program in epidemiology and offers additional courses in epidemiological methods.

The Master’s Programme in Epidemiology trains postgraduates from a range of disciplines (Medicine, Health Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences etc.). It focuses on applied research in primary care and public health. The programme provides the methodological tools for evidence-based medicine and evidence-based health policy. The theoretical section of this Master’s programme consists of six compulsory courses and one optional course. The programme also includes a scientific internship which spans a period of six months. The students taking part in the programme are researchers (including PhD students) and professionals working in the health services field. They often combine their work (including clinical work) with research activities. The research that they carry out at their place of work represents their scientific internship.

The Master’s Programme in Epidemiology meets the Netherlands Epidemiological Society’s registration requirements for epidemiologists. The programme has also been registered by the Executive Board of VU University Amsterdam as an official Master’s programme (not subsidized by the government). A new revised curriculum has started in January 2010. This programme has been accredited by the NVAO (Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders) in January 2011.

More information on the program and the courses can be found on our website

Transferrable skills

Transferable skills are the skills you acquire and transfer to future employment settings within our outside academia. Examples of transferable skills:

Research meetings, expert meetings, seminars

You may include workshops, conferences, symposia (1 ECT without, 2 ECTs with (oral or poster) presentation), colloquia and international research visits in your Training and Supervision Plan

The EMGO+ PhD committee organizes intervision meetings for PhD candidates and junior researchers. These are conversations between PhD candidates and juniors from all departments within EMGO+. Daily issues of each PhD candidate or junior researcher are discussed. PhD candidates or juniors can attend these meetings for free.

The focus of the meetings is to develop insight and problem solving skills of our PhD candidates and junior researchers. One may think of planning of work, motivation, cooperation with supervisors etc. Discussing these themes with other young researchers within EMGO+ can provide the understanding and the other point of view to strengthen oneself as a skilled researcher. Taking part in the intervision meetings provides the PhD candidate or junior researcher also with a network to discuss practical or methodological issues with others from within the Institute.

Send an e-mail to or contact one of the representatives if you are interested.  

[last modified: September 20, 2016]