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Education PhD programmes Groningen Graduate Schools Graduate School of Medical Sciences Junior Scientific Masterclass MD/PhD-traject
University Medical Center Groningen

Application, assessment and approval

PhD theses of MD/PhD students
PhD theses of MD/PhD students

Submitting an application
1. The student and the PhD supervisor (/research supervisor) complete the application form (can also be requested through together. Because it is a personal the application, obviously the student himself or herself will write most of the application. Once the total application has been completed, it can be submitted at the JSM office unbound, printed single sided and in two-fold (original and copy).

2. Each application is at least signed by the first promotor and the second or copromotor. A maximun of two candidates per 1st promotor can apply each round.

3. The student writes a job application with curriculum vitae directed to the Chair of the JSM, Prof. S.A. Scherjon and submits them along with the application form.

4. The application must include a detailed work plan and the planned starting date of the student’s clerkships (approval by the clerkship manager at the Institute for Medical Education, Dr J.M. van der Mark,is required).

5. The UMCG encourages students to spend part of their medical training (Research clerkships or clinical clerkships) abroad. Candidates for an MD/PhD programme are also encouraged to do part of their training/research work abroad.

If the applicants believe that some time spent abroad would significantly enhance the quality of their MD/PhD programme, they can include a research period abroad in the project application/work plan. If it is impossible to fit this period into the 4-year period allocated for the MD/PhD programme, there is a possibility that 3 months extra funding (and 6 months time) may be made available for this part of the project. The application for the stay abroad must be recieved before the start of the second research year.

6. The application must make it clear that the research project will be able to result in a PhD thesis within the appointed time. A rough list of chapters is helpful for this purpose.

7. There must be a backup plan (‘contingency plan’) for risky components of the plan.

8. Students are advised to arrange for any permits required from Committees such as the Medical Ethical Committee (Medisch Ethische Toetsingscommissie = METc) or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Dierexperimentencommissie = DEC) at an early stage. The same applies to any qualifications the student will need (Animal Experiments Course (by virtue of Article 9 of the Animal Experiments Act).

9. It must be clearly indicated who the PhD candidate’s daily supervisor will be.

10. To supplement the MD/PhD appointment, the UMCG Board also makes a 'bench fee' available. This consists of 4 times the amount appointed by the research institute (per April 2017: GUIDE, CRCG, BCN and Kolff: €5.500,=; SHARE:€3.000,=) for the entire project period. Should the project budget exceed this, then it is assumed that the student himself or herself will provide the rest of the funding. The application must include a budget.

11. The UMCG aims for a maximum number of 50 new MD/PhD students per year.

The deadlines for submitting applications for MD/PhD programmes are 1 June and 1 October every year.

Assessment and approval
The Junior Scientific Masterclass first checks that the applications are complete (see for details: Application form and procedure). Incomplete applications (see check list application form; i.e. no "proof of submission", no first authorship, no signatures) will be rejected immediately. Then the MD/PhD Assessment Committee assesses the applications. As part of the selection procedure, candidates must give a short presentation in combination with short interviews by a few members of the Committee.

It is important to realize that an application for an MD/PhD programme is a personal application. The MD/PhD programme is intended to improve the career opportunities of a future physician-scientist. This means that the candidate herself or himself is at least as important as the research plan. The Committee will assess the applications on the basis of aspects such as the candidate’s CV, the candidate’s results in the preceding period (publications), the presentation of the research proposal, the selection interview, the quality of the research group, and of course the quality and feasibility of the research proposal.

The Assessment Committee makes recommendations to the Dean of Education, the scientific directors (of the five research institutes – GUIDE, BCN, SHARE, CRCG and Kolff Institute – in the Medical Sciences Graduate School) of the UMCG and the Chair of the JSM. They will make the final decision about approving the applications.

The following decisions are possible:
- The project is approved .

- The project is conditionally approved , with a request to improve or clarify certain components. Common examples of lack of clarity are doubts as to whether the candidate will receive adequate supervision, doubts as to the feasibility of the proposal (for example, the absence of a ‘contingency plan’), or the absence of a completed article by the candidate. If the information required is supplied, the project will be approved in the second instance.

- The project is rejected ; the candidate may not submit another application until the next round of applications.

In the first or second week of July/November the research supervisor and the student receive notification by mail regarding approval of the MD/PhD project.

Last modified:29 July 2020 09.29 a.m.
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