Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
OnderwijsOpleidingenGraduate SchoolsGraduate School of Medical SciencesPhD programme
University Medical Center Groningen

General information

Within the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) every PhD student doing research in a medical sciences-related field is registered with the Graduate School of Medical Sciences (GSMS).  This applies to everyone writing a PhD thesis (dissertation). There are several categories of PhD students, ranging from the regular 4 year PhD students to the PhD scholarship students and the external candidates.

Types of PhD training programs

Generally the GSMS offers four different types of PhD training programs. 1. The MD/PhD program offers medical and dental students the opportunity to combine the last two years of the Master phase with a PhD training (two additional years of research training financed by the UMCG) to obtain a (D)MD and PhD degree upon completion. 2. The Abel Tasman Talent Program offers PhD Sandwich Scholarships (2+2 years). First, PhD students pursue a two years PhD education and training program at their home university followed by a two years program in Groningen (funded by the UMCG) where the thesis will be completed. 3. Upon successful completion of their Research Master's programs GSMS Research Master's students have the opportunity to apply for a 3 years PhD education and training program within the GSMS. 4. Finally , within the UMCG regularly regular 4-year PhD positions are available (offered by individual researchers or research groups) and posted on the UMCG website.

PhD curriculum

The GSMS PhD curriculum has an extensive program (more than 70 courses and activities) offering each PhD student the opportunity to join courses and activities related to the Research Institute they participate in and their own specific research interest. As a PhD student, you will conduct your own research while the Graduate School provides a balanced mix of expert supervision, tailor-made graduate training and the freedom to pursue your own ideas within relevant research themes. In some cases part of the research may be carried out abroad.

Five Research Institutes work together to organize GSMS courses and activities each based on their own field of expertise: 1. Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences (Research School BCN/Research Institute BCN-BRAIN), 2. Chronic Diseases and Drug Exploration (Research Institute GUIDE), 3. Cancer Research (Cancer Research Institute), 4. Health Research (Research Institute SHARE) and 5. Biomedical Engineering (Research Institute W.J. Kolff).


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

Apart from taking courses, it is important that the PhD students become familiar with activities related to transfer of knowledge, such as keeping up with professional literature, participation in work discussion meetings and reference meetings, and active participation in national and international scientific meetings.

Information for foreign PhD-students

The medical faculty/UMCG has an International Office which provides advice and support to international students and guests. The Office cooperates closely with the International Service Desk of the University of Groningen.

The International Office can provide you with detailed information on a variety of subjects such as, health matters, visas, registration with the municipality, driver’s licenses, University facilities, daily life in Groningen, etc.

Detailed Information for foreign PhD-students

International Office, Institute for Medical Education, UMCG

International Service Desk, RUG

Funds and Financing

All GSMS PhD students need to complete the Registration Form to register in the GSMS and in one of the four Research Institutes of the GSMS.

Only registered PhD students can participate in courses for free and receive financial support for scientific activities such as external courses, writing their theses, attending conferences, etc.. Applications forms are available from all the Research Institute secretaries or can be downloaded from this website.

Education Committees

Due to the size of the organization, the GSMS has several education committees for the Master’s programs as well as for the PhD program.

PhD Council

The PhD Council represents the interests of all PhD candidates within the GSMS. The council consists of two PhD students from each of the four Research Institutes.


PhD Communities at the University of Groningen

There are two PhD associations in Groningen:

GRIN (Groningen Graduate Interest Network) which represents and supports the interests and rights of PhD students, whereas Gopher (Groningen Organization for PhD Education and Recreation) organizes informative and social events.

- Gopher

Note: A dynamic organisation is constantly evolving, which means that the content of this website may be subject to change. Please note that updates will be made available on a regular basis on this website. In addition, the Graduate School office will inform you regularly about new courses and activities.

Laatst gewijzigd:18 juli 2017 09:57