Activities are not courses, but do contribute to the (general) development of PhD candidates, and, in most cases, supply you with credits (ECTs). The activities are offered by the various research institutes and research schools; specific information can be found on the websites of these institutes. On the bottom of this page you can download an overview of activities and the credits that can be obtained per activity . This overview has been created in compliance with all VUmc institutes. The list provides guidelines on the elements of a promotion that could be considered as part of the training of PhD candidates, with relevance for a career in academia and beyond. Other activities can be listed in consultation with the research institute. The basic principle is that it seeks a diverse and balanced education plan. Keep in mind that this list is a directive and that the actual amount of EC has to be approved by the committee. Concerning your Training- and Supervision Plan the total amount of EC to be given for visiting congresses or participating in workshops is limited. Please consult your supervisor or the committee of your Research Institute.

Science exchange day

The amount of EC you can recieve for participating in the VU University medical center Science Exchange Day is maximized at 1,5 EC.
(NB intranet pages can only be accessed through CDW/VIEW)

The different parts of the SED will be granted as follows:
With abstract, poster, as invited lector and visitor (= the whole programme 'plus'): 1,5 EC (max.) With abstract, poster and as visitor (= the whole programme): 1,1 EC
With abstract, poster and as invited lector: 1,3 EC
With abstract and poster: 0,9 EC (=0,4+0,5) Just as visitor (workshops, posterpresentation and part with lectures): 0,2 EC
Just as invited lector: 0,4 EC

Annual meetings

  • Organising institute: ONWAR (i.c.w. BCRM)
  • Registration through: Els Borghols ( )
  • Duration of the course: 3,6 ECTs (4yrs PhD); 2,7 ECTs (3yrs PhD)
  • Maximum number of participants: n.a.
  • Accessible for: ONWAR and BCRM PhD candidates
  • Costs: free of charge for ONWAR and BCRM members

Annual meetings take place at which Ph.D.-candidates from all participating institutes meet to present and discuss the progress of their research. Ph.D.-candidates are obliged to attend all annual meetings and submit abstracts of their work. Presentations consist of posters and oral presentations. The meetings are organized by the "Retreat committee" in which Ph.D. candidates are strongly encouraged to participate.

ICaR-VU PhD Education Symposia

  • Twice a year a special themed afternoon is organized by the education committee for all PhD candidates in ICaR-VU.
  • For the next programme please read the newsletter of ICaR-VU and send an email to with your name and subject and the name of your supervisors, to get the newsletter.

Examples of ICaR-VU PhD Education Symposia

"Me"Meet the criticasters"
How is your paper judged, before it is accepted for publication? By prof. dr. Anton Horrevoets and prof dr. Walter Paulus, March 2010.

"PhD graduation in perspective"
What will you do after graduating for your PhD? By dr. ir. Roel Breuls and dr. Erik Serné, November 2010.

"Successful writing"
How do you prepare your paper and how did others before you? By prof dr Nico Westerhof and dr Jolanda van der Velden, April 2011.

"Ethical dilemma's in clinical and preclinical research" .
By prof dr Tjard de Cock Buning, dr Christa Boer (member METC VU University medical center), December 2011.

How do you get the attention of your public. By Catriona Ester, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Language Center, April 2012.

"Good science vs Fraud"
How can you be sure that all your papers are based on solid data. By prof. dr. Nico Westerhof and prof dr. Henk de Regt, December 2012

OOA graduate student retreat

  • Organising institute: OOA
  • registration through:
  • Duration of the course: 1,5EC
  • Accessible for: OOA PhD candidates
  • Costs: free of charge for OOA members

Aim and content: A highlight of the OOA educational program is the Annual Graduate Student Retreat. This three-day retreat focuses entirely on research conducted by the graduate students themselves. At the retreat, students not only present their work as a poster in the first year of their participation and as an oral presentation in subsequent years, they are also in charge of chairing sessions and discussions. 
In recent years, student participated in peer review of the presentation given by others in order to award the prize for the best poster and best presentation. In this manner, the retreat trains important skills in presentation and interaction but it also provides an overview of research conducted within OOA at a early stage of the student's career, contributing significantly to the interaction between different groups: clinical and fundamental students. The location is hotel "De Zeeuwse Stromen" in Zeeland NL. All meals, coffee, tea and (shared) bedroom are inclusive