Have you ever wondered what your options are after completing your master’s? Are you interested in focusing on research later in your career as a health professional? Are you unsure how all of that is organized in the Netherlands?

If you are practically clueless on these topics, or if you already did your research but would like to gain some additional insight into how the former and present PhD candidates experienced it – I have good news for you. What you are reading now is an introduction to a new series, which is going to be all about the hows and whys of research.

Some general information

In order for you to understand what the articles in this series will be dealing with, I will start with providing an overview of what types of PhDs you can apply for.

PhD in the Netherlands can be financed by the university, external funding, or by the candidates themselves. No matter the funding, in most cases it takes 4 years to complete a PhD, however, there are some 3 year tracks as well.

The first option listed is the most common one, where the university posts a job vacancy to which a candidate can apply for. Therefore, the candidate comes out of these 4 years with completed PhD, having been paid a salary, while not having to pay a tuition fee. As you might imagine, these vacancies are competitive. There is also a PhD training program, for which a tuition fee applies. It is provided by the UM. In this case there are scholarships and grants that you can apply for. Lastly, the third option is to do a PhD and have it funded externally. This is applicable to those candidates who have their own innovative idea which is perhaps not listed in the job vacancies or training programs. In this case, you have to ask for mentor supervision yourself and are more independent in the whole process. 

Meet Judith and Dorien

As promised in the title, I wanted for this series to provide not only information that can be found by spending some time clicking through top internet searches but also different perspectives on how to approach research.

Judith studied medicine at UM and is currently doing a PhD, combining clinical work with research within the Centre of Overweight Adolescents and Children’s Healthcare (COACH). Dorien has a biomedical background and has already completed her PhD, as well as a postdoc. She is currently working on a project called TOP mums (TOwards Prepared mums). 

Both interviewees are definitely equipped with lots of valid information for anyone who wants to enter the research world. They shared with me interesting details about their present research involvement, their past experiences and education, and what their plans are for the future. I am excited to share it all with you in the next articles! Till next time! 

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