MD/PhD Scholarship 2017-2018

Closed for applications.

General information

In the AMC, the Medical School (Onderwijsinstituut Geneeskunde) and the AMC Graduate School for Medical Sciences work together to offer a challenging and demanding MD/PhD program for outstanding students with excellent evaluations and a scientifically promising track record. Candidates for the program are exceptionally talented final year Bachelor’s students in Medicine striving for a career as both medical doctor and scientific researcher. They can apply for an MD/PhD Scholarship.

The MD/PhD program at the AMC combines the medical Master’s degree program with PhD research. It offers the opportunity to graduate in a shorter time. Students participating in this program can prepare for their Master and Doctorate degree simultaneously.

Conditions for the program

Candidates for the MD/PhD program must have a track record full of scientific promise, as shown by a co-authorship in an (accepted) publication, a letter of recommendation from an AMC PI, and/or extracurricular research activities in the AMC or affiliated research institutes. Candidates must also have obtained excellent evaluations for their Bachelor’s courses and no unnecessary study delay.

Eligible for the MD/PhD program 2017-2018 are AMC students who:

  • Started the Bachelor’s degree program in Medicine in the academic year 2014-2015, or
  • Started earlier and are without unnecessary study delay, or
  • Started the premaster program in Summer 2016,


  • Have not yet started clinical internship rotations, and will not start their clinical internship rotations before March 1, 2018, or
  • Are students accepted in the “nominal students program 2016-2017”


  • Will obtain a Bachelor's or Premaster degree in Medicine before January 1, 2018.

The MD/PhD program is open for honours Bachelor students as well as other outstanding medical students. The combination of MD/PhD program and honours Master’s degree program is not allowed.

Please note that the total duration of the Master's degree program may not exceed 10 years.

Design of the program

The MD/PhD program enables MD/PhD students to combine the Master’s degree program and the PhD track and complete both in 5½ years, as follows.
The Master’s degree program in Medicine is a three year program. Within the Master’s degree program, the research internship can be extended to 24 weeks. In the MD/PhD program, this extended research internship is typically planned at the beginning of the Master’s degree program. It is also part of the PhD research (See Example below). The length of a regular PhD track equals 3 to 4 years of full time research work.

The MD/PhD program shortens the combined track from 7 (3+4) to 5½ (3+2½) years by offering an individually tailored program of clinical internships alternated with research periods, expecting hard work and full commitment from the students and well organized supervision and good mentorship. Each period has a duration of at least 6 months (exception: Period G). The clinical internships are offered as two periods of about a year, starting in the summer (see table below), interrupted by a research period of one year.

Year 1 A: Research internship
Year 2 B: Period 1 Clinical internship
Year 3 C: Research
Year 4 D: Period 2 Clinical internship
Year 5 E: Research
Year 6 F: 'Semi-arts' internship G: Research

Example of MD/PhD program scheme.

Period 1: Clinical internships up to and including clinical reasoning Part I (about 1 year)
Period 2: Neurology up to and including broadening internship (about 1 year and 1 month)
Note: The order and duration of B through D is fixed; F always should follow D, but not necessarily E.

Master degree program

MD/PhD students are offered a tailored Master’s degree program to enable the combination of education and research (see example above). The actual start and end dates of the clinical internship periods B and D are set by AMC Onderwijssupport, because the internship schedules of subsequent generations of MD/PhD students have to be attuned in order to avoid vacancy of internships. The other parts of the MD/PhD program (A, and E through G) are flexible. Since internships might need to be planned as far ahead as five years, periods rather than actual places will be granted. MD/PhD students have to contact AMC Onderwijsadministratie eight months in advance to announce the desired starting date of F.

Being an MD/PhD student (and publishing at least one first author paper) satisfies the scientific internship procedure and criteria. Please note that MD/PhD students have to be registered as students during the period of the scientific internship.

The MD/PhD students have the same rights and obligations as other master students during their clinical internships. The Teaching and Examination Regulations (OER) of the Master’s degree program apply to them, as well as the Teaching Regulations for MD/PhD students.

Research proposal

The MD/PhD research proposal must be submitted with the application. The PhD supervisor is required to co-sign for the research project, and explicitly state his role in the project and confirm his role as promotor. Quality of the research proposal and the supervision are part of the selection criteria.

The MD/PhD research proposal must allow for an MD/PhD program scheme: the research work plan typically alternates intensive periods of experiments or data gathering and analysis with quiet periods, or allows for interruptions. During clinical internships, intensive research work cannot be planned and may not be possible.


The MD/PhD scholarship covers the costs of the salary of an MD/PhD student for a period of two and a half years, plus limited additional research expenses. If the total cost of the planned project is likely to exceed this amount, the MD/PhD student and the PhD supervisor will need to secure additional funding from other sources.

In total, four internally AMC funded MD/PhD Scholarships are available in 2016. The AMC grants funding for two years (half the grant for an AMC flexible OiO position), the department is obliged to match the salary for the remaining months of research work. Before the allocation of the MD/PhD Scholarship, a written matching declaration signed by both the head of the department and the division manager must be submitted.

It is also possible to apply with complete departmental or external funding. These applications follow the same selection procedure and criteria. The number of externally funded MD/PhD positions is also limited to four.


The MD/PhD student is offered a contract with the AMC or the AMC Medical Research BV. It will consist of a series of temporary full-time positions during the research periods (C, E, and G). The MD/PhD salary is based on CAO-UMC salary scale 7. The MD/PhD student starts in scale step 7.0.
Please note that the MD/PhD student must be formally registered as medical student during the periods A, B, D, and F (Master’s degree program).

The MD/PhD Scholarship is a personal grant. If the MD/PhD student leaves the AMC or abandons the approved research before the end of the contract term, the scholarship lapses.


All applications will be evaluated by a selection committee of three AMC professors, appointed by the AMC Educational Council in consultation with the President of the AMC Research Council. Provided that all formal requirements have been met, the committee will consider the motivation, talent and ambition of the applicant, the quality of the research proposal with respect to the scientific content and its feasibility, and the supervision. Previous experience with the research project adds to the credit of the proposal. An external review of the research proposal may be part of the selection procedure.

After this first round of deliberations, a short list of applicants will be invited for an interview. The final selection of applicants will then be nominated to the AMC Executive Board. In making these nominations, the committee also seeks to achieve a fair balance across the many areas of research at the AMC. The final decision on granting the MD/PhD Scholarships is made by the AMC Executive Board.

Start and completion

Start of the MD/PhD program

The MD/PhD Scholarship winners can start their track once they have obtained their bachelor degree, and the director of Onderwijssupport has agreed on the clinical internships (start and end dates of B and D; see Example above) . The MD/PhD students participate in a mentor group with a special mentor who will guide and support them throughout the complete MD/PhD program.

Each MD/PhD track has its own timing, but there will be fixed moments of evaluation and feedback for both the MD/PhD students and the organization of the program. All MD/PhD students must register as PhD candidates with the AMC Graduate School upon the start of their MD/PhD track, and have access to the PhD Course Program as well as other activities. The academic study advisors for the Master’s degree program in Medicine will act as the primary study advisors for the MD/PhD candidates.

Completion of the MD/PhD program

MD/PhD students preferably obtain their Master’s degree before applying for candidacy to the Doctorate degree. The UvA requires this qualification for admittance to the defense of the PhD thesis. Exemption from this requirement is possible under circumstances.


AMC Graduate School
Tel: +31 (0)20 - 5663108