MD/PhD Scholarship

The AMC MD/PhD Scholarship program combines the medical Master's degree program with PhD research.

General information

In the AMC, the Medical School and the Graduate School for medical Sciences Candidates for the program are exceptionally talented final year Bachelor’s students in Medicine aspiring to 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.

Closed for applications

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 2019-2020 are AMC students who:

  • Started the Bachelor’s degree program in Medicine in the academic year 2016-2017, or
  • Started earlier and are without unnecessary study delay, or
  • Started the premaster program in Summer 2018,

and

  • Have not yet started clinical internship rotations, and will not start their clinical internship rotations before March 1, 2020, or
  • Are students accepted in the “nominal students program 2018-2019”

and

  • Will obtain a Bachelor's or Premaster degree in Medicine before January 1, 2020.

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 from 16 to 24 weeks. In the MD/PhD program, students can get exemption from the extended research internship (see Teachting and Examination Regulations (OER) of the Master's degree program).

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.. The clinical internships are offered as two periods (see table below), interrupted by a research period of one year. Please note: Provisional scheme

Example of MD/PhD program scheme. 2019-2020
Year Activities
Sept - Oct Nov - Dec - Jan - Feb - Mar - Apr - May - Jun - Jul Aug
6 ResP3 cont. Finalisation of PhD PhD defense
5 SAS, Research Period 3 cont.
4 ResP2 cont. Master Phase 3 SAS or ResP3
3 MPh1&2 cont. Research Period 2
2 Master Phase 1&2
1 Research Period 1

Master Phase 1 & 2: Clinical internships duration is 66 weeks including holidays. Start at fixed date.

Master Phase 3: Clinical internships duration is 39 weeks including holidays. Start at fixed date.

SAS: 'Semi-arts' internship duration is 16 weeks and can be started either directly after Master Phase 3 of six months or more after Master Phase 3. Start date to be determined.

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 Master Phases 1 & 2 and 3 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 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 the 'semi-arts' internship (SAS).

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.

Funding

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 each year. 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.

Appointment

The MD/PhD student is offered a contract with the AMC Medical Research BV. It will consist of a series of temporary full-time positions during the research periods. 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 Master Phase periods.

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.

Selection

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 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 start dates of the Master Phase 1 & 2 and 3 (clinical internships). 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.

Application

To apply for an MD/PhD scholarship, you must submit the following documents, in this order:

  • a letter explaining your reasons for applying and how you fulfil the requirements;
  • a research proposal using the standard form;
  • your curriculum vitae, including the course transcript of your Bachelor's degree or equivalent (cijferlijst) issued by the faculty student administration, and a list of your publications;
  • written confirmation from your intended PhD supervisor (promotor) that he or she is willing to act in that capacity.

The research proposal can be prepared jointly with your intended PhD supervisor, who must sign it for approval. The form includes a description of your research project, the name of the AMC department at which you wish to work, the name of the PhD supervisor, and a budget with the estimated total costs of your research (contact AMR BV for help and instructions), including the proportions to be met from the scholarship and from elsewhere, such as the department or external sources.

Submission

Proposals should be addressed and sent by e-mail (as a single *.pdf file) to Dr. M.E.A. Stouthard, m.e.stouthard@amc.uva.nl, plus four hard copies to be delivered to the address below.

More information

M.E.A. Stouthard, MSc PhD
Director AMC Graduate School
E2-172
P.O. Box 22660
1100 DD Amsterdam

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to use a prescribed letter type and size in the application form?
No.
Does the reference list counts for the approximate number of words or pages in the brief description of the research proposal in the application form?

The maximum number of words and pages is meant as an indication rather than a hard requirement. Please try to keep within these limits.

Should the application form be filled out in English?

Yes.

Can I apply for an MD/PhD Scholarship with a Bachelor’s or premaster degree from another university?

No, the MD/PhD Scholarships are available for AMC medical students only.

How much funding is available for the MD/PhD Scholarships?

Half the funding for a flexible oio is available for an internally funded MD/PhD Scholarships, i.e. € 108k (80% of total scholarship). The department has to match the remaining 20%
(€ 30k). For externally funded MD/PhD Scholarships, your supervisor has to provide a similar total sum.

The AMR can help making an estimate of the costs.

How do I submit my application?

You have to send in your motivation letter, application form, CV, (diploma,) course transcript, (list of publications,) written confirmation of your supervisor, and letter(s) of recommendation as a single *.pdf file by e-mail, as well as four paper copies (documents in this order). Please make sure all documents are signed, if required.

Do I have to send my Bachelor’s or premaster diploma?

If you have your Bachelor’s or premaster degree, you have to send a copy of the diploma. If not, indicate the expected graduation date. (We will check the information with Onderwijssupport).

Do I have to send my Bachelor’s degree or premaster degree course transcript?

Yes, you have to supply the official course transcript (cijferlijst) issued by Onderwijssupport. Make sure the obtained grade for your Bachelor thesis is included, if applicable.

Why is it that I may not yet have a clinical internship rotation (starting before March 1, 2018)?

For MD/PhD candidates, the clinical internship rotations are split in two parts, with a year in between. The second part of a given clinical internship program is allocated to another MD/PhD candidate. For this made-to-measure system to work, it is necessary to strictly coordinate the allocation. Cancelling an internship program which is assigned but not yet started, is not an option (except for students accepted in the nominal program).

What is meant by ‘unnecessary study delay’?

Study delay due to a parallel second bachelor study, an extracurricular research internship, or personal circumstances such as prolonged illness may not be considered ‘unnecessary’. Study delay due to failure to pass exams or due to study interruption for other reasons is not acceptable. The selection committee will be the final judge on this.

I already started working on my research project. Can I still apply for an MD/PhD Scholarship?

Yes, as long as you fulfil all conditions for the program, you can apply. In fact, we favour candidates who are already engaged in the research project.

Can I apply if I am abroad during those weeks?

Yes, provided that you are online available at the time of the appointment. We will try to set up an online meeting (e.g. through Skype).

Do I have to write the research proposal myself?

No, you do not have to write the research proposal yourself. Your supervisors can help you, or write the entire research proposal for you. In fact, it is advisable to plan and write the research proposal together with your proposed supervisor(s).

When are the interviews with the MD/PhD candidates planned?
tba
Should the motivation letter, CV and letter of recommendation be written in English of Dutch?

It does not matter, both are fine. The MD/PhD application form has to be in English, though.

MD/PhD Scholarship winners
2018 Daan van den Brink, Alicia Furumaya, Christian Krijger
2017 Maarten Korrel, Lukas Verwij, Madelief Wijdeveld
2016 Katinka van Kranendonk, Eva Meulendijks, Belle van Rosmalen, Maurice Zwart
2015 Joris Hoelbeek, Anne ten Hove, Rens Kempeneers, Wilco Perini, Fabienne Stubenrouch
2014 Elise Mank, Mathijs Wirtz
2013 Anouk Barendregt, Caroline Figueroa, Saskia Hendriks, Aydin Sekercan, Iris de Weerdt

Contact information

Scholarships

Marlies Stouthard
AMC location: E2-164
T: +31 20 566 8235
E: m.e.stouthard@amc.nl