PhD Competence Model

AMC PhD candidates should be equipped to pursue a career inside or outside academia after their PhD track. Excellence in the doctorate level training of PhD candidates as highly qualified future professionals in an international environment is essential.

The AMC Graduate School aims at creating an infrastructure to promote and support this excellence. PhD candidates are challenged to model their own learning processes. Offering a self-assessment tool for PhD competences is one way to encourage PhD candidates to self-reflect on their capacities and further develop themselves.

Collectively the University Medical Centers have defined a set of core competences for PhD candidates as a guideline for professional career development, and to recognize acquired competences. Of course these competences are also very relevant for postdoc's. The PhD Competence Model is designed as an easy-to-use self-assessment tool. It reflects the competences an AMC PhD candidate should have acquired by the end of his/her PhD track, depending on his/her career perspective.

The emphasis of the model is on personal development and career orientation. The user evaluates his/her level on the given competence, using a 5-point scale from zero to five (excellent). A score of three reflects an average level based on peer group. The final profile can be viewed in a spider graph. The results are available offline only. The PhD Competence Model can be used yearly to monitor progress.

Tips for use

  1. The tool is for self-assessment purposes only. It is explicitly not to be used as an appraisal or assessment tool.
  2. We recommend that you consult peers and your supervisors for feedback.
  3. Select a number of competencies per year that you would like to develop; the competence categories may differ per year based on your research goals and ambitions.
  4. Use the completed self-evaluation as part of your individual Training and Supervision Agreement (iTSA), and extrapolate your learning objectives for the coming year (i.e. Intended Learning Outcomes or ILO's).
  5. Competences are shown in behavior. Note the references and examples of behavior used to evaluate your level on each specific competence, so that you can compare your performance levels over the years.
  6. Once your individual profile is completed, it is important to consult available courses, workshops etc to enhance your skills. See AMC PhD Course Program.
  7. The tool can also be used as input for career planning discussions or even for job applications (employers and employees).
  8. Whilst the model was designed for PhD candidates, it can of course be used in postdoctoral careers also.

Contact: AMC Graduate School

Overview of courses, workshops etc. for competences

Research skills and knowledge:

See our courses on scientific methods, laboratory skills and research topics in the course schedule and also the IMI-EMTRAIN website with pan-European catalogue of courses for postgraduates and beyond in the biomedical sciences:

Responsible conduct of research:

Come to The AMC World of Science course. See our courses in the course schedule.
Or look for more information on the following websites:

Personal effectiveness:

See our courses on transferable skills in the course schedule.
Go to the website Dokter Hoe (in Dutch) or follow courses on Het leerportaal (in Dutch) on the intranet.

Professional development:

See our courses in the course schedule.
The AMC Young Talent Fund and Spinoza Fund offer grants for PhD researchers to go abroad.
PCDI offers a course on Employability outside academia.
The AMC Postdoc Network (Intranet) offers workshops on among others 'Your PhD or Postdoc and beyond' and Career lunches (also for last year PhDs).

Leadership & management:

See our courses on transferable skills in the course schedule.
MBA in Healthcare Management, organized by the Amsterdam Business School.
The AMC PhD association APROVE organizes a yearly PhD Career Event.


See our courses on transferable skills in the course schedule.
is an international competition in pitching your research, organized by the Britsh Council


See our courses on transferable skills in the course schedule.
AMC BKO teacher professionalization (Intranet).