The MD/PhD program at location AMC combines the medical Master’s degree program of the UvA 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.
Deadline for application:
11 August 2023
Difference between MD/PhD students AMC/UvA and VUmc/VU
An MD/PhD student combines the Master and PhD within a formalized study arrangement. For AMC/UvA this programme is offered in the form of a scholarship. This MD/PhD scholarschip is only accesible for AMC/UvA students. For VUmc/VU students VUmc/VU offers also a MD/PhD programme. The design of this program is different, find more information here.
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.
Candidates for the MD/PhD program must have a track record full of scientific promise as evidenced by proven research activities on the cv, the grade list and the letter of motivation. In addition a letter of recommendation from an AMC PI, and/or extracurricular research activities in the AMC or affiliated research institutes is needed. Candidates must also have obtained excellent evaluations for their Bachelor’s courses and no unnecessary study delay.
Eligible for the MD/PhD program 2023 are AMC students who:
- Started the Bachelor’s degree program in Medicine in the academic year 2020-2021,
- Started earlier and are without unnecessary study delay,
- Started the premaster program in Summer 2022,
- Have not yet started clinical internship rotations, and will not start their clinical internship rotations before March 1, 2024
- Will obtain a Bachelor's or Premaster degree in Medicine before January 1, 2024.
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.
It is possible to participate in the selection of the MD / PhD scholarship as well as the double master's degree in biomedical sciences and medicine (DuMa trajectory). In case you are selected for the MD/PhD scholarship, the DuMa program will be terminated. Your clinical internships will be scheduled according to the MD/PhD schedule.
In case you don't match these requirements it's possibe to send an exception request. Please sent an email to email@example.com explaining why you don't meet the requirements but still think you are the ideal candidate. The Exception is assessed by the chairman and members of the selection committee.
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 (this will be renewed as soon as the new deadline has been announced):
- 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.
Proposals should be addressed and sent by e-mail (as a single *.pdf file) to: Janine Stolwijk, secretary of the selection committee.
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.
All applications will be evaluated by a selection committee of three AMC professors, the director of the Doctoral School and the programme director of the Master's programme of Medicine UvA, appointed by the vice dean of Education of the Faculty of Medicine UvA. 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.
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 Teaching 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 a program of clinical internships alternated with research periods, expecting hard work and full commitment from the students and well organized supervision and good mentorship.
- Master Phase 1 & 2: Clinical internships duration is one year and two months including holidays. Start at fixed date.
- Master Phase 3: Clinical internships duration is 9 months 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 dates of Master Phase 1 & 2 and Master Phase 3 are to be determined by Onderwijssupport
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.
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. Which means 108k (80% of total scholarship) in total. The department has to match the remaining 20%.
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.
Start of the 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 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.