Several steps have to be taken to successfully complete your PhD training. These steps include registration, submitting a training and supervision plan, following courses and writing your thesis.

1. Register in Hora Finita

As of July 2018, Hora Finita has become the application in which VU Amsterdam PhD students and their supervisors keep track of the PhD trajectory. At the start of the trajectory you can send a request to to register. Please send the following information:

  • Full name (as it appears on your passport)
  • Gender
  • Department
  • Start date
  • E-mail address
  • Information about your supervisors: e-mail address and university


From the Hora Finita system, you will get an entrance link to your own record where you may add requested information and documents (Training plan, Projectplan, ID, Master degree etc). When your record is complete, you can send a request for approval from Hora Finita. You will not be able to add or change anything, unless you get a new request to do so from the key user, with a new link to your record.

On the PhD portal, the latest version of the Training and Supervision plan (TSP) can be found, as well as general information for the PhD students. You should finalize your TSP within the first 3 months of your PhD trajectory. The TSP and your project plan can be uploaded to Hora Finita. A template for the project plan and education requirements can be requested by emailing the ACS directorate advisor. This project plan will be judged by a referent and accordingly their questions will be send back to you and your supervisor. After approval you can start your PhD trajectory.

ACS directorate advisor:

When you obtained your master diploma at VU University, you should scan the original document and upload it in Hora Finita. The Pedel needs to have the scan of the original diploma. When you graduated at another University, you need to bring the original diploma at the office of the Pedel in the main VU building. They will make 2 copies and validate them both with stamps and signature. They will keep one copy in their archives and you need to scan the other copy and upload it in Hora Finita. Their Archives need to correspond with your Hora Finita record.

NB: In this COVID-19 times, the office of the Pedel is not open. You may scan your original diploma and go later when the office is open again for the copies. We will make a note in Hora Finita that you will do this later.

2. Follow PhD Courses

During your PhD trajectory, you should update the courses you have completed, congresses you have visited (and where you presented your work), and other curricular activities as mentioned in your TSP. The following information is needed for approval of the ECTS:

  • Certificate of attendance
  • Certificate of completing the exam (if necessary)

    Update your courses regularly, as it is easy to lose track of them in the end of your PhD! ACS offers a top-level PhD training program with a focus on international collaborations with renowned cardiovascular research institutions abroad. Within the program there is access to multiple courses and opportunities.

    On the website of the Dutch Heart Foundation, you can find more information about the PhD training courses that are organized by the Dutch cardiovascular research institutes under auspices and with organizational/financial support of the Dutch Heart Foundation.

    Additionally, ACS organizes an annual PhD retreat and PhD afternoons. Visit the ACS events page for more information.

    3. Your thesis

    At the end of your project, you should have completed your training program and you may submit your thesis into Hora Finita. After approval by your promotors and co-promotors, your promotor can propose the reading committee into Hora Finita. These members will be contacted by the system to approve your thesis.

    4. ACS Thesis app

    We encourage all ACS PhD candidates to apply for the ACS Thesis app (free of charge). Using this app you can upload your thesis and make it interactive by adding videos, photos, animations and Google Maps navigation to ceremony and reception. It is also possible to incorporate professional social media networks (such as LinkedIn, ResearchGate and Google Scholar) and science networks like PubMed. In this way, all theses from ACS researchers will be bundled and freely available in the ACS Thesis app! Visit the Thesis App of ACS page for more information.