PhD Training opportunities in Amsterdam and Rotterdam

The Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam (ONWAR) offers a training program for PhD candidates performing their PhD research in the field of neuroscience at the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam (VU University Amsterdam and VU University medical centre), the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (KNAW) and the Department of Neuroscience, ErasmusMC Rotterdam. The joint efforts of this integrated PhD training are in close collaboration with the Neuroscience Instiutie Netherlands (NIN) and gives free way to young talent, recruited both from within and from outside the Netherlands. The aim of the training programme is to provide graduate students with an adequate overview of the neurosciences allowing them be involved in multidisciplinary brain research and increasing their national and international career opportunities.
To achieve these goals the training programme consists of a PhD research project and related courses on the one hand and broad-spectrum courses for further general scientific knowledge on the other. The latter include training in presentational skills, grant writing and in-depth courses on the physiology and pathology of the CNS.

The training programme organized under the supervision of the training committee of ONWAR directed by Guus Smit consists of the following components, together accumulating to 450 hrs or more of training:

• Introduction to ONWAR (40 hrs)
• Attendance of four annual PhD-meetings (including two poster presentations and one oral presentation) (100 hrs)
• Swammerdam Lectures (20 hrs)
• Two (or more) specialized ONWAR courses (160 hrs or more)
• Extra courses (these may be ONWAR courses, or courses organized by other institutions) (130 hrs or more)
An overview of all courses organized by ONWAR can be found at

The aim of the project is to train 15 young researchers for a period of three years. Of the fifteen selected researchers, five young researchers will be stationed in Amsterdam (at the CNCR and Sylics), but all early stage researchers will move from one country to another and from public organisations to private companies. The early stage researchers’ career will in this way prospect in both the public and private sector. With a built up international network and three years of working experience, the trained researchers will receive a BrainTrain certificate, and will be offered to extend their project one more year to receive their PhD degree.
An important feature of the BrainTrain project is that young researchers will benefit from the exchange of knowledge and expertise as well as the variety of workshops, courses and conferences organized in Europe and Japan by the BrainTrain consortium.
The consortium is a collaboration between the CNCR and Swedish, British, German, Italian, Belgian, French and Japanese research groups. Of the CNCR, the groups of Matthijs Verhage, Peter Heutink, Huib Mansvelder, Oliver Stiedl and Guus Smit participate in BrainTrain, while the spin-off company Sylics is involved as well. BrainTrain builds on knowledge of genome information and exploits innovative technologies and infrastructure to integrate this to unravel the (dys)function of living neurons, networks and the whole brain. Local specialists offer network-wide training and meetings. Our existing EU funded resources (IP EUsynapse, NeuroCypres, Neuromics EST, and EUROSPIN) will provide an excellent, multicultural and inspiring environment for a new generation of integrative neuroscientists.
For more information about the outline of the project see: