Our PhD programme

Pursuing your PhD at CAPHRI means devoting yourself to a research project under the supervision of expert researchers. You will work alongside research staff and are trained to make use of various scientific perspectives by learning from researchers of other departments and disciplines.

You will develop an individual research plan, take courses that are relevant for your personal and academic development and write a thesis. You are expected to contribute to international conferences and publish in international peer-reviewed journals. Besides, it is common that you also teach undergraduate students.

At CAPHRI we are committed to supporting you throughout your entire PhD journey. We have built a strong support system for PhD candidates which is outlined below. More detailed information can be found in our CAPHRI PhD guide.


Our supervisors are there to get the best out of you. They will offer advice and you will benefit from their research expertise. Preferably, based on the transdisciplinary perspective in CAPHRI research, your supervisors work at different departments, the Maastricht University Medical Centre, or research institutes elsewhere in the Netherlands or abroad.

Why this programme

Personal research plan

At CAPHRI, we want you to succeed. In collaboration with your supervisors you will develop a scientifically sound and feasible Personal Research Plan (PRP), including a timeframe which will be discussed and evaluated every year with your supervisors.

Training and supervision plan 

Your supervisors will help you to identify the training and development you need to achieve your goals which will be drawn up in your Training and Supervision Plan (TSP). You will be encouraged to grasp the opportunity to develop your skills as a researcher and professional to be successful in your future career in or outside academia.

Besides our CAPHRI courses (overview here), you can choose from a wide range of courses within the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) / Maastricht UMC+ (overview here).

PhD working on laptop

PhD track

The progress of your project and the quality of the supervision is constantly monitored through an online PhD track system.


In case of questions or experienced difficulties, there is always someone there for you.

Chantal Claessens functions as a principal point of contact for all CAPHRI PhD candidates and supervisors. She provides information in case of questions related to PhD trajectories or Track issues. You can contact her at info-phdcaphri@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

Francine Schneider (francine.schneider@maastrichtuniversity.nl) is our PhD Community Coordinator. Her role is to enhance an attractive environment that fosters connection within our CAPHRI PhD community. She welcomes new PhD candidates and organizes (social) events for the PhD community, in collaboration with the PHD representatives. Besides, she is responsible for the further development of our CAPHRI PhD programme, PhD policy and PhD course portfolio and she monitors the quality and progress of PhD projects and the quality of the supervision. 

For problems and advice regarding the relationship between you and your supervisor(s) or colleagues, confrontations with undesirable or unacceptable behaviour or personal matters you can consult the confidential advisors Anke Oenema (a.oenema@maastrichtuniversity.nl) or prof. Jochen Cals (j.cals@maastrichtuniversity.nl). All information shared with the confidential advisor remains confidential and will only be shared with others when you have given permission.

You can find more information about what Chantal, Francine, Anke and Jochen can do for you here

Doing a PhD is an exciting journey, but can at times be challenging and/or stressful. At CAPHRI you are not doing a PhD alone, you are embedded in a larger academic community. On this webpage you will find practical advice and resources to help you manage and improve your mental well-being as a PhD candidate.

CAPHRI Team 2022

Your community

You will join a community of over 400 PhD candidates. 40 percent of them are coming from abroad.

PhD representatives 
CAPHRI has 4 PhD representatives. They are the voice and ears of all PhD candidates within CAPHRI. In the monthly CAPHRI PhD Infomail the representatives provide information on relevant matters, upcoming courses and events. Besides, they organize (social) activities for all CAPHRI PhD candidates. You can contact Monique van den Hoed, Frederike Mulder, Ken Peeters, and Lieve Vonken via caphri-phdreps@maastrichtuniversity.nl.

PhD Panel
The PhD representatives regularly meet the PhD Panel, in which each Department and Research Line is represented by a PhD candidate. Find the PhD panel member of your Department or Research Line here.

CAPHRI PhD representatives

Your future career

CAPHRI trains highly employable and skilled PhDs for professional positions in the research, education, health care, governmental and NGO labour market. Our alumni analysis shows that about all (100%) of CAPHRI PhD graduates have found a new job at the time of their PhD defense (or earlier!) and in case of external PhDs, continue working at their current employer. A high number in comparison with national figures, namely up to 42%, stay in research-related fields in and outside academia, often combined with teaching activities (16%). About a quarter works in the health care sector and 13% in consultancy or policy advice.

Phd session Peetoom

ResearchTalent programme

For high potential junior researchers CAPHRI offers a ResearchTalent Program. Selected PhD students (in the 3rd or 4th year of the PhD program) and postdocs are offered training to strengthen their academic CV, grant writing skills and further develop their own research ideas with the aim to increase their chances of obtaining personal grants. The program consists of workshops, (individual) training sessions and outreach activities.

Reach more about the ResearchTalent programme here.

Societal relevance

In line with a strong and longstanding tradition, societal impact is high on CAPHRI’s agenda. Most of CAPHRI ‘s research is implemented in (clinical) care or public health. You will be challenged to outreach and share your research results with the professional and lay community.

CAPHRI PhD guide

The CAPHRI PhD Guide contains information on all aspects of doing a PhD at the CAPHRI, ranging from the training programme, guidelines for supervision and training, and the PhD defence. It contains valuable information for current and prospective PhD students as well as for supervisors.


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