NUTRIM PhD Programme

NUTRIM's education revolves almost entirely around training PhD candidates, including Master classes, lecture series, research meetings, symposia and collaborative training opportunities within NUTRIM and the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences.

In addition, a central part of the NUTRIM PhD experience is teaching. 3rd and 4th-year NUTRIM PhDs teach FHML bachelor's and master's students in a variety of ways, including tutoring tutorial groups, supervising students during traineeships or writing a master's theses, lecturing, and giving practical skills training. NUTRIM offers essential content during several FHML Master's programmes, demonstrating the inexorable link between education and research at Maastricht University. Within NUTRIM we have a PhD Student Council which organizes several events including the PhD Days, a two-day introduction course for new PhD students and the NUTRIM café, held 4 times a year.

The aims of NUTRIM’s PhD programme are to cultivate research capabilities & broad understanding of human nutrition and metabolism, to provide PhD students with specific knowledge and skills needed for top-level research and to stimulate interdisciplinary training.

NUTRIM currently has approximately 245 PhD students. The PhD training programme results in well-trained graduates who have developed an integrated view on most advanced and state-of-the-art topics in the research domain of nutrition, toxicology and metabolism and have developed skills needed for top-level research in a multidisciplinary and international oriented environment. The PhD programme will be completed after successfully defending the dissertation.

NUTRIM PhD Graduate Programme

In 2012 the research school NUTRIM successfully obtained a prestigious grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for the graduate programme “Metabolism and Chronic Disease”. With this grant four very talented students were appointed in 2013, and through the next years the programme was continued and more PhD Students were appointed.

In contrast to the regular PhD trajectory the applicants for the graduate programme are offered the opportunity to propose their own topic, research proposal and supervisors, optimally using the available infrastructure and expertise within NUTRIM and our international research network. Obviously the project has to fit within the “Metabolism and Chronic Disease” framework.

The Graduate programme is ON HOLD at this moment, we hope to continue with the programme in the near future.

2018 Winners of the NUTRIM NWO GP

  • Sten van Beek: Targeting a novel, insulin-independent pathway to improve skeletal muscle glucose uptake in humans. 
  • Merle Aberle: Cancer associated fibroblasts: the link between cancer cachexia and poor anti-cancer treatment response.
  • Johanna Kreutz: Intestinal barrier dysfunction in celiac disease etiology; Cracks in the wall – enough to make the dam break? 
  • Rianne Willemsen: From Head to Toe: Personalized management in Head and Neck Cancer Cachexia. A NUTRIM / GROW collaboration.

PhD courses, workshops, and trainings

Master classes

Capita Selecta

All 1st and 2nd year PhD Students are encouraged to participate in the NUTRIM Capita Selecta, cutting-edge lectures wherein leading institutional scientists discuss their expertise. Capita Selecta are organised biannually offering approx. 11 lectures per year. Each lecture takes 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Schedule September - February 2019-2020, No registration required.

Theme afternoons

Organised by the PhD-students coordinator or the PhD-students council. Subjects vary every year; they are not fixed, and are not only related to the scientific work PhD Students carry out for their PhD-study, but also to subjects concerning their career after their PhD Students period.

Chronic Disease Update

Translational research is an important corner stone for NUTRIM. It is therefore important for basic scientists and physicians regularly meet and discuss scientific problems and relevant questions that they encounter. They need to update each other about relevant developments in our understanding of the pathophysiology (basic to clinic translation) and treatment of specific chronic diseases (clinic to basic translation).  To facilitate this discussion, NUTRIM organizes an annual thematic meeting: the chronic disease updates.


Nutrim organizes an annual 2-day introduction for starting PhD-students. The goal of this meeting is to introduce the research school NUTRIM to new PhD-students, to meet peer-PhDs and find out about the variety of research topics within NUTRIM, and to highlight the possibilities for self-development within the PhD-project. In this way, students will get relevant information to successfully manage their PhD-career.

Literature clubs

PhD Students are encouraged to join literature clubs organized by their supervisors in order to stay informed of new developments detailed in recent publications. Literature clubs gather at least once a month to discuss recent publications. If there is no literature club in a specific area, it is recommended to start one.

Annual NUTRIM Symposium

Each year a NUTRIM Symposium is organised for all NUTRIM-researchers, PhD Students and support staff. For this day an (inter)national expert is invited to give a Key lecture for a NUTRIM-wide audience. NUTRIM-PhD Students are encouraged to present a poster of their ongoing research. A jury selects the winning posters for the Poster Presentation Prices.

PhD Council

The aim of the PhD Students Council is to inform NUTRIM PhD students about issues that are discussed at institute level and to take care of PhD issues, like supervision and courses, which will be brought to the institute council’s attention. This is accomplished by staying in contact with the institute council, the Interfaculty PhD Committee, the national PhD council, the general PhD society Provum, and of course all the PhD students that are affiliated with NUTRIM.

The NUTRIM PhD Council has an advisory role towards the institute council. The PhD Students Coordinator and the council chair attend the Institute Council meetings. Additionally, the PhD Students Council organizes several events including the PhD Days, a two-day introduction course for new PhD students and the NUTRIM café, held 4 times a year.

If you like to comment on issues or suggest new issues for discussion, feel free to contact one of the members of the PhD Students Council! The more you keep in touch, the better we can stand up for your interests. If you are interested in joining the NUTRIM PhD Students Council, please contact us by email. For our latest activities and news items check our Facebook page and Linkedin page.

NUTRIM, PhD, Roger Godschalk, DIV1, DIV2, DIV3

Practical PhD Information

PhD Coordinator:
Roger Godschalk
 +31(0)43 388 1104

NUTRIM PhD School Council:
 PhD Council NUTRIM

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Upcoming events for PhD Students