NUTRIM PhD Programme
The aim of NUTRIM’s PhD programme is to educate and guide PhD students in developing their research capabilities. By gaining a broad understanding of human nutrition and metabolism and to provide them with specific knowledge, interdisciplinary training and skills needed for top-level research.
As a PhD Graduate, NUTRIM Research Institute, facilitates talented Master graduates from all over the world to obtain a PhD by conducting an independent research project, under guidance of expert researchers. Part of this experience is following an individual research plan, taking courses relevant for your personal and academic development, visit conferences, and write a thesis. You will become part of an inspiring, collaborative group of researchers working across the disciplines. You will make a significant contribution to a body of public health-related research that is changing the world around us.
NUTRIM currently has approximately 300 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.
Get a glimpse of the multidisciplinary NUTRIM PhD programme and community including 300 PhD’s.
PhD courses, workshops, and trainings
Organised by NUTRIM’s PhD-students coordinator and scientific director, three times per year with each three lectures to broaden your horizon. During these meetings, subjects vary and include cutting-edge thematic lectures wherein leading institutional scientists discuss their expertise.
Translational research is an important corner stone for NUTRIM. It is therefore important for basic scientists and physicians to 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).
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.
NUTRIM PhD Introduction Days
NUTRIM organises an annual 2-day introduction for starting PhD-students. The goal of this meeting is to introduce the research institute 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.
PhD students are encouraged to join literature clubs organised 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.
The Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML)/MUMC+ offers an education programme for all PhD candidates, funded and not funded that can be followed. Find the FHML PhD courses here
UM general PhD trainings
Participation in the UM general PhD trainings is very important. The trainings are mandatory for all PhD candidates who started their PhD after January 1, 2024 and have to be included in the Training and Supervision Plan (TSP). It is highly recommended to follow the courses in the first year of your PhD trajectory. These courses are also open to all other PhD's . Although these courses are not yet listed as compulsory in the PhD regulations, the FHML board has adopted a decision on making these PhD courses compulsory.
These are the following mandatory courses:
- Research Ethics and Integrity
- Open Science
- Science Communication.
More information on Maastricht University Online Library website
Annual NUTRIM Symposium
Each year the NUTRIM Symposium is organised for all NUTRIM-researchers, PhD students, support staff and our supporting network. 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.
The NUTRIM PhD Experience
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 organising several events including the PhD Days, a two-day introduction course for new PhD students and the NUTRIM café, held four times a year.
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.
Wellbeing during your PhD
Preparing yourself for the labour market requires to perform academically, professionally and personally. We understand that you might not always have the required skills yet to overcome the challenges you are faced with during your studies. Therefore we strive to make you more resilient and provide you with sufficient means to acquire skills that promote wellbeing during your studies and further in your professional career and life. Student life can be challenging. It can be quite a pickle balancing university, social life, work, exercise, and more. That is why it’s important to be aware of how you’re doing and to take good care of yourself.
Within UM, many initiatives and programmes can contribute to your wellbeing. Lot of these initiatives are also offered online so you can work on your wellbeing from home. Check out our activities on the topic of wellbeing. On this page, you can find resources related to various health and well-being topics. For each topic, the sources range from websites to workshops and training, community activities, mental support or books, podcasts, apps and more.
But how are you really doing? Caring Universities
Caring Universities and UM offer free online services to improve your mental wellbeing.
Scientific integrity and social safety
Integrity is of great importance for the quality and credibility of scientific research. All staff and students should deal responsibly with ethical or social issues threatening scientific integrity. However, what if you make a mistake, or suspect others to violate scientific integrity consciously or unconsciously?
The FHML/MUMC+ Platform Scientific Integrity (PSI) has launched three roadmaps for scientific integrity and social safety: one for PhD candidates, one for students and one for staff members. Each roadmap provides directions on how to act and who to turn to in case of questions related to potential data breaches, scientific integrity, impartiality, and social safety.
By clicking on the links in the roadmaps, you will be directed to the website, which contains more information about the contact person and/or the procedure. You are invited to speak up about such issues and act when appropriate.
All researchers will face scientific integrity dilemmas. Mistakes are expected, respected, inspected, and corrected. Make it open to discussion; speak up about it!
NUTRIM PhD Graduate Programme
In 2012 the research institute 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. Meet the winners the NUTRIM NWO GP winners from 2018.
To all laureates of the NUTRIM NWO Graduate Programme 2013-2018
2018 Laureates of the NUTRIM NWO GP
- Sten van Beek: Targeting a novel, insulin-independent pathway to improve skeletal muscle glucose uptake in humans. PhD, Defence 23 November 2022. Doctoral Thesis: Mechanisms of cold-induced improvements in glucose homeostasis — Maastricht University
- Merel 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, Defence 24 March 2023. Doctoral Thesis: Head and Neck Cancer Cachexia a multidimensional approach
Upcoming events for PhD Students
Introduction days for new NUTRIM PhD’s 25 &26 October 2023
The NUTRIM PhD introduction days are coming up. Besides a very warm welcome, your introduction to NUTRIM will involve meeting your fellow PhD candidates, engaging lectures and presentations and social activities to help you find your way.
The PhD council reminds first year PhD students that it is obligatory to attend the PhD introduction days. After the session on Wednesday, a joined dinner will be organised at De Gouverneur. Please register through this form. We look forward to meeting you soon! The NUTRIM PhD Council