PhD programme

'SHE’s PhD programme belongs to the top PhD programmes in health professions education worlwide. Our PhD candidates value the flexibility of the programme and the expertise and support provided by SHE supervisors and researchers throughout their PhD journey' - Janneke Frambach, PhD Coordinator 

About the PhD programme

Educational research is essential for finding new and better ways to educate doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other health professionals. The general aim of the PhD programme is to develop the next generation of health professions education researchers who can contribute to research and innovation in health professions education.

SHE offers a high-quality PhD programme with a rich history. Our PhD programme is publication-based, meaning that the core of the work consists of a number of projects that lead to peer-reviewed publications. Together with the highly evaluated supervision SHE offers, this ensures our PhD candidates learn-by-doing as they develop themselves in the world of high-impact research. Alumni of SHE’s PhD programme hold key leadership, education, and academic positions all across the world.

For an overview of current and completed PhD theses, see here

Are you interested in doing a PhD at SHE? Read further and see what we have to offer.


The main objective of the PhD programme is to enable participants to perform educational research (typically a series of empirical studies) resulting in a PhD thesis and a PhD degree. The aim of writing a PhD thesis is to learn to independently conduct high-quality educational research.

Student profile

The PhD programme requires expertise in the area of medical education or health professions education. A theoretical basis comparable with a Master in Health Professions Education is required. If you do not have this theoretical background, we advise you to start with the Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE).


Highly experienced and internationally acknowledged researchers provide supervision for designing and conducting studies and writing papers. You will have contact with your supervisors in Maastricht mostly by email or virtual meetings. Although the PhD programme is distance-based, the candidate will preferably come to Maastricht several times during the programme. PhD candidates within SHE will be evaluated each year by the supervision team. If the supervision team is of the opinion that the candidate has not made enough progress, they may advise SHE’s research director to end the PhD project. As a minimum requirement, at least one publication should be submitted to an international journal after two years. PhD candidates will also evaluate their supervisors each year.