Info for PhD candidates

New PhD candidates

The Graduate Programme Medical Imaging (ImagO) is one of the PhD programmes of the Graduate School of Life Sciences of Utrecht University. Consequently, there are some administrative steps, set by the Graduate School of Life Sciences, that new PhD candidates have to take.

First of all, you need to 1) read the Quality Assurance Planthen 2) register as a PhD candidate of the Graduate School of Life Sciences in MyPhD. See the Graduate School of Life Sciences site on the admission procedure. If you have problems with the forms, you can contact Renée Allebrandi ( or ask another PhD candidate in your vicinity. This registers you as a PhD candidate at Utrecht University within the Graduate School of Life Sciences. The next step is to 3) complete the Training Agreement.

Information concerning the required actions to take for the completion of a PhD trajectory and the Doctoral Degree Regulations can be found here.

General info

Training Agreement.
To safeguard the quality of the training of PhD candidates, the Utrecht Graduate School of Life Sciences introduced a uniform “Training Agreement” for all PhD candidates who follow a regular PhD track within the school. The Training Agreement of the Utrecht Graduate School of Life Sciences specifies the rights and duties of the PhD candidate and his/her supervisor(s) with respect to education and supervision during the PhD track. If the requirements of this contract are fully met, the candidate will be eligible to receive the Utrecht Graduate School of Life Sciences Certificate.

You can find the Training Agreement here . Once completed, please e-mail it to for approval.

The Training Agreement has two important elements: a training programme and biannual progress reports.

Training programme.
PhD candidates are to set up a personal training programme at the beginning of their PhD trajectory. The training programme can consist of courses (offered by ImagO, by other Life Sciences programmes or by other graduate schools), tutorials, literature groups and teaching activities, to name a few options. You can find an overview of possible items on your training programme below. The training programme should cover at least 5 ECs (1.5 ECs = 1 week) for each year of your research appointment. For example, with a research appointment of four years, you are to complete a programme of 20 ECs. At least 40% of the ECs should be spent on courses from the PhD programme for which you have registered, i.e. ImagO. Another restriction is that a minimum of 20% should be earned with so-called “general courses”. You can find a list of courses that fall within this category on the Life Sciences site. Any other courses and training (such as NWO Talent days) may also be included, subject to approval. Your training programme is to be approved by the director of ImagO. Examinations for courses are mandatory.

Biannual Progress reports.
Every six months of your PhD trajectory, there should be an interview with your daily supervisor(s), discussing your progress, training programme and planning of your project, amongst other things. Once a year, such an interview is an official assessment and your ‘promotor’ should be present. A UMC Utrecht assessment form will be filled in by your supervisors. During the progress interview your supervisory committee should also be present. Prior to the biannual interviews, you are to prepare a progress report describing your activities and results of the past half year and your plans and goals for the coming half year. Each six months you add to the previous report, such that you end up with a single integral report when finishing your PhD period. Please use the Biannual Progress Report template.

PhD Training and Supervision CV.
All documents relating to your training programme and the annual progress reports will together make up your PhD Training and Supervision CV.

Options for obtaining ECs

  • Courses by ImagO (see list
  • Courses by the PhD course centre
  • Other courses of your choice, subject to approval (please provide an address of a website describing the course, if possible; otherwise a brief description of the course and time spent on it)
  • Alternatives (see below)

Courses by other schools and institutes

The number of ECs you earn with the options below depends on the time spent on it. Some options:


The number of ECs you earn with the options below depends on the time spent on it. A maximum that can be gained with the various options is given.

  • Elementary course Regulation and Organization for clinical researchers (‘BROK’)
    Mandatory for all researchers who set up or carry out a WMO-project at the UMC Utrecht or at another location under the responsibility of UMC Utrecht as the sponsor of the research 
    (1.5 EC)
  • Summer schools, workshops or tutorials at conferences
    (max 3 ECs)
  • Literature and research meetings in your group
    You are to attend at least two meetings a month and to present at these meetings at least twice a year. These meetings will earn you 0.5 EC per year.
    (max 2 ECs)
  • Involvement in teaching
    There are numerous ways to earn credit for teaching. Your involvement must relate to the contents of the course (i.e. ‘standing guard’ at an examination is not considered teaching). Some examples are supervising practical sessions of MSc courses and supervising research projects. The supervision of a research project of at least 6 months is awarded with 1.5 ECs. For other tasks, the credits depend on the hours spent. 
    There will have to be feedback to and assessment of your teaching activities. A signed short report by the teacher responsible for the course will do.
    (max 3 ECs)
  • Presenting at national and international conferences
    (max 1 EC)
  • Writing an METC or DEC proposal or a research proposal (such as an NWO Rubicon). You are to be first applicant of the proposal.
    (max 1 EC)

How to apply for the Life Sciences PhD training certificate

PhD candidates with a completed TSA can apply for the LS certificate. The following criteria need to be fulfilled.

  • Participation in discussion groups of the research theme (presenting work at least twice a year)
  • Participation in research meetings of ImagO (presenting work at least once during your appointment)
  • The PhD candidate must have presented his/her work at an international scientific conference at least twice
  • The PhD candidate must have completed an approved training programme
  • A successful defence
  • Other activities, like teaching, reviewing for international journals, supervising students, developing software etc. This is no prerequisite but can be mentioned in the application

To apply for the certificate, fill in the application form.

Other activities of ImagO

Besides offering a course programme and safeguarding the quality of the training of PhD candidates, ImagO also organizes meetings for its researchers to meet, learn from each other’s work and potentially start collaborations. There are two annual meetings. An afternoon of presentations by ImagO PhD candidates, usually in the autumn. The other meeting is a full day of presentations by researchers, at an interesting venue (e.g. the Railway Museum, Museum Van Speelklok tot Pierement) and often with a guest speaker. Both meetings include drinks at the end of the day and generally also dinner. The meetings are organized by the PhD candidate council of ImagO.

A second activity are colloquia by (international) speakers. These are announced by e-mail, but can also be found on the Agenda.

PhD candidate council

The PhD candidate council consists solely of PhD candidates of the Graduate Programme Medical Imaging (ImagO). They organize the two annual meetings of ImagO. One or two members of the council represents the PhD candidates in the Education Committee of ImagO and one is a member of the PhD candidate council of the Graduate School of Life Sciences. The ImagO PhD candidate council looks after the interests of the ImagO PhD candidate. If you have suggestions for improvement or if you have problems, you can contact them.