Integral PhD Program: ‘From Student to Professional’

Finishing a PhD on time, with a thesis of high quality is a major challenge that requires other competencies than
just scientific and technical skills. Less than 8% of the students finish their PhD in time and approximately 25% do
not finish their PhD at all. In medical/health sciences the dropout percentage is even higher, up to 30% (VNSU,
2011). Research shows that, next to poor supervision, a lack of ‘soft skills’ of PhD students is a major cause for
delay and dropout (Berger, 2006). Knowing what to do in times of conflict, applying project management and
time management skills, being able to cope with supervisors, are all examples of valuable skills that PhD-students
need to learn. Apart from the prevention for possible delay or dropout, soft skills will also help the PhD students to
be more effective and be better prepared for work after finishing a PhD.
Currently there is only very limited and ad-hoc training on these skills available for PhD-students. Therefore, The
Centre for Leadership Development of the VUmc Academy in close collaboration with Mennen Training &
Consultancy has developed a new standard for training PhD-students:
The Integral PhD Program ‘From Student to Professional’.
This 4-year program specifically addresses the much needed soft skills and stimulates personal development.

The benefits of this program are the following:
For the PhD-student:
– finish in time;
– better prepared for ‘the life after’;
– better contact with the supervisors;
– better quality of the thesis;
– learning valuable skills for the professional life (either within or outside academia).
For the supervisor:
– better quality of the thesis (useful for obtaining grants);
– preventing conflict in the PhD-students’ project team;
– a just and trustful relationship with your PhD-students.

The 1st part of the PhD-program will be held on September 19-20, 2013, at an inspiring location. The price
includes all materials and lunches and is set at € 765,- per year.

Please register via

The deadline for registration is July 1, 2013. The number of participants is limited and we have a first come first serve

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