About the GSLS
Welcome to the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) of Utrecht University. You are about to start, or recently started, your PhD journey. This PhD Guide describes many aspects you might want to know about this journey.
The GSLS is the collective responsibility of the deans of the faculty of Medicine (UMC Utrecht), the faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Utrecht University) and the Faculty of Science (Utrecht University): together the Life Sciences deans. In addition, there is close collaboration with the following non-university/non-UMC research institutes located at the Utrecht Science Park: the Westerdijk Institute, the Hubrecht Institute, and the Princess Máxima Center. If your first supervisor (promotor) is a professor (or associate professor granted ius promovendi) appointed at one of the three faculties (Faculty of Science only the departments of Biology, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Chemistry (Bijvoet Centre for Biomedical Research)), you are a GSLS PhD candidate.
Goal of your PhD
As part of the Bologna Process, doctoral education has been defined as the third cycle in higher education, the cycle following the Bachelor’s and Master’s phases. The main goal of your doctoral education is to develop into an independent scientist by performing research and following training, and for many of you also by teaching. Our aim is to provide you with the most optimal environment to develop research skills and other competencies. Future Life Sciences academics require knowledge and expertise in a specific field of science as well as a critical academic attitude. At the same time, insight and experience into other disciplines are relevant to be able to work in an interdisciplinary setting. This implies, that at the end of your PhD journey, you will not only deliver a doctoral thesis, but you will graduate as a person with specific academic skills and competencies as well. You will grow in terms of research skills and knowledge, and will also develop other relevant transferable competencies. Science is teamwork and you are part of, and supervised by, a research team and an active member of the broader research community in a certain thematic area.
Mission of GSLS
The GSLS is a large, multidisciplinary organisation with currently over 1,500 Master’s students and approximately 1,800 PhD candidates, with 16 Master’s programmes and 15 PhD programmes. Most PhD programmes are connected to a corresponding Master’s programme, and are rooted in the strategic research theme Life Sciences of Utrecht University and the thematic research programme of the UMC Utrecht. The mission of the GSLS is to improve life by providing an inspiring and innovative academic environment that enables you to thrive in the dynamics of life sciences and society.