Toxicology & Environmental Health

Research area

Risk is an integral part of life. We take, perceive, ignore and experience risks every day.  The research area studied in this programme investigates risks related to chemical, biological and physical agents in the environment, the work place and the food chain from a multidisciplinary perspective. The focus of the PhD programme is on the three main approaches used in environmental risk assessment: exposure assessment, toxicology and environmental epidemiology.

In order to facilitate and support risk assessment knowledge is needed on the bioavailability and hazards associated with toxic substances. Within risk assessment epidemiological research aims at establishing relationships between environmental and occupational exposures to chemical, biological and physical factors and health. To reliably and quantitatively measure exposure of human beings to all sorts of agents is a complex endeavour, which requires rigorous methods and method development and validation. Combining the information gathered by the three approaches mentioned above will contribute to an improved understanding of environmental risks and more thorough environmental (health) risk assessments.

Associated research groups

All information regarding our researchers and research groups can be found at our website.

Profile of prospective PhD candidates

In the past we have attracted PhD candidates from all over the world and with various scientific backgrounds, such as toxicology, environmental and occupational epidemiology and hygiene, and exposure assessment.

The basic requirement for admission is a relevant and sufficient scientific background in Life Sciences (e.g. Biological, Biomedical, Environmental, Chemical Sciences), and financial support to pay for the PhD position. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of our PhD programme the admission criteria will have to be flexible and individualized. Students that have completed the Master’s programme Health and Environment will be well suited as candidates for the PhD programme. The PhD programme committee will decide about admission of PhD candidates proposed by the supervising professors of the research groups involved. Depending on the research project the PhD candidate is entering, he/she should have the required theoretical and lab-skill background. When necessary, PhD candidates should remedy any education deficiencies on the advice of his/her supervisor.

Mission of the training programme

The programme educates PhD candidates to become independent researchers in the area of environmental risk assessment. In a multidisciplinary setting the PhD candidates participate in research and in meetings, symposia and courses, covering different areas of toxicology, environmental and occupational epidemiology, exposure assessment and (veterinary) public health.


After completion of the programme, the PhD candidate:

  • has profound knowledge of toxicology and environmental health and their application in risk assessment

  • is able to communicate and to collaborate with peers and other scientists in the Netherlands and abroad

  • can perform scientific research independently;

  • can formulate new research questions and write grant proposals

  • is able to communicate with stakeholders in the society, and with the general public about his or her area of research;

  • has insight into the various possibilities to develop his/her career according to personal interests

Training programme

You can find the training programme here.

Contact programme

More information about this programme

Visit the Toxicology and Environmental Health website