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PhD/Graduate School

About 150 researchers are working on their PhD research at ACTA. These are ACTA employees who do their PhD alongside their other work or guest employees.

ACTA Graduate School of Dentistry (AGSD) provides training for PhD students. In addition, ACTA has an independent confidential advisor especially for PhD students.

There are 3 types of PhD students at ACTA:

  • PhD students who receive a salary from the university. A limited number of places are available each year.
  • PhD students under contract. These are usually financed externally, e.g. by a foreign university.
  • Guest PhD students, they do not receive a salary, but they do receive the training and supervision that is part of the PhD research.

Would you like to work at ACTA as a PhD student?

Then look at the range of vacancies/science at:

What is expected of a PhD student?

PhD students are expected to take various courses during their PhD trajectory. For those with a four-year PhD position, courses are mainly taken during the first three years of their PhD programme. Courses can have different goals: Required in the context of research/thesis (eg statistics, laboratory animal science); General science education (e.g. writing in English) or career-oriented (e.g. scholarship writing, courses outside the own field of research)

Education, coaching and courses

  • Mandatory courses

    • Statistics and methodology
      Starting date: Thursday 9 December 2021
      Timetable: schedule overview
      Subscription: closed

    • Grant writing
      Starting date: to be decided
      Subscription: to be announced

    • Scientific writing and presenting in English
      Starting date: March 2022
      Subscription: closed

    • Dentistry for non-dentists
      Starting date: 2022 (to be decided)
      Subscription: to be announced

    • Oral Biology
      Starting date: March 19th - May 28th
      Subscription: open

    • Scientific Integrity (English)
      Starting date: to be decided
      Subscription: closed
  • Non-mandatory courses

    • This course is non-mandatory: Epidemiology & Evidence Based Practice in Dentistry and Oral Health Care. 
    • PhD students are also encouraged to take external courses, e.g. at graduate schools in the area of Health and Life Sciences within VU University Amsterdam, the AMC Graduate School, MOVE, and graduate schools within the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam.
  • Education and coaching

  • Extra courses

    PhD students are encouraged to take additional courses, e.g. at graduate schools in the area of Health and Life Sciences within VU University Amsterdam, the AMC Graduate School, graduate schools within the Faculty of Science at the University of Amsterdam. Below you will find several links to various courses for PhD students:

    Language courses
    Although Dutch for foreigners is not part of the training plan for PhD students, it might be a good idea to follow a course. Courses at different levels are offered by

Epidemiology & Evidence Based Practice in Dentistry and OHC

  • Learning aims

    Competences according to the General Educational framework Dentistry 2008 covered: II c-I (4) The student has:

    • thorough understanding on the concepts, principles and methods of Evidence Based Health Care Practice. Thereby the student has advanced comprehension on the place and value (possibilities and constraints) of Evidence Based Practice on dentistry and Oral Health Care (OHC).

    • deep insights about the different study designs, methods and analytic techniques of advanced etiologic, diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic scientific research. Thereby he will be able to independently define proper questions for advanced scientific research on diagnostic accuracy, prognostic accuracy and therapeutic effectiveness, and make motivated choices for the design of such research projects.

    • expertise in deriving ‘best-available evidence’ from published original scientific research through interpreting and appreciating the relevance and validity of findings and the health outcomes from these. Thereby the student is able to independently make a brief rapid summary of the evidence from scientific research in a comprehensive and transparent manner, answer the initial diagnostic, prognostic or treatment question from patient care based on a translation of this summary, and thereupon provide aligned policy guidance and sound recommendations for decision making on the care for individual patients).

    • advanced competencies in identifying uncertainty in his decision making and translate these into proper questions for research. Thereby the student will be able to independently rephrasing and translating his knowledge gaps and information needs.

    • comprehensive proficiency in the approach to the complex concepts of measures of disease frequency (risks and rates of disease) along with association measures for these. Thereby the student will be able to simplify such concepts and measures in the translation for transparent and explicit explanation in patient care.
  • Contents

    Health care workers continuously work on the proper delivery of good health care outcomes. In this they question themselves whether and to which extent their decisions in patient management (notably on choices about diagnosis, therapy, and prediction of prognosis and outcome) are based on solid scientific evidence. Evidence-based medicine (EBM) principles have been widely accepted as efficient strategies to meet these needs. This course aims to equip the students with the advanced competencies on the concepts, principles and methods of Evidence Based Health Care through cutting-edge information mastery and decision making. Competencies obtained during this course will provide students with advanced understanding and deep insights that will help them to meet the challenges of the 21th century health care and apply these properly in delivering Evidence Based best practice in dentistry and oral health care. With this course the students should be able to disentangle complexities  and unravel problems in patient management and care.

  • Literature

    • Methodological reader A: selected methodological and background fundamental papers (compulsory)
    • Applied scientific reader B: selected applied scientific research papers for working groups (compulsory)
  • Learning assessment

    The student needs to pass all components undermentioned

    • Overall assessment of assignments and participation during the seminars
    • Written exam, with open exam questions

    Creditis: 3 ECTS
    Language: English
    Duration: Semester 1, Thursdays October 18th – December 6th 2018
    Teaching methods: Self-study; Lectures; Working groups, Assignments
    Coordinator: prof. Dr. G.J.M.G. van der Heijden
    Teacher(s): prof. Dr. G.J.M.G. van der Heijden

  • Application deadline and subscription

More about PhD/Graduate School

Director Research Institute ACTA

Contact details

ACTA Attn. Director of Research
Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004
1081 LA Amsterdam

Last update 02-04-2022

Director of Research has been vacant since April 1. More information will follow asap. Contact person for now is Dr Bart Hattink, research coordinator.


  • Cees Kleverlaan
  • Head of department