The Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam (ONWAR) offers a training program for Ph.D.-candidates performing their Ph.D. research in the field of neuroscience at the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam (VU University Amsterdam and VU University medical center), the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (KNAW) or the Department of Neuroscience, ErasmusMC Rotterdam. The aim of the training program is to provide graduate students with an adequate overview of the neurosciences allowing them to be involved in multidisciplinary brain research and increasing their national and international career opportunities.

To achieve these goals the training program consists of a Ph.D.-research project and related courses on the one hand and general courses not directly related to the research project on the other. The latter include training in presentational skills, grant writing and in-depth courses on the physiology and pathology of the CNS.

Ph.D. candidates will be appointed at participating departments or institutes. A contract between the candidate and the appointing organization is prepared in which the training program is described. In order to enrol in the graduate school, this contract needs to be approved by the training committee and the directory board of ONWAR.

Ph.D.-candidates who want to enrol in the school are expected to hold a M.Sc. degree in the field of neuroscience. If this is not the case, the teaching committee will assess the candidate's curriculum and may request the candidate to follow a general introductory course in neuroscience, which is provided through the Master's program of the participating universities.

The training program organized under the supervision of the training committee of ONWAR consists of the following components, together accumulating to 450 hrs or more of training:

Introduction to ONWAR (24 hrs)
An introduction to current neuroscience in Amsterdam and Rotterdam is organized to give new Ph.D. candidates an overview of the laboratories performing neuroscience research, their members and the subjects of study. The aim of this course is to help Ph.D. candidates to locate potential collaborators or discussion partners nearby. This course is obligatory.

Attendance of three-four annual meetings ONWAR/RMI (for PhD-students with a 4-year project 100 hrs; for PhD-students with a 3-year project: 75 hours)
Annual meetings take place at which Ph.D.-candidates from all participating institutes meet to present and discuss the progress of their research. Ph.D.-candidates are obliged to attend all annual meetings and submit abstracts of their work. Presentations consist of posters and oral presentations. The meetings are organized by the "Retreat committee" in which Ph.D. candidates are strongly encouraged to participate.

Swammerdam Lectures (for PhD-students with a 4-year project 20 hrs; for PhD-students with a 3-year project: 15 hours)
To inform students of highlights in the neurosciences the graduate school organizes an annual series of "Swammerdam Lectures" which have been incorporated as an integral component of the training program. These lectures are generally given approximately six times a year by renowned neuroscientists.

Neuroscience courses (at least 160 hours)
ONWAR organizes specialized courses on various neurobiological subjects. These courses provide in-depth information on the theoretical and practical aspects in the field. Two or more ONWAR-courses, together constituting at least 80 or more hours, have to be attended. Participants are encouraged to follow specialized ONWAR courses that are not directly related to their Ph.D. research project, thus stimulating a broader knowledge of the neurosciences. Currently ONWAR organizes several courses on different topics (see "list of courses".)
Total hours of neuroscience courses (ONWAR + non-ONWAR) should be at least be 160 hours.

Extra courses (100 hours)
Extra courses may include neuroscience courses organized by ONWAR or other institutions, or courses on other subjects.) Students involved in animal experiments are required to successfully complete a course on laboratory animal science. Extra courses might be courses in (bio)statistics, scientific writing and presenting in English or relevant courses organized by the participating or other universities.

The form for the training program of the Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam, please can be found at the button "Forms").