STAR Graduate Programme General Information

Antimicrobial research

Threats of drug-resistant pathogens are emerging worldwide and ask for development of novel drugs that act on the pathogen’s molecular networks. This demands a new generation of bright scientists who are able to combine molecular biology, microbiology, systems biology and drug discovery and development.

STAR graduate programme

In September 2013, AIMMS started its STAR Graduate Programme with a competitive grant from the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). This funding enabled us to offer Scientific Top training in Antimicrobial Research (STAR) to a selection of talented Master’s students, followed by offering a PhD position to the four most promising students to start their research within the AIMMS institute as from September 2015.
For an introduction to our NWO STAR PhD students click here.

As of September 2016, we will be able to extend our STAR Graduate programme with financial aid from the EU’s Marie Curie Cofund. The selection procedure will be open to (foreign) Master’s students who comply with the international mobility rule as defined in the MSCA programme.

For more information on how to apply to the STAR-PLUS graduate programme, please click here.


Short summary of the new Cofund STAR programme

Selection A
Master’s students interested in the new Cofund STAR PLUS programme are asked to send in a motivation letter, accompanied with a CV and recommendation letter from their tutor. The most promising candidates are selected to continue with the programme based on grades, performances, references and motivation as expressed in an interview (either in person, or through video conferencing).

Selection B
Selected MSc students who continue with the Cofund STAR PLUS programme are offered a course in grant writing and take part in the post-graduate course New paradigms targeting resistance against antimicrobials, both offered by AIMMS.
The new knowledge will serve the candidate students in writing their own research proposal, under supervision of a senior scientist from one of the participating AIMMS research groups. Proposals of the candidate students should demonstrate novel solutions and/or approaches in tackling the current challenges in antimicrobial research.

The submitted proposals will be evaluated by an international panel and the referee reports sent to the applicants. Applicants are invited to an interview in which they can further elaborate on their proposal, vision and tackle the issues raised by the referees.
Based on the submitted proposals, referee reports, and oral presentation and defences, the AIMMS selection committee ranks the candidates. The most outstanding candidates will be offered a 4-year PhD position within an AIMMS research group.


AIMMS PhD Graduate programme
In line with VU regulations, the AIMMS PhD Graduate programme encompasses an appointment for 4 years. The PhD student will work within one of the AIMMS research groups on a PhD research project on antimicrobial research. The PhD student will join AIMMS and follow the obligatory PhD Training programme to ensure training as highly skilled, independent researchers in AIMMS related research areas. The programme prepares students on a work career after obtaining the PhD, either continuing in academia or in industry.

For more information on the AIMMS PhD programme, click here.


For more information on the Cofund STAR PLUS graduate programme, please contact

Dr. Ellen Langemeijer
T +31 (0)20 59 87540