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‘International Masterclass in Cardiovascular Science’

The first step in most successful academic careers start at student level and often relate to the exposure to highly motivated, enthusiastic and world-leading scientists, who provide the student the opportunity to perform a research internship in a stimulating scientific environment. The International Masterclass in Cardiovascular Science (IMCS) of the Department of Physiology of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre facilitates the acceleration of the academic career of young, talented students in Biomedical Sciences by a unique 1-year program. Several students from Nijmegen have already taken this opportunity, which has typically resulted in the publication of scientific papers, presentations at (inter)national conferences, and even job offers for a PhD-position.

What is the International Masterclass in Cardiovascular Science?

The IMCS is based on a long-standing and fruitful collaboration between researchers of the Department of Physiology and the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)). Whilst there is a strong overlap in researchandteaching between both universities, the differences in state-of-the-art technology, access to patient groups, and facilities make a unique synergistic collaboration. This program will therefore offer the student:

  • A high-quality, synergistic collaborative project in the field of cardiovascular exercise science in NijmegenandLiverpool
  • Attending the Ultrasound Summerschool, involving lectures and practical hands-on work supervised by world-leading scientists from LJMU, RUNMC and other universities.
  • Supervision by world-leading professors in laboratories with unique and state-of-the-art facilities in a motivating environment
  • Participate in the MSc-course 'Clinical Exercise Physiology' at LJMU

An overview of the IMCS program

Stage 1. In October, the Department of Physiology organises the annual 4-week course ('Clinical Exercise Physiology') that is usually attended by 30 MSc-students of Biomedical Sciences. During this course, we will heavily discuss the state-of-the-art knowledge in cardiovascular exercise physiology. Also, an LJMU professor will visit Nijmegen to give a lecture on his research, but also introduces the International Masterclass in Cardiovascular Science. Students receive assignments that eventually result in a scientific debate on cardiovascular topics.

Stage 2. Students are invited to apply for the International Masterclass in Cardiovascular Science by writing a motivation letter why they want to join the Masterclass. Subsequently, the student coordinator of the Department of Physiology will select eligible students for the Masterclass.

Stage 3. In March/April, students will start a 4-month internship at the Department of Physiology.

Stage 4. Early July, students will attend of the Ultrasound Summerschool. This Summerschool is annually attended by 25-30 (inter)national students and researchers and deals with the physiological regulation of cardiac and vascular function, physics of ultrasound and practical performance of (the basics of) echocardiography and vascular ultrasound. Lectures are given by world-leading scientists. This 5-day Summerschool provides a unique networking opportunity.

Stage 5. After the Summerschool, students will start their LJMU-based internship. The content of this internship is closely related to the internship performed in Nijmegen (see above). Also, students can follow the MSc-course 'Clinical Exercise Physiology' at the LJMU during their internship.

Stage 6. This Masterclass provides the opportunity to significantly increase the chances for the participants to successfully apply for a PhD-track. To achieve this goal, monthly meetings are planned with the students to discuss progress, job/grant opportunities, and CV building.

Stage 7. Finally, the project will result in writing a manuscript that will be submitted to an international peer-reviewed journal. The student will play an important role in this process. Moreover, opportunities will be examined for the student to attend an international meeting to present his/her results.

Contributing scientists

From the Department of Physiology, Prof. Dr Maria Hopman, Dr Dick Thijssen and Dr Thijs Eijsvogels are involved in the IMCS program. They contribute to teaching commitments, initiation of projects and internships and supervision of all candidates. Prof. Dr Tim Cable, Prof. Dr Keith George, Prof. Dr Danny Green, and Prof. Dr Dick Thijssen are the leading scientists from LJMU that contribute to this one-of-a-kind program. 

Additional information and applications?

If you would like to meet one of the involved scientists for more information, you can contact us by sending an e-mail to the student coordinator ( /



To contact the department of Physiology click here
To visit the department of Physiology click here.

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