VU Amsterdam Summer School in Twin Research and Genetics, 5-19 August 2017, Netherlands


Do twins hold the key to understanding complex human traits and diseases? Can they resolve the age-old debate between nature and nurture? What is determined by our DNA, what comes from our environment? Thanks to recent technological advances, we are closer than ever to explaining where our individual differences come from. Our ability to map human DNA at high resolution in large populations is now enabling us to link genetic variation to traits and disease at the molecular level.
This interdisciplinary course puts you at the forefront of these exciting and important developments. You focus on twins to explore the interplay of genes and environment in determining behaviour, lifestyle and health.

Uniquely, you gain hands-on access to the world-renowned Netherlands Twin Register at VU Amsterdam – one of the largest longitudinal databases of its kind. Your tutors are scientists closely associated with this core asset, the people who collect the information and work with it on a daily basis to unravel the genetic etiology of a wide range of medical conditions and personal characteristics. They train you in working with twin data and information from genomics and epigenetics. You learn how to collect material on behaviour and health and how to use molecular data to better understand the path from genetics to medicine. Naturally, we also cover the theoretical and philosophical background to help you interpret genetic studies, understand effective methods and designs and increase your understanding of complex human traits.

RELATED:  Masters Scholarships At University of Tsukuba In Japan, 2018


  • You understand and can interpret results from genetic studies of complex human behavioural traits.
  • You understand the current state of human genetics research in a historical perspective and can contribute to discussions about gene-environment interaction.
  • You can analyse genetically informative twin and family data.
  • You understand the assessment and diagnosis of traits and phenotypes.
  • You can work with multiple “-omics” data: genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics (gene expression) and microbiomics.


Visits to biobank facilities and laboratories, and twin activities in Amsterdam.


All students interested in the rapidly evolving field of human genetics, especially those aspiring to join its international research community. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please let us know. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students with a wide variety of backgrounds.


Apply for the VU Amsterdam Summer School by filling out our online application form (find it in the “Further official information” below this annoucnement). If you apply for multiple courses, you only need to fill out the form once by selecting all courses you wish to participate in. Before applying make sure to read the General Terms and Conditions. In the online application form you will be asked to provide the following documents (no larger than 1 MB per document):

  • Motivation letter. Please make sure to describe your motivation for the specific course(s) you apply for: Why this topic? How will the course contribute to your future (academic) career?
  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé
  • Transcript of records (a printscreen of your most recent grades is sufficient)
  • Copy of passport/identification
RELATED:  ONGOING: AXA Achievement Scholarship 2018

Deadline for application is 1 May 2017. It is advisable to apply and pay sooner, to guarantee your place before a course is full.

If you have any questions regarding the procedure or anything else, always let us know at We respond quickly. Your admission will be definite once we have asessed your application on the basis of the entry requirements, availability in the courses, and once we have received your payment. Your place in the VU Amsterdam Summer School will not be guaranteed until we have received your payment.


The courses of the VU Amsterdam Summer School are taught at four different levels: Beginner Bachelor, Advanced Bachelor, Master and PhD. Courses that are offered both at Bachelor and Master level will have a different workload for Bachelor’s and Master’s students. For these various levels, the following entry requirements are set:

  • Beginner Bachelor: currently enrolled as a student in a university
  • Advanced Bachelor: currently enrolled in your second year of university
  • Master: currently enrolled in your final year of Bachelor studies or completed a Bachelor’s degree
  • PhD: (in process of) approved PhD proposal

Individual courses may have their own entry requirements, please check the course descriptions.

*If on the basis of the provided documents doubts remain about the academic level of the student, the VU Amsterdam Summer School reserves the right to ask for additional documents and/or a telephone/Skype interview.


It is not necessary to provide us with proof of your English. We do expect your English to be sufficient to understand classes and course literature. This means you should have at least a B2 level of English, as developed within the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR). This is comparable to a Toefl internet test with a score of 92, or an IELTS score of 6.5.


If you have been accepted to the VU Amsterdam Summer School and have paid the tuition fee, but due to unforeseen circumstances need to cancel, the following refunds will be given:

  • Cancellation before 1 May: 75% of total fee will be refunded
  • Cancellation before 1 June: 50% of total fee will be refunded
  • Cancellation after 1 June: no refund will be given

We always give a 100% refund in case your visa gets rejected. We do require a copy of the rejection letter issued by your local embassy. Please be aware it is your own responsibility to make a visa appointment in time. Enquire with your local embassy if it is possible to finalize your application before the start of your course. When time constraints are the reason for not obtaining a visa, we follow the normal cancellation policy. Find more information regarding visa requirements below.

For more information click “Further official information” below.

You May Also Like