Master Cardiovascular Research

The Master Cardiovascular Research is a two-year international program of 120 ECTS and tuition is completely in English. It offers  students a challenging program with a high degree of freedom to choose among several specialized Master courses and a number of outstanding research groups for research projects. Prof. dr. Christa Boer is the program director and dr. Miriam van Strien is the program coordinator.

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Interview - Prof. dr. Christa Boer, program director Master Cardiovascular Research

Passion for cardiovascular scientific research
My passion for cardiovascular scientific research started during my study Biomedical Sciences, where I had the opportunity to listen to dedicated professors in this field. The only downside of my study at that time was the limited guidance we received as young scientists to follow a successful career path. Without this guidance, the road to science can be complicated and bumpy.

Goals  
I formulated two goals when starting as program director of the Cardiovascular Research master in 2014. First, the master curriculum should be designed based on the passion of my colleagues, who dedicate their work to cardiovascular science and patients with heart or vascular disease. Second, students in our program should be stimulated to develop their soft skills and competencies, including networking, strategic career planning and out-of-the box thinking. The new curriculum was launched in 2016 and fulfilled both goals.

Proud to be part of the success
It is very rewarding to apprehend that our students feel and take over the passion of the teachers, which is reflected by the extensive discussions during class. Moreover, during the graduation ceremonies I always realize that we should be proud to be part of the success of our students in their internships and future careers. In particular, most of our students are currently working as successful scientists in the cardiovascular field. This is the reason why I am motivated to improve our master program every day, as we provide a future for all students who decide to contribute to the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.


Interview - Dr. Miriam E. van Strien, program coordinator Master Cardiovascular Research & Master Oncology

Career switch
In May 2017, I started as program coordinator of the master Cardiovascular Research and the master Oncology. A career switch for me since I was working as a scientist for quite some years. After graduating from the master Oncology at VUmc, I started my PhD at the VUmc, department of Anatomy and Neurosciences. After finishing my PhD in 2010, I worked as a postdoc at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam and the Brain Center Rudolf Magnus in Utrecht. Besides doing research in the lab, I was supervising bachelor-, master- and PhD students and more and more involved in teaching. Since I like to coordinate, improve the quality of education and work with students and scientists, my present job as coordinator of 2 master programs at the VUmc School of Medical Sciences is really something for me.

Motivated students
What I certainly like about the master Cardiovascular Research is that it is a small scale international master. The level of education is high and the students that are currently enrolled in the program are very motivated. I think that this master program is a good preparation for the future career of our students. At the beginning of this year, the midterm review of our master program was very positive. In addition, the master Cardiovascular Research reached the 3rd place of all biomedical masters in the Netherlands in the Dutch Student Survey. Already great results but there is always room for improvement.

Goals
As program coordinator, I am the contact person and can advise (new) students on practical matters concerning the master Cardiovascular Research program.

One of my goals is to continuously optimize the quality of our master program together with Christa Boer. For example, I would like to increase the numbers of students in our master program. In addition, I would like to help the students with thinking about their career path and making the right choices during the program. Currently, I am modifying the Academic Core which is designed to prepare students for the transition from student to scientist. The academic skills obtained in the Academic Core will help the students to build up their future career in Cardiovascular Research.