For PhD students

Radboud Da Vinci Challenge

The Radboud Da Vinci Challenge is aimed at excellent PhD students who have outstanding professional qualities. Da Vinci as a ‘Homo Universalis’ is a patron for this programme’s philosophy.

Da Vinci 

During the structured context of the doctoral studies, the Radboud Da Vinci Challenge is a one-year programme that offers excellent PhD students the opportunity to experience broad personal development.


It is the confrontation with provocative new ideas, people and situations that stimulates people to think and reconsider their own judgments, convictions, values and reactions. During the Radboud Da Vinci Challenge, participants take part in exciting dialogues about fundamental issues with first-class lecturers from various disciplines. Imagine, for instance, visiting world-renowned institutes such as CERN or WHO.

Da Vinci Challenge

The programme also includes impressive joint and individual experiences, such as a ‘hut to hut’ hiking tour in Iceland. Music, theatre and practical rhetoric are other parts of the programme, which is made up of five multi-day modules with varying themes. The participants themselves decide on the theme for the sixth and final module.

Personal guidance

Every talent is guided by a Talent Manager with whom they discuss their experiences in the programme and their learning points in personal development. In this way, talents are challenged to further shape their personal growth.

Da Vinci Challenge

In addition, every talent has a mentor, a senior scientist from another discipline, from whose experiences the talent can benefit.
And last but not least, the talents learn from each other! The participants find that this mutual exchange between talents in the same career phase is one of the most valuable aspects of this programme.

Want to know more?

There is much to say about the Da Vinci Challenge. Ultimately, what matters most is the experience of the participants themselves. Tong Xi (Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery) would be happy to share his experiences with you.

Send an email to Tong.Xi@radboudumc.nl so he can contact you to answer any questions you may have.

Sami Simons

Sami Simons "The knowledge from our research benefits individual patients."
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Tong Xi

Tong Xi
'I have begun to perceive my own strengths and weaknesses.'
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