For PhD candidates

This one-year program for excellent PhD candidates with special professional qualities focuses on participants’ broad personal development. They take part in interesting discussions about fundamental issues under the supervision of top lecturers from various disciplines.

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For PhD candidates

Content of Radboud Da Vinci Challenge

  • During the Radboud Da Vinci Challenge, participants take part in exciting dialogues about fundamental issues with first-class lecturers from various disciplines. 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.
  • And imagine, for instance, visiting world-renowned institutes such as CERN or WHO.
  • The program also includes impressive joint and individual experiences, such as a ‘hut-to-hut’ hiking tour in Iceland.
  • Music, theater and practical rhetoric are other parts of the program, which is made up of five multi-day modules with varying themes. The participants choose their 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 program and their learning points in personal development. In this way, talents are challenged to further shape their personal growth.
  • 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 program.


PhD candidates at Radboudumc are open to apply to this program. The selection is in the hands of a committee made up of participants from earlier editions of the Da Vinci Challenge.

Leonardo da Vinci

Da Vinci as a ‘Homo Universalis’ is a patron for this program’s philosophy.

Striving for excellence


This program is open to PhD candidates at Radboudumc. Detailed program and registration information can be found on intranet (z-number required). see detailed information

Personal experiences Da Vinci Challenge

Tong Xi and others tell about their experience: "I have begun to perceive my own strengths and weaknesses.”

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Personal experiences Da Vinci Challenge

* Tong Xi

"After successively encountering authentic artists and philosophers, gaining insight into the world-class CERN research center and discovering the beauty, strength and harshness of nature in Iceland, many experiences are now sinking in.  

"Just like realizing that my fear of falling when descending a steep hill needed to be overcome in order to ascend the next summit, I have begun to perceive my own strengths and weaknesses. After being confronted with them in different ways during the Da Vinci Challenge, I dare to speak them out loud. This evolving self-confidence empowers me to stand firmly and keep moving forward."

* Sami Simons

"The Da Vinci Challenge has encouraged me to develop a broad view of the world. The program forced us to step out of our comfort zones, for instance through workshops in theatre or opera singing. This taught me to deal with uncomfortable situations and to further develop myself. These experiences have helped me to grow as a person."

* Mariska Janssen

"The Da Vinci Challenge helped me to get to know myself better. As a result I'm more able to formulate my personal and professional goals. During the Da Vinci Challenge I also got some tools to achieve these goals."

Experience of the participants

Want to find out what our talent programs are all about from people who have experienced it? The following people do not mind you contacting them.

Other talent programs

Radboud Galilei Track for postdocs

This 3.5-year program is aimed at excellent postdocs (clinical and non-clinical) who want to create their own niche in research, education and healthcare.

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Radboudumc Hypatia Track and Grants for research group leaders

This one-year program guides talents towards becoming successful research group leaders.

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Funding and support

Are you a researcher at Radboudumc and do you wish to obtain a grant, national or international, for your research group or as an individual? To help you get started, we offer an overview of some of the available grants including some funded by Radboudumc. see overview