The ONWAR logo is adapted from De Homine (1662), by René Descartes, which illustrates his concept of what is involved in a reflex response.

ONWAR is the Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam: a collaboration between research institutes of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam UMC, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, and Utrecht University. The first Swammerdam Lecture was organized on March 19th, 1982, and ONWA(R) was officially established on May 21st 1991. ONWAR has been recognized by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2009.

The Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam:


ONWAR consists of several bodies that help keep the graduate school running. The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has acted as its representative since its foundation.

Board of directors

The Board of Directors consists of the scientific directors of the research institutes that are involved. Prof. dr. A.B. Smit is the chair of the Board of Directors and acts as the Scientific Director of ONWAR. 

Teaching committee

The Teaching Committee consists of senior researchers from the different institutes and PhD representatives from the four institutes with the largest proportion of PhD students. It evaluates and develops the ONWAR training program, the individual courses and events. Prof. dr. C.N. Levelt is the chair of the teaching committee and acts as the Teaching Director of ONWAR


Renee Lustenhouwer, MSc. – graduate school coordinator
Ramya Balbon – administration

Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Participating research institutes

Affiliated institutes

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PhD Candidates


Participating institutes

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Research groups

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