Finishing up

Since ONWAR’s foundation in 1991, many theses have been successfully defended as part of our graduate school. When finishing up your own PhD thesis, there are several things you need to arrange. One of them is informing ONWAR of your upcoming PhD defence. ONWAR would also like to receive a digital and physical copy of your thesis, so that it can be added to the ONWAR archives. You may also qualify for the ONWAR certificate and the ONWAR contribution to the printing cost of your thesis (see below).

You qualify for the ONWAR certificate if you have successfully completed the full ONWAR training program by the end of your PhD trajectory. In short, you need to have:

  • attended the ONWAR Introductory course
  • attended the ONWAR Annual PhD Meeting 4 times (3x if you have a 3-year contract)
  • attended the Swammerdam Lectures
  • completed at least 260 hours of courses:
    • of which at least 160 hours should be courses on neuroscience topics
    • of which at least 80 hours, and min 2 courses, should be ONWAR courses on neuroscience topics

You can request the certificate through the ONWAR coordinator (please send an e-mail to If you followed any non-ONWAR courses as part of your training program, make sure that the ONWAR coordinator has proof of participation for each of those courses.

ONWAR offers a contribution of up to €500 towards the printing costs of the thesis. This contribution is available to PhD candidates who have successfully completed the full ONWAR training program (see above) AND whose thesis has been approved by the reading committee within 4.5  years after their contract started (when on a 4 year contract).

In order to apply you need to: 

  • confirm that you have completed the full ONWAR training program
  • include a dated approval letter (e.g. generated in Hora Finita, from the dean/beadle) confirming that your thesis has been approved within 4.5 years after your contract started
  • mention the financial contribution in your thesis: 
    Publication of this thesis was financially supported by the Graduate School Neurosciences Amsterdam Rotterdam (ONWAR)
  • share a physical copy of your thesis with ONWAR


You can send your application to the ONWAR coordinator ( 


During the COVID-19 pandemic, PhD candidates experienced many challenges in conducting their research and training program. The ONWAR Board of Directors and Teaching Committee have therefore decided that for ONWAR students who started their PhD between 1-3-2016 (1-3-2017 for 3-year contracts) and 28-2-2022, the impact of the COVID-pandemic will be taken into account, and the requirements for obtaining the ONWAR certificate are adjusted accordingly. 

COVID-compensation regulation (PhDs starting between 01-03-2016/2017 and 28-02-2022)
The number of COVID-compensation hours depends on how much overlap there was between the first 4 (or 3) years of the PhD contract, and the COVID-pandemic (1-3-2020 through 28-2-2022). For each month of overlap, 2 compensation hours will be granted, which will be deducted from the total number of hours that are needed to obtain the ONWAR certificate. These hours can be used to substitute courses (in any of the categories), or the 2021 annual meeting. Participation in the ONWAR Introductory course, Swammerdam Lectures, and future ONWAR/CEN Annual PhD Meetings remains mandatory. 

The cancelled 2020 ONWAR/CEN Annual PhD Meeting is counted as being attended (+ 25 hours) for all ONWAR PhD candidates that should have attended the meeting, and thus does not need to be compensated. Hours for the 2021 ONWAR/CEN Annual PhD Meeting are rewarded as follows:

  • 25 hours for on-site attendees
  • 20 hours for presenters of an online oral presentation
  • 8 hours for online attendees + last minute cancellations 

Use the ONWAR COVID-compensation tool to calculate how many compensation hours you qualify for.

Contribution thesis printing costs
With regard to the ONWAR thesis printing costs contribution: if your contract started between 1-3-2016/2017 and 28-2-2022, you can qualify for the contribution if your thesis has been approved within 4/3 years and 9 months.

This COVID-compensation regulation will be used as a guideline. Individual circumstances will be taken into consideration when determining whether PhD candidates qualify for the ONWAR certificate and the ONWAR contribution to the printing of the thesis in case this COVID-compensation regulation does not suffice. 

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