Welcome to ORPHEUS

The Organisation for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in the European System, or ORPHEUS, was founded in 2004. ORPHEUS aims to safeguard the PhD as a research degree by supporting graduate schools, faculties and departments, research students and their supervisors, through quality assurance mechanisms, advocation of best practices, professional development and training.

A message from our President
Prof. John Creemers

ORPHEUS Conference 2023 KU Leuven

Next ORPHEUS Conference, Leuven 2023

The 17th ORPHEUS conference will be held in Leuven, Belgium 13-15 April 2023. Doctoral training prepares doctoral candidates for their future careers in a constantly changing society. At this year’s ORPHEUS conference, keynote speakers and presenters selected from submitted abstracts, will address how we can really put the I’s and O’s in doctoral training.


ORPHEUS runs thematic conferences annually, addressing key topics in graduate research of interest to its network. In cooperation with the Association of Medical Schools in Europe (AMSE) and the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), ORPHEUS has developed Best Practices for PhD Training.

Graduate schools and departments in biomedical fields can measure their practices in PhD training against these tenets and ORPHEUS offers support and guidance in the pursuit of certification and labelling as quality assurance mechanisms. ORPHEUS also offers disciplinary-specific training opportunities for research students and supports the professional development of new and experienced research supervisors.


ORPHEUS Best Practices for PhD Training   

Based on the ORPHEUS – AMSE – WFME standards for PhD Education in Biomedicine and Health Sciences in Europe.

First published in 2016 with the latest revision in 2020, our free Best Practices in PhD Training ebook covers recommendations in:

      • Research Environment
      • Outcomes
      • Admission Policy and Criteria
      • PhD Training Programme
      • Supervision
      • PhD Thesis
      • Assessment
      • Graduate School Structure



Please check our interactive map below for a list of ORPHEUS institutional members worldwide or head straight to our Membership page.


Members Worldwide


Membership Testimonials

  • With this token of motivation, we will work with ORPHEUS for a constant improvement of graduate education in our institution. Mannheim, 2016
  • We take note of the recommendations for further improvement of the program.
    Bergen, 2016
  • I would like to thank ORPHEUS, for your valuable guidance to us in achieving our goals.
    Dokuz Eylül, Izmir, 2015

Institutional Membership

Institutional membership is open to all schools, faculties, and universities responsible for PhD programmes in Biomedicine and Health Sciences within Europe, and similar institutions