Aim of the course
The aim of this course is to learn the basic terms and principles of epidemiology and to understand how epidemiology and toxicology interact.

Content of the course
The course consists of interactive lectures in which the basic principles of epidemiology will be taught. Specific topics within the field of epidemiology are discussed, e.g. study designs, bias and confounding, interpretation of study outcomes, and risk assessment. In addition to the lectures, there will be tutorial sessions in which epidemiological papers are evaluated and in which participants can work on their individual research proposal for an epidemiological study within the field of toxicology.

Outcomes (competences, skills)
After successful completion of the course the participant:

  • understands the basic terms in epidemiological research and is able to differentiate between various study designs and recognize their weaknesses and strengths;
  • is familiar with the main measures of frequency and association, and the principles and criteria of causality;
  • is able to define, explain and recognize bias, and explain the difference between confounders and effect modifiers in epidemiological studies;
  • is able to distinguish internal validity from external validity, and random errors from systematic errors in epidemiological studies;
  • understands how epidemiology can contribute to toxicological hazard and risk assessment;
  • is able to design an epidemiological study with a clear research question and an appropriate study design.


Dr. Michiel de Boer, University Medical Center Groningen
Dr. Jelske van der Burg, VU Amsterdam
Dr. ir. Ron Hoogenboom, Wageningen University and EFSA
Dr. Gijs Klous, RIVM Bilthoven
Dr. Lothar Kuijper, VU Amsterdam
Dr. Esther Molenaar, VU Amsterdam
Dr. Sylvia Notenboom, RIVM Bilthoven
Prof. dr. Raymond Ostelo, Amsterdam UMC
Dr. Annemieke Spijkerman, RIVM Bilthoven
Dr. Willy-Anne van Stiphout, STIP Zweeloo
Dr. Eva Sugeng, VU Amsterdam

During this course, participants will write an individual research proposal for an epidemiological study within the field of toxicology. The proposal needs to be submitted to the course coordinator before 17:00h CET on Monday 23th of May 2022. To pass the course, participants need to attend all lectures and tutorial sessions and pass the individual research proposal assignment.

Coordinator: Prof.dr. M.B.M. van Duursen
Duration: 1 week
ECTS credits: 1.5
Fee:          see tuition fees (includes reduced fees for PhD students)
Location: VU Amsterdam (if there are no restrictions for on-site learning)

The course requires a minimum of 10 participants. In case this number is not achieved, the course will be postponed to the next edition.
For general inquiries please contact the PET Office

To apply please proceed to course registration and for questions please contact the PET Office

Last updated: 29-Mar-22