NEM-20306 Research Methodology in Plant Sciences


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper
Group work8
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. A Goverse
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. HGJ Gremmen
dr. ir. A Goverse
Examiner(s)prof. dr. HGJ Gremmen
dr. ir. A Goverse

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BSc1 and BSc2 courses Plant Sciences (BPW).

Continuation courses:

BSc3 courses Plant Sciences (BPW), including BSc Thesis Plant Science (YPS-82318).


To integrate disciplinary knowledge and technical and academic skills obtained in the compulsory and restricted optional courses of the BSc2 Plant Sciences, a small project will be done at a Plant Sciences chair group in which a full research proposal has to be defined. The project includes literature study, defining a research question and an outline for practical work, data analysis and interpretation. It is concluded by writing a paper on the proposal.
Additional subjects in this course are:
- reflection on various scientific approaches and research methodologies in the field of plant sciences and on normative values for science;
- self assessment of study progress as well as knowledge and skills obtained in the BSc2 to make relevant choices for the final year of the BSc, and to orientate on career perspectives.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize and reflect on different scientific approaches in experimental research;
- apply integrated disciplinary knowledge, technical and academic skills to:
1) formulate a research objective, 2) to formulate a hypothesis, 3) to design an experiment, including a project planning within one of the disciplines in Plant Sciences, 4) to execute the research project, 5) to analyse the data and 6) to reflect on the data obtained, 7) to write a scientific discussion and 8) to report on the results obtained in the project.
- write a project proposal for experimental research;
- write a scientific paper on the project results;
- present the research plans and results obtained in the project (ppt);
- reflect on study progress and make argued choices for study planning and career perspectives.


- lectures;
- practical and project work presentation;
- preparing research proposal and a paper.


The final grade is based on:
- a written duo research proposal (50%);
- a written duo report (50%) in the form of a scientific paper.
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Study guide.
Reader: Experimental Design for the Life Sciences. 2nd ed. Ruxton and Colegrave. Oxford University Press.

Compulsory for: BPWPlant SciencesBSc6MO