YEI-60312 Research Master Cluster: Proposal Writing


Credits 12.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper8
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. WKP van Loon
Lecturer(s)dr. JA Dijksman
prof. dr. JH Bitter
ir. CF Heijmans
drs. FL Roschar
dr. CF Barrett
prof. dr. ir. HHM Rijnaarts
dr. NB Sutton
ing. MMC Gulickx
ir. IJE Vleghels
Examiner(s)dr. ir. WKP van Loon
prof. dr. T Bisseling
prof. dr. ir. J van der Gucht
prof. dr. AAM Holtslag
prof. dr. J van der Oost
prof. dr. ir. CGPH Schroën
prof. dr. ir. G Spaargaren

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

The student has to finish the written version of the MSc thesis before starting the Research Master cluster. Further requirements are: 1- a motivation letter; 2- the coach for writing the PhD proposal organised by the student; 3- confirmation by the coach to supervise the writing process; 4- approval of the study advisor; 5- information literacy, computer literacy and presentation skills; 6- English verbal and writing skills on a level that allows self-reflection, feedback and independent functioning in the feedback network.
The requirements 1-4 need to be uploaded: Deadlines for the upload are: 12th September for period 2; 28th October for combined period 3-4; 13th January for period 5; and 16th March for period 6.


The requirements 1-4 need to be uploaded: Deadlines for the upload are: 12th September for period 2; 28th October for combined period 3-4; 13th January for period 5; and 16th March for period 6.
The course Research Master Proposal Writing specifically aims to acquire and improve students professional skills in writing and defending a scientific research proposal. The approach is to conceive a realistic scientific idea and develop this idea into an attractive grant proposal of high quality that can be defended before a jury of experts and peers. Aside from the actual writing, presenting and defending, supporting skills will be taught, aimed at improving students abilities to perform this task. This includes tracking down governmental, public, private and industry funds for research (e.g. EU, KNAW, NWO, company-based R&D). Reflection on personal and other students performances is an integral part of the process.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- apply academic knowledge and skills to design a research project in the context of the Wageningen Life Sciences domain;
- define and describe the methodological aspects of the chosen approach in the research project;
- collect relevant information in their scientific field, identify existing gaps in knowledge and translate them into research objectives;
- track down public and private research funds;
- design, write, present and defend a PhD grant proposal;
- build and maintain a network in science;
- reflect upon the scientific merits of research proposals;
- reflect upon their functioning in the process of proposal writing and participation in the feedback networks.


Students will write their individual proposals under supervision of a senior scientist who is a member of one of the Graduate Schools within Wageningen University. First a multidisciplinary group of 12-20 international students will get training in tracing public and private research funds, writing a grant proposal, including popular summary, rebuttal letter, etc. Intermediate products will be presented and evaluated in the group, which will act as a scientific community. In the group oral presentations, personal reflection, and peer reviews will take place.


The assessment consist of three parts:
- writing process by the personal coach (40%);
- written PhD proposal by the scientific team (40%);
- oral presentation by the scientific team (20%).

Restricted Optional for: MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMSc2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD, 6WD
MBIBiologyMSc2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD, 6WD
MEEEarth and EnvironmentMSc2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD, 6WD
MLPLandscape Architecture and PlanningMSc6WD
MMLMolecular Life SciencesMSc2WD, 3WD, 4WD, 5WD, 6WD
MPSPlant SciencesMSc2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD, 6WD
MPBPlant BiotechnologyMSc2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD, 6WD
MNHNutrition and HealthMSc2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD, 6WD
MBFBioinformaticsMSc2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD, 6WD
MIDInternational Development StudiesMSc2WD, 3WD+4WD, 5WD, 6WD