YML-31304 Frontiers In Molecular Life Sciences


Credits 4.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work14
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. WKP van Loon
dr. KJ van 't Klooster
RB Karlova
Lecturer(s)dr. KJ van 't Klooster
RB Karlova
Examiner(s)RB Karlova
prof.dr. CS Testerink

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Advanced level in Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Continuation courses:

Specialisation Courses of the MSc Molecular Life Sciences


Understanding and interpreting scientific literature is essential but often requires extensive prior, common knowledge. For MLS students prior knowledge can be quite diverse. To expose the students to the most recent research activities at WUR various molecular topics will be presented in a 3- half days start-symposium. These lectures will allow the MLS students to interact with top scientist in different molecular life science fields. Interdisciplinary research enhances scientific insights, but often the potential for interactions between research fields is not realized.  This course aims to help students making such a choice by writing a paper based on an assigned research theme. The paper should include prior common knowledge, state of the art and possible broad implications. The paper is a group effort but with clear indication of each individuals contribution. Foremost the paper must be of high scientific standing, and it can take the form of an opinion paper (report). Presentations of the paper take the form of an oral presentation  at an End-Symposium organized by the students together with the course coordinator.

The structure of the course is to have an introductory lecture where the various topics, are introduced. Groups of max 6 students can be formed based on scientific interest, diversity in prior knowledge, skill level. More than one group per topic is possible. After three weeks the initial outline of the thesis is introduced. After six weeks there is an end symposium where all final oral presentation are included.

Responsibility for the scientific level resides with each group students and their advisor (coach). Supporting activities can be in the form of interviewing experts, invited speakers, lectures on communication, short excursions. They need to be coordinated between groups using assigned Brightspace facilities.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- analyse scientific literature and identify components of individual disciplines;
- write in-depth summary about scientific literature;
- recognize and deal with problems related to shared responsibilities in group work;
- choose a research field of interest and adapt assigned tasks accordingly;
- evaluate and give feedback in writing and verbally on interdisciplinary research topics;
- give a clear and scientific oral presentation.


- start meeting: presentation and discussion of topics. 
- start symposium 3 half days of lectures on 'state of the art' in different molecular disciplines;
- group sessions discussing individual contributions and structure of the paper after each symposium in the afternoon;
- feedback sessions on report progress and presentations;
- one day final symposium (scientific program, recruiting audience, moderators, catering etc.).


The paper is reviewed by the students from different groups and the participating coaches for scientific soundness and clarity in writing (80%). The final presentations (20%) are reviewed from all the coaches during the End-symposium.

Compulsory for: MMLMolecular Life SciencesMSc1WD