ABG-52806 Breeding Lab


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work7
Excursion (multiple days)32
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. J Komen
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. J Komen
ir. DE Lont
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. J Komen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

ABG-20306 Animal Breeding and Genetics

English and verbal/writing skills should be at a level that allows self-reflection and feedback, and full independent functioning in a student team.

Continuation courses:

ABG-31306 Genetic Improvement of Livestock, MSc thesis Animal Breeding and Genetics


The aim of this course is to prepare students for a professional career in the animal breeding industry. This is achieved by letting students work on an assignment provided by the commissioner, where the emphasis is on working in teams and experiencing, learning and acquiring the professional skills and competences that are needed to successfully operate in an international, multidisciplinary team.
The course is scheduled as a combination of a “group internship” at a given organisation and a set of skills training exercises. Groups of students will do an assignment with a organisation. This assignment should comply with the following criteria: commissioned assignment, authentic case, certain level of complexity reflecting various interests and stakeholders at an academic master level. An example could be the decision making process in R&D, using a “cold case” as an assignment. Students are asked to re-open a cold case, i.e. an idea or request for R&D that was explored but never led to a financially viable proposition (marketable product). Students will go through the decision making process and develop the case to see if it can lead to value creation: a financially viable activity or marketable product. Their proposition will be presented in the final week of the course before the company directors, who will evaluate the proposition and present the students with their assessment.
An important part of the course is devoted to understanding, describing and reflecting on the competences that are needed to successfully operate in a professional environment: sensitive to management structures and governance, personal communication skills, collaboration and personal effectiveness when working in groups, dealing with setbacks, disappointments and feedback.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- contribute at an academic level to the execution of an interdisciplinary project, both in terms of process and content, related to their own disciplinary background, by gathering, selecting and analysing information and integrating this into a viable R&D proposition, aimed at value creation;
- discuss and defend their viewpoints and conclusions in a professional and academically correct way before representatives of the commissioner;
- implement reflective learning by an assessment of their personal functioning in and contribution to a professional team and discuss reflections and feedback in writing and during assessment interviews;
- demonstrate academic attitude and appropriate skills to execute the team project within the complex (inter)national collaborative environment of a professional organisation.
- reflect on the work culture of the organisation and understand the decision making process in a professional environment;
- describe the competences that are needed to be successful in a professional environment encountered during the assignment, and reflect on these in a self-evaluation.


The course is given in the first semester, starting in period 2 (several afternoons) plus 1-2 days/week in period 3 and 4. 
Elements of the course:
- short kills training modules (lectures + exercises) on:
1) working in groups: group decision making, working with teams, dealing with cultural differences, managing conflict. 
2) individual competences: core qualities, allergies, assertiveness and the art of giving feedback.
- group work on project
- weekly (half-day) visits to the company to meet and get acquainted with the commissioner and his/her team, their roles and functions and responsibilities in the R&D process, discuss progress on the project, present case. 


- graded final report;
- individual Grading through peer review by students;
- individual reflection report, that includes feedback from peer review.