YML-31304 Frontiers In Molecular Life Sciences


Credits 4.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work14
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. WKP van Loon
dr. ir. AR van der Krol
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. AR van der Krol
Examiner(s)dr. ir. AR van der Krol

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Advanced level in Physics, Chemistry and Biology

Continuation courses:

Specialisation Courses of the MSc Molecular Life Sciences


Interdisciplinary research enhances scientific insights, but often the potential for interactions between research fields is not realized. The background of MLS students is ideal to bridge the gap and exploit synergistic interactions between molecular disciplines. This course aims at challenging the student to recognize and exploit the potential relationship between different molecular topics and an assigned central research theme (human health, plant health, production). Various molecular topics will be presented in a 2-day start-symposium. These lectures form the basis for finding links with the given theme, some of which will be selected for presentation at an End-Symposium. Each student writes a report on a link between one of the start-lectures and the assigned theme and prepares for an end-symposium presentation. In teams and groups students schedule and provide feedback on the links, individual reports and preparations for the end-symposium. The course includes lectures on communicating your findings to a wider audience. Communication plays an increasingly important role in the lives of scientists. Moreover, interactions with peers, citizens and collaborators increasingly run via new media, such as Twitter, videos, podcasts and TED-Talks. Presentations for the end symposium are thoroughly rehearsed and evaluated by peer feedback to select best presentations for the end-symposium. Students get the responsibility to organise all aspects of the end-symposium  (programme, invitations, advertisement, session moderators, catering etc).

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- analyse opportunities and identify key requirements for successful inter-disciplinary research;
- analyse potential connections between specializations in MSc MLS;
- recognize and deal with problems related to shared responsibilities (e.g. feedback on reports, assigning tasks, build well-structured end-symposium together);
- accomplish tasks including determination of links, execution of various team functions, defence of points of view and conclusions, assess the contribution of other team members;
- evaluate and give feedback in writing and verbally on interdisciplinary research topics;
- give a clear and scientific oral presentation;
- apply different communication technologies effectively in various settings and  contexts.


- start symposium: 2 days of lectures on 'state of the art' in different molecular disciplines. 
NOTE: some of the lectures at Start-Symposium are also part of PCC-33808 From Molecule to Designer Materials.
- group sessions discussing links. Feedback sessions on report progress, link-pitches and end-symposium presentations;
- organising one day end-symposium (scientific program, recruiting audience, moderators, catering etc).


- -reflection report on shared responsibilities in group/team work (evaluation by coach go/no go);
- 80%: Report on Link (evaluation by coach 60%; evaluation by peers 40%);
- 20%; Feedback on pitches and presentations (evaluation coach 80%; evaluation peers 20%).

Compulsory for: MMLMolecular Life SciencesMSc1WD