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Biotechnology Science Projects and Entrepreneurship


Admission requirements

The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the minor Molecular Biotechnology

Contact information

Coordinator: Prof. Dr. D. Claessen


Many societal and environmental problems can be solved by modern biotechnology approaches. In this course, which runs as project weeks throughout the entire minor, students work in small teams on a biotechnology-oriented research topic, whereby knowledge obtained in the different minor courses is applied in writing a coherent and exciting research proposal. As part of this process, student groups will present their progress in short pitches aimed at providing and receiving constructive feedback. As part of this course, (legal) aspects of patenting and how to start a business based on the proposed ideas are taught via an entrepreneurship module organized by PLNT, in which students will also learn how to give an elevator pitch to sell a business idea. Taken together, this course trains students in problem-based learning and helps them to develop skills to become future leaders in the field of biotechnology.

Learning goals

Course objectives:
Students will be able to translate scientific information into a written research proposal and to realistically plan and design experiments. Because students collaborate during this course in small groups, they will learn how to plan, divide and manage the different tasks of the group and to reflect on their own role in a team. Students will also learn to give constructive feedback to ideas of other students and receive and process feedback from others and give a solid scientific presentation. Students will be taught aspects of entrepreneurship and learn how to give an elevator pitch to sell their ideas.

Final qualifications:

  • Grant writing skills

  • Creative thinking (problem-based learning)

  • Collaboration skills

  • Planning, and executing scientific research (experimental design)

  • Project management

  • Experience in working in teams (project planning and management)

  • Starting experience in entrepreneurship and patenting


From 5 September 2022 to 3 February 2023.
Project Weeks 1-4: reading literature, discussing research plan with supervisor, and writing introduction and work packages 1-3.
Week 5-8: Finishing research proposal, providing peer feedback, prepare and give a grant panel presentation, basic introduction to entrepreneurship and patenting (in collaboration with PLNT). A detailed schedule will be provided on Brightspace before the start of the minor.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, written reports, presentations

Assessment method

Evaluation of the proposal, peer review report, rebuttal, and proposal. Please note that students will work in small groups, and that consequently marks will be given based on the performance of the entire group.
The final grade consists of the following partial grades:

  • Proposal: percentage of final grade 80%, minimum grade: 6,0

  • Final presentation: percentage of final grade 10%, minimum grade: 6,0

  • Patenting exercises: percentage of final grade 10%, minimum grade: 6,0

  • Entrepreneurship Program: pass/fail


Brightspace will be used for communication and exchange of documents

Reading list

Available course material will be provided by the teachers, at least in part, via Brightspace


Register for this course via Usis

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.