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Cases from research practice


Admission requirements

This course is open to all students that have been admitted to the minor ‘Quantitative Biology’.


This course is a weekly seminar in which the students are introduced to the research practice of Quantitative Biology. There are guest lectures by invited speakers who have integrated this approach into their research. They will discuss the way in which their research practice benefitted from the integrated Quantitative Biology approach, in particular how it has accelerated their research or broadened the insights gained. Both the mathematical and experimental perspective will be addressed. Students will study selected cases from the literature themselves and present and discuss their findings in plenary sessions in the seminar. At the end of the seminar the students write a short essay in which they briefly describe, evaluate and discuss each of the cases presented by the invited speakers.

Course objectives

The students gain insight and appreciation for the integrated approach of Quantitative Biology, and its limitations, in general. They will be inspired how a Quantitative Biology approach can be beneficial to their own research interests and approach. By studying and discussing the cases the students increase their biological and mathematical knowledge and communication skills in an interdisciplinary setting.

Final qualifications:

  • Obtained overview of cases in which a Quantitative Biology approach has been applied.

  • Increased knowledge in biology and dynamic mathematical modeling, by example.

  • Increased scientific communication and discussion skills in interdisciplinary setting.

  • Basic skills acquired in reading, evaluating, presenting and discussing papers with mixed mathematical-biological content.


The time table is provisional and provided times are indicative. A detailed final schedule will become available before the start of the minor. It is foreseen that the course runs from week 3 until week 12 of the semester, except for week 5 and 10, when exams are planned for other courses in the minor.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Seminar with lecture by invited speaker, presentation(s) by students and discussion. Students need to read selected papers.

Assessment method

The final grade is a 'Pass' or 'Fail', based upon the student's (obligatory) participation in the lectures, presentations and discussions that consistute the course. Please contact the lecturer well in advance when you cannot attend a meeting. A retake is oral, over a selection of research papers

Reading list

A selection of papers will be provided for reading by participants. Invited speakers may provide additional literature.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information. Exemptions are minor students and fall semester for 1st year bachelor students: the student administration will enroll these groups for courses.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.

Exchange and Study Abroad students: please see the Prospective students website for information on the application procedure.


Course coordinator: Prof. Dr. B. van Duijn



Brightspace will be used for communication and provision of course material.