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Top Lectures in MCB

Vak 2013-2014

Admission requirements

The course is open to Biology master students with sufficient BSc level training (more than 1st year) in Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

Contact information

Coordinator: Dr. Remko Offringa


Top Lectures will be based on a selection of lectures by invited experts in the field that should be understandable for MSc students and IBL staff. An important aspect of the course will be to learn to critically evaluate scientific data, and the hypotheses/models derived from these data.
The speakers actively participate in the teaching part. The participants of this course have to thoroughly prepare for each lecture, as they are expected to actively engage in the scientific discussion.

Learning goals

Course objectives:
To stimulate the scientific environment for students and IBL staff, by organizing lectures by specialists in the field that are accessible to MSc students and IBL staff. To practice active participation in scientific discussions, and to stimulate interaction with TOP SPEAKERS. One important aspect is to learn how to approach research when studying a specific biological process, using state-of-the-art methods. Also students are trained to critically evaluate published data.

Final qualifications:
A more advanced MSc student with a broad theoretical background on a range of research topics that is able to comprehend and summarize lectures by specialists.


We aim to organize one lecture per month in at times to be announced.
The final date, time and place of each lectures will be announced in the Sylvius building, on Blackboard and at websites (e.g. IBL, Sciences)

Total number of contact hours

Total contact hours 26 hours: Top Lectures 6 hours, Discussion with speaker 12 hours, Final symposium 8 hours

Mode of instruction

The course will be a combined seminar/caput format consisting of 6 Top Lectures and a final symposium. Students will prepare themselves on the topic of each Top Lecture by reading a review and two selected scientific papers (provided by the speaker). Based on these articles each of the course participants will formulate two questions that critically evaluate the existing models and hypotheses in the field. The questions will be submitted to Blackboard, and a selection of these questions will be discussed with the invited speaker. Before or after this discussion (same or next day) the invited expert will give a Top Lecture and students are expected to give comments and ask critical questions. The course will be finalized by a final symposium, for which each participant will select and discuss a recent scientific publication on a research topic presented by one of the invited speakers.

Assessment method

The evaluation will be based on the research questions, the participation in the discussion, and the presentation during the final symposium: 0.5 EC per Top Lecture.


The program of the Top Lecture series, research articles corresponding to each Top Lecture, and other communications will be presented on Blackboard. A drop box will be generated to upload the research questions for each Top Lecture.

Reading list

Each invited speakers will provide 2 research papers and a review that will be placed on Blackboard for the students to read in preparation of the Top Lecture.


Registration in Usis and enroll on Blackboard

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


The Top Lectures will be announced in the Sylvius building, on Blackboard and at websites (e.g. IBL, Sciences).