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Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life


Admission requirements

The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the Minor Biotechnology and those that are participating in the Molecular Design course.


This practical course will provide the students with a unique opportunity to propose, plan, manage and perform a research project to try to tackle an important societal of environmental problem, which can possibly be solved by modern biotechnology. Working in teams the students use their knowledge, skills and creativity to design and build biological systems of their choice. Such biological systems can be used, for instance, to reduce environmental pollution, to provide an easy detection for diseases, to make environmental-friendly coatings, or to make (new) biofuels. Apart from the feasibility of executing the project, ideas are only limited by the creativity of the teams. By the end of the course, the teams will present their ideas and results in a mini-symposium.

Course objectives

Learn to translate a research proposal into experiments, manage the experimental approach, modify the original proposal along the way (if needed), written and oral presentation of the experimental data.


Week 1-3: Experimental work
Week 4:Finalizing experiments
Week 4: preparation of the oral presentation
Week 4: mini symposium

A detailed schedule will be provided on Blackboard before the start of the course.

Mode of instruction

Practical course

Assessment method

Evaluation of reports and presentations


Blackboard will be used for communication and exchange of documents

Reading list

Relevant literature for the proposal written during “ Research Design: from Innovative Idea to Research Proposal”.


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

Contact information

Course coordinator: Dr Dennis Claessen