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Modern Astronomical Research


Admission requirements



An introductory course on modern research. The students learn what it means to be a researcher in astronomy. In particular what it takes to come up with challenging questions, where to start searching for an answer and why those answers are not accessible at Wikipedia. In addition, we will discuss the career paths and daily activities of astronomical researchers, how they communicate their research to other scientists and the general public, and how they prepare and give talks to other scientific researchers. The course covers how to carry out literature searches (using ADS and astro-ph), how to read and understand scientific papers, through to preparing and presenting a talk to the rest of the class.

Course objectives

The student will gain an understanding of how modern research in astrophysics is conducted by professionals. He/she will learn the way scientific questions are posed and addressed and how results are shared.


See BSc schedules.

Mode of instruction

Lecturers and presentations by students.

Assessment method

The final grade consists of two homework assignments (2/3) and a presentation of a scientific paper to the class (1/3).
The retake exam consists of an additional homework assignment. Each additional assignment can count for 1/3 of the score.



Reading list



Via uSis
More information about signing up for your classes at the Faculty of Science can be found here.
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Lecturers: Prof.dr. S.F. (Simon) Portegies Zwart
Assistants: Lieke van Son, Michelle Willebrands

A website will be available shortly before the start of the course.