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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


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.

Course Objectives

After completion of the course, students are able to:  
1. Collect and evaluate scientific literature and apply knowledge from other minor courses to identify a possible biotechnological solution to a given problem, and design a research project to investigate this solution. 
2. Formulate a research aim and objectives for this project, and design and plan scientific experiments to reach them. 
3. Write and structure a research proposal, including an abstract, introduction, and three separate work packages which include sections on expected results, feasibility and planning. 
4. Create scientific visuals to summarize research concepts and the design of experimental work. 
5. Write an invention disclosure form based on an innovative idea.
6. Apply basic entrepreneurial skills that are needed to generate a start-up. 
7. Organize teamwork and identify individual roles in a collaboration between peers. 


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.

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

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

Reading list

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


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 how to apply.


Coordinator: Prof. Dr. D. Claessen


Brightspace will be used for communication and exchange of documents