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Introductory Research Project (Bioinformatics)


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


A research project deals with research and innovation. It is not as extensive as a Master's thesis research project, but it serves as a good introduction to managing and conducting scientific research.
The research project is open to students following the Bioinformatics specialisation, under the supervision of a research staff member at LIACS. Research can be conducted at Leiden University, or as part of an internship at another institution or company.
Research projects are typically scientific projects which are smaller in scope than a thesis, but they could also involve extending and improving an algorithm, conducting systematic tests and comparisons between methods, or writing a survey article covering the latest developments in a field. Topics can be proposed by students or staff, but the research project can only begin after the research project has been approved by the study advisor and/or the Board of Bioinformatics.

Course objectives

By means of a research project, the student learns to:

  • study and understand scientific literature reflecting the latest developments in a specific field of research,

  • make an independent analysis of scientific problems,

  • interrelate and integrate various areas of a specific field of research,

  • write a scientific report/article about the results of his/her analysis of a particular field of research or topic of interest in that field, and

  • propose modifications to existing methods or algorithms, or put forward their own research ideas based on the results of their analyses.


The most recent timetable can be found at the Computer Science (MSc) student website.

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

  • Weekly/bi-weekly supervision by a LIACS staff member and/or others from the associated research group

  • Writing a scientific essay/project report.

Course Load

Hours of Study 18 EC project: 504
Practical work/Research: 384
Report writing: 120

Hours of study 15 EC project: 420
Practical work/Research: 300
Report writing: 120

Hourse of study 12 EC project: 336
Practical work/Research: 216
Report writing: 120

Assessment method

The final mark is determined by the assessment of the scientific essay/project report.

Reading list

Not applicable. Students will read scientific literature on the topic of study.


The introductory research project should only be conducted upon agreement with the study advisor and after a topic and supervisor have been determined.


Study advisor Bioinformatics: Dr. Katy Wolstencroft


The research project is typically undertaken in semester 3/Fall semester of the second year.