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Scientific Review


Admission requirements

Mandatory Master courses, Junior Research Project 1 and 2.


A scientific review is an academic paper that provides a critique of relevant literature published on your field of investigation. Although a review uses no new data, it still provides an academic contribution through the interpretations made and the conclusions drawn. A good review provides a comprehensive summary of that field (comprehensive but not exhaustive- it should not become a textbook chapter). It demonstrates knowledge of and insight into relevant research done in the field. As well as describing research done, the review also provides a critique- a discussion of relevant debates, contradictory results, and disputed theoretical approaches. The review should identify key and innovative research and, where relevant, weaknesses in studies. The review should, in a well argued and substantiated manner, include the writer’s own evaluation, interpretation and conclusions.

Course objectives

The student has:

  • written a well-structured paper, suitable for publication in a scientific journal;

  • communicated ideas in a logical, well argued manner;

  • demonstrated understanding of and insight into the subject area;

  • identified and cited key contributors to the field;

  • recognized the current state of research in the field (frontier of science);

  • identified major debates e.g. conflicting theories/ contradictory findings;

  • demonstrated critical engagement with the subject through presenting own opinion/ interpretation using well-substantiated argumentation

Mode of instruction

Independent writing of a review with guidance and corrections by the scientific supervisor(s) and by Communication in Science tutors.

Assessment method

90% of the grade is determined by the content (JRP) supervisor and independent reviewer, and 10% by CIS.


  • For students in the de Research specialization this literature review (mandatory part of their master’s programme) should provide a critical discussion on the subject surrounding the research of JRP-II.

  • For students in other biomedical specializations this literature review may be included as an elective course and should preferably be linked to the subject surrounding JRP-I (or JRP-II)

  • Students in the Research specialization that have started their JRP2 before august 2012 are allowed to choose between writing a Master Thesis or writing a Scientific Review. They have to inform the examining board of their choice at least 6 weeks before the end date of their internship. When they choose writing a Scientific Review they have to send the subject of their Scientific Review for approval (see Blackboard for further information).