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Research Design: from Innovative Idea to Research Proposal


Admission requirements

This course is the theoretical preparation for the practical course Molecular Design: Biotechnology-oriented engineering of life. The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the Minor Biotechnology and those that are participating in the Molecular Design course.


Reading and critically evaluating scientific literature forms the basis for inspiring and innovative ideas, and are one of the key activities of an active scientist. The first part of this course provides students with general knowledge and skills to find, interpret, and keep track of the most relevant literature. A series of lectures will deal with the different types of publications, which altogether form the overwhelming source from which information can nowadays be gathered. To gain practical experience in using scientific literature, the students will choose a subject related to the field of biotechnology and write a concise research proposal for an innovative (and tractable) idea, which will form the (theoretical) basis for the practical course Molecular Design – Biotechnology-oriented Engineering of Life.

Course objectives

Students will become acquainted with scientific literature and writing a research proposal and a subsequent research plan, which will together form the theoretical framework for the practical course Molecular Design.


Week 1: lectures (reading and finding scientific literature)
Week 1-3: writing a research proposal
Week 3: lectures (instructions for designing experimental setup)
Week 3/4: research design (experimental outline of proposal)
Week 4: project presentations

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

Mode of instruction

Lectures, written reports, presentations

Assessment method

Evaluation of reports and presentations


Blackboard will be used for communication and exchange of documents

Reading list

Course material will be provided by the teachers, at least in part via Blackboard


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

Contact information

Course coordinator: Dr Dennis Claessen