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IFMSA International Student Research Project



The International Federation of Medical Students’s Associations in Leiden (briefly: IFMSA) offers lab projects in basic (biomedical) science abroad (please see their website ). Such an IFMSA lab orientation can be included as an elective component in your bachelor’s programme and be awarded with credits, but only in the extended and formally assessed version described below.

The IFMSA International Lab Orientation (‘BW-version’) consists of two major components:

  1. Literature review
    a. In preparation to your stay abroad you are requested to write a literature review on a subject related tot your upcoming lab orientation. A review provides a comprehensive summary of that field. It should demonstrate that you have knowledge of the relevant research done in the field.
    1. International Lab Orientation
      a. A 4 to 8 weeks-laboratory project abroad. Contents depends on the chosen subject/project.

Course objectives

During the lab orientation, the student becomes acquainted with participating in scientific research in an international environment. The student conducts basic research on an individual basis to find answers to research questions and gain insight into a specific field of study.
After writing the literature review and conducting the lab orientation the student has:

  • orientated on the subject area and demonstrated understanding of this subject area;

  • identified 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;

  • critical engagement with the subject – through own conclusions/ interpretations;

  • orientated on cultural and professional aspects of working in a research environment abroad.

Mode of instruction

  • Writing of literature review (CiS-supervised)

  • Supervised individual lab project abroad, including maintenance of a lab report

Assessment method

Assessment is based on the combination of the literature review (written before departure), a report of the lab orientation itself, and your lab journal of the project.


Please take note of the following basic procedures in the following order. For more detailed information on these preparatory procedures, please contact your study advisor (Bianca Hogers) or the BW-3 student research project co-ordinator (Kees Tensen).

  1. When applying for a project of your choice with IFMSA, send an email/cc. to Kees Tensen;
    1. Notify Kees Tensen immediately after IFMSA’s approval of your project application;
    2. Arrange an internal LUMC supervisor with relevance to the subject of your chosen project;
    3. Ask permission for the project with the examining board;
    4. Write and finish a literature review under supervision of CiS and your internal supervisor;
    5. Arrange everything else necessary for a training period abroad (including signing a Verklaring studie en stage in het buitenland).
    6. Conduct your project abroad;
    7. Write a final report on the project, based on your literature review;
    8. Have your final report assessed by the internal supervisor and CiS.

N.B. Regardless of the length of the project (min 4 weeks, max. 8 weeks) 8 EC will be rewarded, of which 2 are related to the literature review.