Life Sciences Academy
The Life Sciences Academy (BMB509718, GSLS-ACAD) is a compulsory 3-part module of 1.5 EC in total. This module is a combination of courses, workshops, seminars, and career events designed to cover all aspects of academic education and to acquaint you with a wide range of life sciences-related topics. Moreover, special focus is put on giving a comprehensive overview of the different choices you can make, both in terms of study components and personal development opportunities, but also to prepare you for your upcoming entry into the job market.
The Life Sciences Academy consists of 3 parts:
- Part A: Introducing Life Sciences
- Part B: Navigation Towards Personal Excellence
- Part C: Broadening Life Sciences (seminars and career events)
Credits for this module are obtained when all requirements for part A, B and C have been met.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the end of the Life Sciences Academy course, the student:
Part A: Introducing Life Sciences
- is familiar with the organisation of the Graduate School of Life Sciences;
- is capable of consciously choosing between all options offered by the Graduate School (projects, profiles, courses, and electives);
- has knowledge about professional attitude, personal development, and scientific integrity;
- has a detailed view on their future as MSc;
- is introduced into the Utrecht Life Sciences community;
- has made a flying start in building their Life Sciences network.
Part B: Navigation Towards Personal Excellence (NTPE)
- is able to reflect on their own development and study career;
- is able to reflect on their current qualities and skills and gain insight in those that need further development during their MSc;
- is able to compose a study plan and make appropriate choices for their future resume;
- is able to prepare their career path and envision future perspectives.
Part C: Broadening Life Sciences
- is acquainted with recent scientific developments in the field of Life Sciences other than their own MSc Programme;
- is familiar with the multi-disciplinary field of life sciences and network with peers;
- has an interdisciplinary scientific view;
- is familiar with different career perspectives within the field of Life Sciences;
- is able to write a self-reflection about scientific seminars, ethics, and soft skills that contribute to their personal study and career success.
Introducing Life Sciences (ILS) takes place in the first week of the academic year* and covers all aspects of academic education, including science integrity and career development. During this week there will also be time to get to know each other and the school’s staff. Participation during the ILS is mandatory. Please participate actively and register for attendance.
The ILS course of 2023 will take place from September 4th until September 8th, 2023.
* For students starting their studies in February, there is a single introduction day at the start of your studies (February 6th, 2023). You will follow the rest of the ILS the next September, participating is then mandatory from Tuesday September 5th until Friday September 8h 2022. Keep this time free in your agenda!
The programme will take place both in person on campus and online. The online modules are offered to you in the ULearning platform. You will receive an enrolment link to the platform by e-mail.
Are you a new international student or new at Utrecht University? Sign up for the Buddy Programme of the GSLS to get more acquainted with Utrecht (University). Participation is free of charge. Moreover, Utrecht University also organises an orientation for all international students (before this introduction week). You can find more information here.
More information? Listen to episode 16 of the Radio Life Sciences podcast! Curious to what an ILS usually looks like? See below for last year's programme!
Programme ILS 2023
The opening of the ILS on Monday the 4th of September takes place in Kinepolis Jaarbeurs Utrecht, all other live events are scheduled on the Utrecht Science Park.
Navigation Towards Personal Excellence (NTPE) expands on the information about alumni profiles, valorisation, and experiences during the ILS with 3 workshops and reflection days and is organised separately by each individual Master's programme (with questions about planning, approach your Master's coordinator).
Participation is mandatory, and the Master's coordinator will monitor attendance.
Workshop 1: Study Crafting
The first workshop focuses on the choices within the first year (specific study components and choices for your personal development).
- For students starting in September: within the first 4 months of your studies.
- For students beginning in February: within the first two months of your studies.
Workshop 2: Envisioning Your Future
The second workshop focuses on the choices in the second year and aims to raise awareness of the demands of the job market. In this workshop, alumni of your program are invited to share their experiences with you.
When: towards the end of year 1 (~June).
Workshop 3: Off You Go!
The final workshop covers the demands of your future employers and gives you insights into the job application process. You will discuss these items through a webinar, so you can join your community from wherever you might be.
When: the 2nd half of study year 2 (~May).
Broadening Life Sciences consists of two separate modules: the Life Sciences Seminars and the Career Events. Following the seminars and career events will help you gain a broader perspective on Life Sciences - and help you understand where you want to go with your career. At the end of your Master's you will write a self-reflection in which you reflect on what you learned, what inspired you, and how you will use this in further steps in your career or personal competencies.
Life Sciences Seminars
The GSLS organises 10 Life Sciences seminars per academic year. Out of these 10 seminars, 5 are related to specific Master's programmes, and 5 will be on a broader topic.
- The 5 Master's programme-related seminars are given by prestigious, international scientists presenting their cutting-edge research on topics that span across a wide range of life sciences fields. Attending these seminars gives you an overview of the various research possibilities and enables you to place your own research in the general context of this broad field.
- The 5 broad-topic seminars focus on interdisciplinary subjects and soft skills that are valuable for professional development.
You are required to attend at least 7 seminars or more during your study. 5 seminars out of 7 must be organized by the GSLS, and 2 seminars can be followed elsewhere. You need the approval of your Master's coordinator for seminars outside the GSLS.
Student attendance during each LS seminar is registered - you will get a confirmation e-mail of your registration. Please keep these e-mails carefully to find which seminars you have attended. It is also advised to take notes during the seminars for your self-reflection report.
All Life Sciences Seminars start at 4 pm and usually take place on the third Thursday of the month unless stated otherwise. You can find the schedule of upcoming Life Sciences Seminars here.
Life Sciences Career Events
You have to follow at least 2 career events during your programme. These can be organized by the GSLS, but there are also options to do this within the UU. The GSLS organizes monthly (online) career webinars and at least one live event yearly.
During the monthly online career events, (young) alumni who work in different jobs at different organizations will tell you more about their work. This webinar will start with a short introduction, after which two alumni will give a presentation about their careers and their choices. These career events will take place on Thursdays from 4 pm to 5 pm.
Completion of part C Broadening Life Sciences
To pass part C, you need to submit:
- An overview (track-list) of 7 attended seminars and 2 attended career events.
- A self-reflection document (max 3 A4 pages) about the knowledge you obtained during the seminars and career events overall. The self-reflection will be evaluated by the Master's coordinator (or track coordinator for Neuroscience and Cognition students) with a pass/fail.
- The self-reflection assignment can be found here and on the Life Sciences Academy ULearning environment or, for students who started before September 2022, on the Life Sciences Academy Blackboard community.
Did you start your studies before September 2021?
The career events are not compulsory for you. For completion of Part C you only need to follow the Life Sciences Seminars and hand in the reflection report based on that. However, we do highly recommend you to explore the career events and including them in your reflection report as well!