Welcome to your new Master’s programme at the GSNS!

To ensure that you get off to a good start, the Graduate School of Natural Sciences (GSNS) organizes an Introduction Programme for all new graduate students on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 February 2022. Participation in these two days will grant you 0,5 EC. Please make sure you register when asked to!

On this webpage, you can find all the current information about the Introduction programme and the practical aspects. It will be updated regularly. If you still have any questions after reading the information here, you can contact us at intro-gsns@uu.nl.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we are not yet able to give any certainties about the location (online/on-campus) of the different parts of the Introduction programme. As soon as we know more, we will update the information here.

Information about the programme of the introduction

Introduction programme (overview)

Monday 7 February

09:00 - 12:30 Plenary session
14:00 - 16:30 1st programme specific session

Tuesday 8 February

09:00 - 11:00         2nd programme specific session
11:15 - 12:00 Information sessions (profiles and honours)
13:00 - 16:30 Workshops
Evening Pub quiz with student associations

09:00-09:30 How to get Started (For students who are new to Utrecht University)

With study advisor Yvonne Tromp and students Prerna Chaudhary and Cándido Otero Moreira

We start with a special session for all students who are new to Utrecht University. Study advisor Yvonne Tromp and two of the GSNS students will help you get started with the practical side of studying here. This session is not mandatory.

09:30-09:45 Break

09:45-10:00 Welcome by Prof. Toine Pieters, Chairman of our Board of Studies.

10:00-10:45 Alumni panel

Are you already curious what career possibilities lie beyond your master’s, and what choices you can make during your studies? During this session, we invite several alumni from different backgrounds to speak about their studies and careers. We invite you, the students, to ask them your own questions!

10:45-11:00 Word of Welcome from the Study Associations

Representatives from A-Eskwadraat and Proton will welcome you to the different Study Associations related to the Master’s programmes of our Graduate School, and explain how you can join them.

11:00-11:15 Break

11:15-12:00 Scientific Integrity

With Prof. Bert Theunissen en Dr. Hieke Huistra

After the break, Prof. Bert Theunissen and Dr. Hieke Huistra will present an interactive lecture about scientific integrity. What is scientific integrity about? To be sure, it is about fraud, plagiarism and fabrication of data. But these are not the most interesting aspects.

In daily practice, the ‘grey areas’ are of more importance, and also more interesting, because there are no straightforward rules how to deal with issues in this grey area. Bert Theunissen and Hieke Huistra will discuss several examples of such issues with you, as well as some strategies how to handle them.

12:00-12:30 Intercultural Awareness

With Dr. Rena Zendedel

We finish the morning with Dr. Rena Zendedel, who will lead a short interactive session on intercultural awareness.

After lunch, from 14:00, your programme coordinator(s) will spend the afternoon introducing you to your study programme during the 1st programme-specific session.

Right now, there is no practical information about the location of these sessions. Once there is, we will update the information on this page.

09:00–11:00 2nd programme-specific session

On Tuesday morning, you start with a follow-up session of your Master’s programme. For some programmes, you will be joined by one or two alumni. They will tell you about their study and career choices and answer any of your questions.

11:15–12:00 Information sessions (profiles and honours)

After the break, you can join one of the information sessions about our profiles and honours programme. The information below provides some information about each session. You can also find more information about Profiles and honours one the student website and in the Welcome Booklet.

Note: please check on uu.nl/students > your programme > Academics > Profiles which profiles you can choose from for your programme.

The Applied Data Science profile extends master students’ knowledge to address the challenges for decision making, planning, and knowledge discovery in large collections of diverse data. Within this profile you take a total of 30 ECs, including two compulsory courses in the areas of data science: Data analytics 1: Supervised learning and visualization (https://www.gerkovink.com/slv), and Data analytics 2: Battling the curse of dimensionality (https://uudav.nl/). For the other courses, you can choose elective courses offered by different faculties of Utrecht University. Finally, you can work on an interdisciplinary research project in your domain with the focus on applied data science. You can contact the coordinators of the Applied Data Science profile via the email address ads-profile@uu.nl for more information.

For more information about this profile, please visit https://students.uu.nl/en/science/education/gsns-profiles or watch the video below

The Complex Systems Profile is an interdisciplinary profile for ambitious students from different Graduate Schools. In this research field societal issues, such as a financial crisis, a sudden epidemic or climate change are studied from a quantitative modelling perspective. Students will get an understanding of the various models used in the complexity field and the behaviour (i.e. transitions, predictability) of these models.

For more information about this profile, please visit https://students.uu.nl/en/science/education/gsns-profiles

Science is a constant source of innovation, whether it is finding a science-based product while working at a large company or performing research in an incubator. The profile Science-based Entrepreneurship offers you the possibility to test your entrepreneurship gene by learning and working on scientific innovation in your field of study.

In addition to this information session, you can also participate in the workshop ‘Entrepreneurship for Science Students’ on Tuesday afternoon.

For more information about this profile, please visit https://students.uu.nl/en/science/education/gsns-profiles

These days researchers are increasingly called upon to engage with society, to share their results with a great variety of groups and to talk about work-related matters with citizens and interested parties. The Communication profile offers students the opportunity to focus on science communication and informal science education within the context of their own science research Master’s programme. Thus you will learn how to make all kinds of scientific knowledge accessible and useful for your target audiences.

For more information about this profile, please visit https://students.uu.nl/en/science/education/gsns-profiles or watch the video about the Communication Profile below.

Whatever your career is going to look like, presenting and working with and within groups, is almost certainly going to be an important part of it. Maybe you actually want to become a teacher in secondary education. In that case, a formal teacher training is mandatory.

But even if you do not see yourself as a teacher (yet), imagine what 30 EC teacher training would do for your group and presentation skills! The Educational Profile will give you this unique feature on your CV - and it will result in a formal degree in teaching as well.

For more information about this profile, please visit https://students.uu.nl/en/science/education/gsns-profiles

Modern Life Sciences research, faces the challenge to make biology a quantitative natural science. Therefore we have to integrate different scientific disciplines and foster collaborative projects between biologists, chemists, physicists, computer scientists and mathematicians.

The QBio Honours Programme is an educational programme for students in biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry and computer science, with a genuine interest in this interdisciplinary field. The aim of the programme is to train the next generation of scientists in Quantitative Biology.

For more information, please visit: https://tbb.bio.uu.nl/qbio/honours.html or watch the video about the QBio Honours Programme below.

After the lunch break, you will follow two workshops/interactive lectures:

13:00–14:30 Workshops Round 1

14:30–15:00 Break

15:00–12:00 Workshops Round 2

Please find an overview of all the workshops below. In late January, you will receive more information about signing up for the workshops.

Open science is becoming more and more important – but what does it mean for your research project? What are ways in which you can make your research more open, and why would you do so?

In this workshop, we will discuss the why, what and how of open science and introduce you to a number of open science practices (including preregistration, sharing code and data, open access publishing, open peer review and more). We will also discuss the barriers and motivations you may encounter, and the support available at Utrecht University.

Research Data Management (RDM) helps you to keep control over your data during your research and will save you time and stress!

This workshop covers all aspects of research data management: FAIR data, data collection, data documentation, data storage, data security, data selection, and data availability for reuse. Whether you produce terabytes of new data per week, or just dive into an existing dataset, preparing yourself helps a lot. This workshop will be given by one of the RDM consultants from RDM Support.

When you get started on a scientific project, understanding the state of the field is the first step. That means reading scientific literature, finding data and other sources, and storing these references in a way that will help you keep track of them easily. A good reference manager also is the basis for easy citation later on, when you will need to write a thesis that places your research in context, and cite your sources.

In this workshop, colleagues from the UU Library will guide you through this process: where do you find literature and data? How do you manage references? And how do you cite them correctly when writing a scientific paper or thesis? Join this workshop, and they will help you hit the road running!

Studying, socializing, working, doing sports… There’s so much to do, in so little time. What do you do, when you feel overwhelmed? The experience of stress is a familiar problem for a lot of students. The coping strategy someone choses, is not always a conscious choice.

In this workshop, together with study advisor Yo-Yi Pat, students will explore different aspects of stress. Also several coping strategies are discussed. The aim is to become aware of one’s preferred coping strategy and find out what other strategies may be useful.

Students are given an active role in the workshop. We hope to learn with each other and also from each other. After this workshop, you are one step closer to handling stress like a pro!

During this workshop, you will practice the following aspects of giving an engaging presentation:

  • Analysing the elements of a good presentation - organisation, body language, delivery, visuals, manner.
  • Discussing the structure of a presentation and providing tips on the opening & ending of a presentation.
  • Examining useful expressions for developing your Presenting language (signalling language and relevant vocabulary).

What does it mean when something is lekker or leuk? And will you manage to pronounce gezellig, the word that is at the heart of Dutch culture?

In this interactive workshop, volunteers of ESN Utrecht will introduce you to the basics of the Dutch language. Familiarize yourself with phrases used on a day-to-day basis and learn some essential vocabulary such as numbers and greetings. With your fellow students, you will practice the basics and get ready for your first conversation in Dutch.

Every semester ESN offers a basic level course of Dutch for your daily life. Next to that, an advanced course is available to build on prior knowledge you might already have. Take this opportunity to give Dutch a try!

LaTeX is a code language for typesetting documents, for example your thesis, scientific paper, or just hand-in. It produces professional looking documents and typesets mathematical expressions well, making it the standard (and often requirement) for academic documents.

This workshop requires no prior knowledge of LaTeX and will help you through the rough start which new users of LaTeX experience. We show you how to correctly format text and how to include mathematical expressions.

You need to have installed the necessary applications before the workshop. Alternatively, you can create an account on the commercial website overleaf.com. All information around the workshop (including installation instructions), can be found on our website a-eskwadraat.nl/latex.

This workshop is organized by the TeXniCie committee of the study association A-Eskwadraat. We facilitate LaTeX use for exact science studies, mainly by organizing courses.

Since your Master’s programme is the next step in the run-up to your career, this is a good moment to start or get serious about your LinkedIn profile.

During this workshop you will get to work on your own profile and receive feedback on it. Career officer Ellen Ruifrok/Sjoer Bergervoet will learn you how to build a strong profile and how to expand your network. The sooner you start working on this, the easier it will be to use LinkedIn when searching for a job after your Master’s programme. So make sure you have a LinkedIn profile, to get started right away!

Do you want to know how to make LinkedIn really work for you? In this workshop you will learn: how to make sure that recruiters/employers find you; how to write a good summary; how to use groups and company pages; how to find jobs; and how to build and maintain a good network. To participate, you need to already have a completed LinkedIn profile.

Do you consider going abroad as part of your Master’s study? The earlier you start the better it is! In this workshop the International Officer of the Faculty of Science will give you an overview of the possibilities and explain what planning and administration is necessary to organize your stay abroad.

Also there is ample time to ask your questions. (Note however that programme related question can only be answered by your programme coordinator.)

From experience we know that studying in the Netherlands may demand a different attitude from what international students are used to. This could be related to a difference in assessment or the type of questions asked in exams (which may require a different learning style), or just a difference in teaching style or interaction with fellow students and teachers.

In this workshop GSNS-study advisor Yvonne Tromp will discuss the educational differences between the Netherlands and other EU and non-EU countries. They will explain what will be required from you as a UU student and will discuss some study methods and techniques that may help you to study effectively within our educational system.

Considering a PhD after your Master’s? A PhD can be a good start for a career in research, both in academics and in business. In this workshop, PhD students from all our fields share their experiences in response to your questions.

A day planner brimming with tasks and responsibilities: how familiar does that sound? How do you ensure that your efforts are effectively and efficiently directed while at the same maintaining your well-being under the onslaught?

In this workshop, you’ll explore a number of models and insights from the field of time management. These will help you organise and prioritise your tasks. We will distinguish between urgent and important tasks and practice the ‘Getting Things Done’ method. We will also examine which style of working is best for you, so that you may enjoy all of its benefits and will be able to avoid (many of) the pitfalls.

This interactive training will help you work with a purpose and reduce your stress levels into the bargain. Conscious and effective!

Intercultural communication is the verbal and nonverbal interaction between people from different cultural backgrounds. Participants start reflecting on ‘culture’ and on examples of intercultural situations in their own lives. Then, in an intercultural learning simulation, you:

  • Experience what you do when you need to communicate with someone from another culture;
  • Think about how you could help foreigners to integrate in your culture, and how foreigners could help you to integrate in theirs;
  • Reflect about your own cultural behaviors.

We intend to improve participants’ intercultural communication by helping them to understand the impact of culture on human behavior.

Practical information

The situation regarding COVID-19 is still uncertain and new, stricter measures have recently been announced by the Dutch government. We aim to organize the Introduction activities on-campus as much as possible. However, starting from the current precaution measures, there is a realistic chance that the Introduction programme will take place partially online and partially on-campus.

This webpage will be updated regularly when new information becomes available, but please also see the Information Coronavirus webpage for all the latest COVID-19 information and updates from the UU.

A part of the introduction activities will most likely take place online. The general platform we use is Microsoft Teams. You have access to Microsoft Teams with your @students. uu.nl-account. Here you find instructions for installing and using Teams. An overview of all IT facilities for students, like (free) software for your studies, is given in the Welcome Booklet.

More information will follow.

More information will follow.

Any questions?

FAQ - new students

International students will also receive an invitation for the Utrecht University Orientation on Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 February 2022. On Friday February 4th they will be welcomed by the Faculty of Science. You will be informed about these activities separately.