GSLS Email communications


Download the attachment that came with this email here14.83 KB.

Subject: Doorgang onderwijs ivm COVID-19 - verzoek om actie

Dear course coordinator,

We already approached you mid-March with a “request for action – online education in Period 3”. We thank you for your swift responses, but we must once again ask you to provide some additional information regarding the adjustments assessment criteria of your course.

This information is requested by the Board of Examiners in order to assure the quality of assessments. We kindly ask you to fill in the attached form14.83 KB and return it to us by replying to this email ( at your earliest convenience and before the end of Tuesday, April 7th at the latest.

In this form, you will be asked to fill in whether the course’s assessment criteria/methods or their weights changed to accommodate online examination. Furthermore, the Board of Examiners would like to know what measures are taken to prevent fraud in the online examination, if adjustments have been made to the assessment.

We are extremely grateful for all your efforts in making it possible to offer online education in these bizarre times and we apologise for the short notice!

Kind regards,
On behalf of the Administration Biomedical Sciences


Subject: COVID-19 information & continuation of studies in the GSLS

Attachment 1: Courses document131.97 KB
Attachment 2: Guidelines and advice on quality assessment of home testing154.55 KB
Attachment 3: Research projects and writing assignments document138.93 KB

Dear GSLS Course coordinator/Examiner/Supervisor,

We would like to give you an update from the GSLS regarding the measures and consequences of the corona virus on our education. Please find here information regarding courses, research projects and writing assignments, online education and assessment (examination).

The three attachments describe the guidelines and advises in more detail.

No physical educational activities till at least June 1st
Utrecht University has decided to suspend all physical educational activities until at least June 1st due to the new Corona virus. The measures taken, affect research projects and courses for students. Courses (as well as the assessments/exams) are to be offered online until the end of Period 4. Exceptions might be granted in cases where parts of the education or the assessment can absolutely not be replaced by a good online alternative (but only after June 1st). Research projects and internships are suspended until June 1st.

Students are also expressly requested to not use any university spaces for self-study and this includes lecture halls and computer learning rooms.

The GSLS, worked hard to come up with alternative strategies to keep our education going and to prevent study delays as much as possible without compromising the quality of our education.

Below you can find a short summary, please find attached in-depth GSLS guidelines and advise regarding courses, course assessments, Research projects/Writing Assignments.

Courses (attachment 1131.97 KB GSLS strategy regarding courses in period 4)

-          All official deadlines for course enrolment for Period 4 have expired on March 31st, students were reminded of the deadline on Friday the 27th of March.

-          Moving forward, we are currently making an inventory of the capacity in terms of spots for each course, and ask you to increase it where possible. We will do our absolute best in coordinating these free spots to ensure interested students can take available spots in courses.

            o    A list of available spots in courses is being generated and will be placed for the students on the studyguide here

-          Additionally, the GSLS allows its students to follow online courses that are offered outside the GSLS and to receive credits for them as part of their electives. More information can be found in the studyguide. Please read attachment 1131.97 KB for more information.

Online teaching
The UU and the UMCU have offered already serval ways of how you can provide your course online
Microsoft teams:
Educate it:
UMCU (TEL) Contact TEL: 088-7553418

Quality assurance of online Assessment/ Examination (from home) (attachment 2154.55 KB)
Because all courses are online, assessment also takes place online.

In attachment 2154.55 KB (Quality assurance of home testing) you can find a summary of the current rules on examination/assessing during the corona virus restrictions. Moreover, you can find options of online testing with and without proctoring. This document is based on a central UU document, and adjusted by the GSLS and approved by the Board of Examiners.

Research projects (attachment 3138.93 KB)
In line with UU policy, the physical activities for all projects in buildings of the UMC Utrecht, Hubrecht Institute and Princess Maxima Center are suspended until June 1, 2020.

-          For research at external institutes or companies: students should follow the policy of the institution or company where they are doing their project. They should contact their host-supervisor in order to be informed about the policy. If they are unable to come to an agreement with the host institute, they should discuss this with the UU/UMCU examiner and contact the Research Project Coordinator.

-          If the institute (external or UU-related institute) opens before June 1, 2020 AND both students and supervisor agree that it is safe to start again, students should contact the Research Project Coordinator to discuss if this is possible.

The GSLS together with the Board of Examiners, has created different scenario’s with advice on how to prevent study delay, now that students cannot be physically present and have to work remote. 

The options include suggestions for activities that students can do within their project, outside the project and altering the project (e.g. change the number of credits). We have also included an advice when delay is inevitable. Please read attachment 3.138.93 KB

Writing Assignments (attachment 3138.93 KB)
-          Writing Assignments can start or will continue from home, using online communication with the supervisor/examiner.

Other information:

Webinar for students with Degree director Friday April 3rd:
A short webinar will take place this Friday. During this, the Director of the GSLS, Prof. Harold van Rijen, will talk briefly about the current situation regarding the measures taken to fight the new corona virus. Moreover, he will outline the options available to students in order to continue with their studies. There will also be time for students to pose their questions, concerns or uncertainties.

The topics discussed during the webinar are explained in more detail in this email and the attached document, as well as in the studyguide.

Please click on this link to join the webinar for Biosciences 10.00-10.45

Please click on this link to join the webinar for BMS 11.00-11.45

MFA token for Master’s students doing a scientific internship at the UMC
If your student is currently following a scientific internship at the UMC, the student can apply for a MFA token (= VPN) internship / traineeship account. With this, the student can work from home and continue your scientific internship on the UMC server. Please only request an MFA token when this is strictly necessary.  How does a student arrange this?

  • Ask for approval from the internship supervisor / (training) coordinator.
  • Submit the application to the decentralized ICT department of the division where the student is doing your internship.

Student wellbeing
The coronavirus messes up a lot of lives, even when students are not sick. Studying at home, not seeing any friends, maybe being far away from their family - that can confront them with all sorts of uncertainties, for instance financially, or perhaps mentally. In this completely new situation, everyone has to look for new answers. The UU has listed some tips that might help a student in these times here. Also, the student can always contact the academic counsellors for support.

We hope we have given you sufficient information,

Feel free to ask us, if things are unclear.

Kind regards on behalf of Harold van Rijen and Rob de Boer and the whole GSLS team.


Download the attachment that came with this email here18.81 KB.

Subject: Important: request for action - online education in Period 4 - deadline April 3rd

Dear course coordinators of GSLS courses running in Period 4,

(program coordinators in CC: for your information)

Utrecht University has decided to suspend all physical educational activities until the end of Period 4 due to the new Corona virus. This means also all our courses including assessments (exams) need to be offered online. There might be few exceptions (but only after June 1st) for parts of courses that can absolutely not be replaced by online material (e.g. projects and internships and certain course exams or practical work).

Our goal is to implement alternative strategies to keep education going and to prevent study delays as much as possible without compromising the quality of education offered. We work within the framework set by the CvB of the UU. Please note that the degree director has to formally approve changes in your course assessment/examination and this has to be checked by the Board of Examiners as well.

Important - request for action – information courses:
Therefore, we have listed all courses being taught in Period 4, see the attached file18.81 KB. We would like to request all of you to fill out the missing information about your course(s) and the required adjustments to make the course fully digital. The form contains the following info:

  • General information about the course (we have already filled this out as much as possible)
  • How you will change your education to teach it online (which components are changed, replaced or left out and how)
  • If the assessment criteria or methods changed and in what ways (for exams you might need to switch to alternative ways to assess)
  • If the capacity of the course can increase and by how many students (we predict that there will be a higher demand for courses given that students cannot go forward with their projects in the lab until at least June 1st)

In case it is necessary to cancel education, please also inform us about that.

In case you need help for the digitalization of your course, we offer guidance by our online learning specialist, Anne-Petra Rozendal ( Furthermore, the Assessment Support Panel ( can guide in alternative assessment methods. Please, if you change assessment criteria or methods, inform the Board of Examiners ( for Science Faculty courses or for Biomedical Sciences courses).

We are aware of the strict deadline, but please provide us with the information as soon as possible, and at least before April 3rd by emailing for Science Faculty courses or for Biomedical Sciences courses. The UU also asks you to inform the students about changes in the course before April 6th.

Microsoft teams for UMCU course coordinators:
Microsoft Teams will be made available for all academic teaching staff at the UMC Utrecht. In case you would like to use Microsoft Teams, please let me ( know by e-mail and provide us with your UMC E-mail address and Solis-ID (there is place for this in the attached document). 

In case you don’t have a Solis-ID yet, request one here:

In case you forgot your password. You can change it here:

We really appreciate your efforts – we realize that all these matters take a lot of extra time and require a lot of flexibility, so we would like to thank you all! We are trying our best to inform you the best we can, but please let us know if there is anything unclear. Feel free to reply to this e-mail in English or Dutch.

Kind regards on behalf of the Graduate School of Lifes Sciences

Dear GSLS examiner,

We would like to give you a new update from the GSLS concerning the adjustments in education due to the coronavirus. Behind the scenes we are all working very hard on solutions. This e-mail describes the status and decisions at this moment. There is some overlap with the information that you have received yesterday but, to be complete, we have kept essential messages and added new information.

Corona consequences for Research Project/Writing Assignments

Research Projects
Last weekend, the UU advised all students who are on a research project abroad to return to the Netherlands. In line with the UU policy, the GSLS asks all the students doing a research project or internship, both at the UU, UMC Utrecht and externally, to stay home. By sending all students home, all physical activities (practical work) of research projects and internships will be suspended until at leastApril 6th.

Writing assignment
The writing assignment can continue as usual, but now from home. For writing assignments, we expect this will not affect the progress of this education and supervision/guidance can be done online, we therefore do not take additional measures. The Board of Examiners will prioritize approval for new writing assignments.

Advice to prevent study delay

In case the practical work of your students’ project is halted for a few weeks, we advise them to work from home on their project when possible. Students can work on their report, the introduction of their research project, literature research and data analysis. If a student is done with analysis of the data collected up to now or cannot do it (from home), we advise the student to do a more elaborate literature review to strengthen the introduction section of their report. With spending this time on strengthening the theoretical component rather than the practical work, the learning goals of the research projects and business internships are not at risk. The measures are based on the current information that projects can continue after April 6th. Should the corona measures take longer than April 6th, we will review whether additional measures are needed. For now, the assessment criteria and percentages remain unchanged.

Alternatively, we have encouraged all students to start with their writing assignment if the delay becomes too significant. This way we can avoid study delay up to a certain extent. For this, we ask your cooperation in the supervision of writing assignments if you are approached by students.

Useful websites

The latest information from the UU regarding the corona-policy can be found here:

Frequently asked questions:

We ask all examiners to be creative and flexible under these unique circumstances. We trust that you and your students will make good agreements on how to spend the upcoming couple of weeks. Thank you for your cooperation!

Kind regards,

On behalf of Harold van Rijen,
Tania Morán Luengo


Dear examiner,

We would like to give you an update from the GSLS concerning the adjustments in education due to the coronavirus. We realize that the developments are moving very fast. This e-mail describes the status and decisions at this moment.

Internships abroad

The UU advises all students who are on an internship abroad to return to the Netherlands. International UU-students (in internships abroad) are advised to return to the Netherlands or alternatively to their home country. All students have received an e-mail on Sunday with this information. The same returning policy applies for international students who are enrolled in a Master’s programme in the Netherlands, doing their internship in the Netherlands and willing to return to their home country. If you have questions regarding this, please contact the international offices:

Biomedical Sciences:

Science faculty:

Internships at the UU / UMC Utrecht

The UMC Utrecht decided to end the residencies and patient-dependent clinical internships from Tuesday the 17th of March. This was communicated by the UMCU Utrecht and mainly affects Medicine student.

Currently, no decision has been made regarding scientific research projects at the UU/UMCU. Students should follow the policy of the department for now. We are expecting a final decision today, and of course you will be informed as soon as possible.

Internships in the Netherlands elsewhere (outside UU)

Students who are performing an internship elsewhere in the Netherlands, can continue as long as the policy from their host institution allows this.

What if there is study delay?

Together with the Board of Examiners, we are currently working on a plan of how to handle the situation in which a student can no longer perform practical work for some time. We hope we can provide more information on this later this week.  If a student has a study delay due to the discontinuation of the research project, this is considered ‘circumstances beyond control’ (‘force majeure’). The student can make an appeal for financial support.

Useful websites

The latest information from the UU regarding the corona-policy can be found here:

Frequently asked questions:

We thank you for your cooperation! 

Kind regards,

On behalf of Harold van Rijen,

Tania Morán Luengo

Tania Morán Luengo, PhD | Research Project Coordinator & Policy Officer

Dear teacher/coordinator/supervisor/ of the Graduate School of Life Sciences,

The Executive Board of UMC Utrecht has decided to cancel all education in the Hijmans van den Bergh building and in the teaching areas of UMC Utrecht as of March 13th. This means that all educational activities such as lectures, seminars, practical training activities and tests will not take place. Research internships can be continued and students have to follow the Corona policy of their department.

The buildings are closed for students; the study landscape in the Hijmans van den Bergh building is also closed. This measure applies from now until March 31st. The reason for this is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as much as possible and to ensure that patient care can continue at all times.

Consequences for study progress

All programs are trying to find solutions to allow education to continue in a different way and taking measures to prevent study delays. Moreover, we will work on solutions for EER-related matters such as attendance, assessments etc.

If students need or want to stop their internship, encourage them to continue as much as possible by working remotely (e.g. for data analysis, reading literature, writing etc). If you expect a significant delay for the student, please contact

Work from home when possible

Students and employees may only come to the university if they do not have any health complaints related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the cabinet’s guidelines, we ask those who can work from home to do this as much as possible, in consultation with their manager or supervisor.

More information?

Prof Dr Harold VM van Rijen, or +31622162980

Communication with students

Students have received a mail from student affairs. Please find this email below:


Subject: Important: educational activities are canceled – Coronavirus

Dear student,

As of Friday 13th of March 2020, the executive board of the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) has decided to cancel the physical educational activities of the Faculty of Medicine, Utrecht University. This decision concerns the following study programmes: Biomedical Sciences (bachelor and Master), Medicine and Clinical Health Sciences.

This means that all physical educational activities such as lectures, seminars, practical training activities and tests will not take place. Students will not have access to the Hijmans van den Bergh building. Consequently, the study landscape of the Hijmans van den Bergh building is also closed. In case you are a student of the Faculty of Medicine, you are also not allowed to follow classes at other faculties of Utrecht University.

This action is applicable from Friday 13th of March 2020 with a provisional end date of Tuesday  31st March. This decision has been taken to prevent further coronavirus infections as much as possible and to ensure that patientcare can continue at all times.

Continuing educational activities

All study programmes of the Faculty of Medicine are working on solutions to continue their education in a different way and to possibly prevent any study delay. Together with teachers, the study programme is currently working on digital education methods.  Further information on these solutions and measures will be announced through your students e-mail address.

Information – Biomedical Sciences programme

  • Further information about next week’s tests will follow as soon as possible.
  • Research internships can be continued and students have to follow the Corona policy of their department.
  • The same applies for internships abroad. However, we advise you to keep an eye on the travel advice of the specific country, by downloading the travel app (Android of iOS) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to register yourself. By doing so, you will be immediately informed in case the travel advice changes and you will be able to follow the instructions and advice of the authorities. Should you have any questions or doubts regarding your stay abroad? Please contact the International Office:
  • If you need or want to stop your internship, try to continue as much as possible by working remotely (e.g. for data analysis, reading literature, writing etc)
  • Will you start a new internship before 31st of March 2020, please contact the following persons:

Other study programmes

Are you not a student of the Faculty of Medicine? The same applies to you: all physical educational activities of the Faculty of Medicine have been cancelled. In addition, we kindly request you to follow up on the policy of your own faculty.

For internships which will be continued: If you have influenza-like symptoms you need to stay at home and inform  your supervisor and the STIP desk via

In case of any doubt of a possible Coronavirus infection, we advise you to call your GP or the Municipal Public Health Service (GGD) for advice and medical care.


Should you have any questions regarding this e-mail, please contact Study Information Point (STIP). STIP is available on working days from 9 am till 5 pm.

Phone number:          +31 (0)88 75 53478

e-mail address:

Kind regards,

Administration Biomedical Sciences


Subject: Doorgang onderwijs ivm COVID-19 - verzoek om actie

Download the attachment that came with this email here221.77 KB.

Beste cursuscoördinatoren,

Volgens onze informatie zijn jullie de coördinatoren van de GSLS mastercursussen die dit op dit moment draaien (of zeer binnenkort zullen starten). Graag jullie aandacht voor en verzoek om actie n.a.v. onderstaand bericht:

Zoals jullie vanochtend per email hebben vernomen, heeft de raad van bestuur van het UMC besloten om al het fysieke onderwijs in het UMC tot 31 maart te annuleren. Inmiddels heeft ook het CvB besloten dat al het campusonderwijs (incl. toetsing) niet op reguliere wijze doorgaat. Dit geldt in ieder geval voor geheel blok 3. Wel vindt het CvB het belangrijk dat het onderwijs zo veel mogelijk op alternatieve wijze door kan gaan.

Het CvB vraagt aan iedereen om te improveren en het onderwijs (inclusief toetsing) zoveel mogelijk te laten doorgaan. Het CvB heeft een afwegingskader voor u opgesteld om te bepalen of en hoe het onderwijs door kan gaan, zie bijlage. Het afwegingskader is een dwingend voorschrift, hiervan mag alleen afgeweken worden na goedkeuring van het CvB.

Aan jullie het verzoek om voor je GSLS mastercursus een keuze te maken over of en hoe het onderwijs plaatsvindten ons daarover te informeren. Wat kun je zelf oplossen en welke hulp heb je nodig van de UU en/of GSLS? De UU heeft handreikingen opgesteld voor onderwijs op afstand, die te vinden zijn op de intranetpagina Voor toetsen zijn misschien alternatieven te verzinnen, bijvoorbeeld het schrijven van een kort verslag. Als jullie genoodzaakt zijn om onderwijs te laten vervallen wat tot studievertraging kan leiden, dan graag ons daar ook over informeren.

We zijn ons bewust van de zeer krappe deadline, maar we verzoeken jullie dringend om bovenstaande uiterlijk aanstaande maandag 16 april 2020 (en eerder waar mogelijk) per email door te geven.

Daarnaast vraagt het CvB jullie om uiterlijk woensdag 18 maart 2020 studenten via de reguliere communicatiekanalen te informeren over hoe hun onderwijs verder gaat (NB. Dit geldt natuurlijk niet voor de cursussen die nog moeten starten).

Tenslotte, we realiseren ons dat we veel extra tijd, moeite en flexibiliteit van jullie vragen en bij voorbaat dank voor jullie inspanningen. We doen ons best om jullie zo goed mogelijk te informeren maar laat het natuurlijk weten als er nog vragen zijn.

Vriendelijke groeten, mede namens Harold van Rijen,

Kirsten Boersma-van Nierop