Life Sciences Academy

The Life Sciences Academy is divided into three parts:

  • Part A - Introducing Life Sciences (ILS)
  • Part B - Navigation Towards Personal Excellence (NTPE)
  • Part C - Broadening Life Sciences (Previously: Life Sciences Seminars)

    The course is 1.5 credits in total.

For more information, please contact us at

Introducing Life Sciences (ILS) takes place in the first week of the academic year. It covers all aspects of academic education, including scientific integrity, career development, and valorisation & industry.

During this week there will also be time for the students to get to know each other, the schools staff and the staff of the Master's programme.

Attendance and participation are required to pass this part of the Life Sciences Academy. Attendance will be monitored and registered digitally.


Navigation Towards Personal Excellence expands on the information about profiles, valorisation, and experiences of alumni during ILS. It consists of 3 workshops / reflection days within the Master’s programme:

  1. Study Crafting (year 1)
  2. Envisioning your future (year 1)
  3. Off you go! (year 2)

Participation is mandatory and attendance will be monitored by the programme coordinator during each workshop.

1.     Study Crafting
The first workshop focuses on the choices within the first year (both specific study components as well as choices for your personal development).

- For students starting in September: the workshop will take place within the first 4 months of your studies (before the end of December).
- For students starting in February: the workshop will take place within the first two months of your studies (Feb/March).

2.     Envisioning Your Future
The second workshop  focuses on the choices in the second year, and aims to raise awareness for the demands of the job market. In this workshop alumni of your own program are invited to share their experiences with you.

When: the workshop will take place towards the end of year 1 (~June).

3.     Off You Go!
The third and 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 workshop will take place in the 2nd half of study year 2 (~May).


Life Sciences Academy Part C: Broadening Life Sciences - Seminars and Career Events 

1. Life Sciences Seminars 

The GSLS organises a total of 10 monthly LS seminars per academic year: 

5 seminars related to specific Master's programmes     5 seminars on      more broad  topics 

- The Master's programme-related seminars are given by prestigious, international scientists who present their cutting-edge research on topics that span across a wide range of life sciences fields. Attending these seminars gives students an overview of the various research possibilities and enables them to place their own research in the general context of this broad field.

- The broad-topic seminars focus on interdisciplinary subjects and soft skills that are valuable for professional development.

Students are required to attend:

7 seminars or more during their studies
At least 5 must be organized by the GSLS (all seminars mentioned on this webpage)2 seminars can be followed   elsewhere*

*Approval for seminars outside the GSLS needs to be granted by the programme coordinator in advance. 

Student attendance during each LS seminar is registered. It is advised to take notes during the seminars.

All Life Sciences Seminars start at 16:00 h, unless stated otherwise.

2. Life Sciences Career Events

The GSLS organises monthly career events. During your Masters you have to follow two of these career events and add them to the track list of your Life Sciences Seminars.  

During the Life Sciences Career Event ONLINE webinars, (young) alumni who work in different jobs at different organizations, will tell you more about their work. Get to know how it is like to work at a pharmaceutical company, at a non-profit organization or within academia. This webinar will start off with a short introduction, after which two alumni will give a presentation about their career and the choices they made. You have the possibility to ask all your questions beforehand or during the webinar by chat.

The Life Sciences Career Event ONLINE webinars will take place on Thursdays from 16.00 to 17.00. You need to register to receive the webinar link and have your attendance registered. 

Programme in short

16:00     Start and introduction
16:05     Alumnus 1
16:20     Q&A
16:30     Alumnus 2
16:45     Q&A
16:55     Closure

In order to pass part C (Broadening Life Sciences) of the Life Sciences Academy, students need to submit:
- An overview (track-list) of 7 attended seminars (of which at least 5 are LS seminars offered by the GSLS) and 2 attended career events. 
- A self reflection document (max 3 A4 pages) about the knowledge they obtained during the seminar series and career events overall. This self-reflection will be evaluated by the programme coordinator (or track coordinator for Neuroscience and Cognition students) with a pass/fail. The self-reflection assignment can be found
 on Blackboard. 

To pass the course, the student must pass three mandatory parts:

  1. Participate during ILS. (Attendance and participation required)*
  2. Participate in the NTPE workshop. (Attendance and participation required)
  3. Attend 7 LS seminar and 2 career events and write a self-reflection based on the seminars followed.

* Attendance is monitored by digital registration.

After completing the course, the student:

Part I - 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, scientific integrity and the ethics of animal experiments;
  • is familiar with the concepts of valorisation and cooperation with industry;
  • has a detailed view on his/her future as MSc;
  • is introduced into the principles of academic writing (article, grant, writing assignment, proposal, and for the general public);
  • is introduced into the Utrecht Life Sciences community;
  • has made a flying start in building his/her Life Sciences network.

Part II - Navigation Towards Personal Excellence

  • is able to reflect on his/her own development and study career;
  • is able to reflect on his/her current qualities and skills, and gain insight in those that need further development during your MSc;
  • is able to study craft (make right choices for your future resume);
  • is able to prepare his/her career perspectives and career path / envision your future.

Part III - Life Sciences Seminars

  • gets 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 your personal study and career success.