Top Lectures in EBC 2015-2016

Studies Biology
Instructors   Prof. dr. M.K. Richardson, dr. R. Offringa and IBL Staff
Level 500
Period January - June 2016
Language English
E-prospectus Top Lectures in EBC 


Administrative issues (blackboard, timetables etc.): 
Contact: M.M. Everts
Email: m.m.everts@biology.leidenuniv.nlAcademic issues:
Evolutionary aspects: Prof.dr.M.K. Richardson
Molecular aspects: Dr. R. Offringa


The Top Lectures in Biology course consists of 6 lectures, selected by each MSc student from a preset program of 20-24 lectures (over two year) by invited experts from different fields of biology. Each lecture is organised by one of the research groups in the IBL that participate in the Masters (Biology) teaching. The two remaining will be organized by NCB Naturalis. The level of each lecture is such that it will be understandable for MSc students and IBL staff alike. An important aspect of the course will be to learn to critically evaluate scientific data, and the hypotheses and models derived from these data.The speakers actively participate in the teaching part. The participants of this course have to thoroughly prepare for each lecture, as they are expected to actively engage in the scientific discussion.

Learning goals

Course objectives:
To provide the student with insight into specialist biological research, including the way in which complex research questions are formulated and analysed experimentally.

Final qualifications:
To be a more advanced MSc student with a broad theoretical background on a range of research topics in Biology who is able to understand lectures by specialists, and to critically asses the research presented.

Mode of instruction

Each lecture will be given by an expert in the field relevant. They will be National or International scientists. The scientist will give an introductory lecture on a specialist subject. He or she will then answer and discuss the questions that the students have pre-submitted via blackboard. The students will previously have read two research articles and one review relevant to the lecture which have been placed for them on Blackboard.

Assessment method

3 ECTS are awarded for (i) attendance at six Top Lectures of the student’s choice; (ii) attendance at the discussion session of each of those six lectures; and (iii) for the timely posting of two questions related to the read articles on the Blackboard forum.


There will be one or two lectures per month, starting in January of each year, at times to be announced in the Sylvius building, on Blackboard and at websites (e.g. IBL, Sciences)

Admission requirements

The course is open to Biology master students with sufficient BSc level training (more than 1st year) in the field of (i) Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation, and/or (ii) Molecular Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry and Cell Biology.

Reading list

The students will be provided in advance via Blackboard with two primary research articles and one review article (supplied by the invited lecturer).


Registration via USIS  

Last Modified: 14-07-2015