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Research Project and Literature Thesis

Research project(s)

This page provides summarised information about the Research Project and the Literature Thesis. For details, please see the corresponding manual.

Research Project

All MBCS students conduct two research projects as mandatory elements of their programme. Research Project 1, performed in the first year of the programme, equals 26 EC. Research Project 2, performed in the second year, equals either 36 or 42 EC. The total EC for both projects needs to be either 62 or 68 EC.

Research Project Opportunities Database

During the year, all research labs offer different projects for master students. MBCS has set up a website to list research opportunities. Not all researchers post projects in this database, so please note that this overview is not complete. We encourage you to also contact researchers of the different research labs you are interested in, to see what possibilities they have.

Research Project Opportunities Database


Registration and approval

Once a student has found an internship, including the appropriate supervision, he or she can register the project via The student is expected to read the Research Project Manual and to ascertain whether all requirements of the project are met.


Within a month of the registered starting date, the student is expected to submit a Research Project Proposal to the programma via This proposal will be reviewed: only if the programme approves the proposal can the project be included into the student's curriculum. See the Research Project Manual for more details.

Please note: students who submitted their project proposal via the old 'paper route' should also complete the grading process via the paper forms. In case you do not have them, please request them via

Guidance and Supervision

There are a number of roles involved in the Research Projects:

  • A supervisor, for regular meetings and guidance
  • An internal assessor, who will evaluate the experimental work, the presentation and the final report of the student and who is from the lab where the Research Project takes place. This assessor needs to have a doctoral degree.
  • An external assessor, who will evaluate the final report and who is from a different lab than the one where the Research Project takes place. This assessor needs to have a doctoral degree.
    The internal and external assessors should be different people, but it is possible for the internal assessor to also be supervisor. One of the persons involved in the project should be designated examiner: this examiner needs to have a doctral degree and be employed at UvA.

Literature Thesis

The Literature Thesis is a mandatory component of the research master Brain and Cognitive Sciences. It is worth 12 EC, corresponding to eight weeks of full-time work. Students are free to choose their own topic, supervisor and co-assessor, as long as the following constraints are met:

  • Either the supervisor or co-assessor is a UvA employee who can take on the formal role of examiner.
  • The supervisor and co-assessor possess expertise relevant to the topic of the literature thesis, but are from different disciplines
  • The research question posed by the student is distinct from those in the student's Research Project 1 or Research Project 2, and falls within the thematic scope of brain and cognitive sciences.

More details about the Literature Thesis can be found in the Literature Thesis Manual.