Major Research Project Medicinal Chemistry


Course Objective

To obtain experience in doing scientific research within the fields of
molecular pharmacology/receptor biochemistry, computational drug design
or organic synthesis in one of the following settings:
- University or Academic hospital
- Research institute
- Company
The internship can be performed either within the Netherlands or abroad.

Course Content

In medicinal chemistry research, molecular pharmacology, biochemistry,
computational chemistry and organic synthesis are important for
designing and preparing small organic ligands as e.g. protein modulators
as well as to interrogate (receptor) proteins and/or signaling networks
in relation to health and disease. During the traineeship, the student
actively participates in a research project as exerted by the host
group/institute and consists of one of the following sub-disciplines:
1) Molecular pharmacology
2) Receptor biochemistry
3) Organic synthesis
4) (computational) Drug design

Attention will be paid to setting up new research/experiments, using
state-of-the-art experimental techniques, analyzing experimental results
and keeping adequate documentation. In all, the student will get exposed
to doing research as well as to contemporary molecular pharmacological,
receptor biochemistry, synthetic or computational design techniques.

Teaching Methods

Literature review, formulating a research question, conducting
experiments, keeping adequate documentation (e.g. labjournal), analyzing
data, reporting on results in progress/group meetings, in a written
thesis and final presentation within the research group.

Method of Assessment

Academic attitude, execution, oral presentation, and written thesis

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements with respect to attained courses and number of
credits apply. See the Education and Examination regulations and the
internship manual Drug Discovery & Safety. For questions, consult the
internship coordinator well in advance (


Starting literature will be provided by the supervisor. The first 1-2
weeks of the traineeship will be spent on literature reading and
preparation for the project.

Target Audience

Research variant of mDDS-DDTF, mDDS-DD&S, mDDS-CMCT

Additional Information

The standard length of a major internship is 42 EC (7 months). Extension
up to 60 EC (10 months) can be incorporated as part of the optional part
of the master program. Make sure you discuss your personal education
plan with your master coordinator well in advance. See the “Master Drug
Discovery & Safety Internship manual” for more information (rules,
regulations, tips, etc.) on the internship process. This manual can be
found on the canvas community “Master Drug Discovery & Safety”.

Custom Course Registration

The number of internal (VU) internship positions is limited. Candidates are selected based on their motivation letter and CV in an application procedure. See the canvas site “Master Drug Discovery & Safety” for more information regarding this application procedure. Be aware that for most external positions an application procedure applies as well. Before the start of the project an internship agreement has to be signed by all involved parties and the project proposal has to be approved by the VU supervisor. See the “Master Drug Discovery & Safety Internship manual” for more information on the rules and regulation regarding internships. If after reading the manual you still have questions regarding the process related to internships, admission, approval, etc., please contact the internship coordinator via

General Information

Course Code XM_0039
Credits 42 EC
Period Ac. Year (sept)
Course Level 600
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. D.J. Scholten
Examiner dr. D.J. Scholten
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You cannot register for this course yourself; your faculty's education office carries out registration

Target audiences

This course is also available as: