Science Project


Course Objective

After this course, you are able to:
Name, explain and work with several conceptual and methodical approaches
of doing research on R&D strategy, structure, culture and the
environment of a lab research group or R&D group in practice, among
which approaches for
1. Studying disruptive innovation
2. Studying the entrepreneurial state
3. Using a.o. bibliometrics, coding and patent analysis as methodical
4. Studying collaboration patterns in R&D
5. Studying open innovation
After succesfully completing the natural science modules of this course,
the student
6. has an extensive overview of technical feasibilities in actively
developing areas of L&H or E&S.
7. has the ability to consult international academic literature in the
relevant sub-areas (science- based or R&D-intensive innovation in E&S or
L&H) and to apply the knowledge gained from that.
8. Can ask questions that address basic features and key aspects of R&D
and implementation of technologies in these relevant sub-areas of E&S or
L&H and obtain reliable answers to these questions.
9. communicate his/her conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale
underpinning these, with peers.
10. is able to make a factual and critical contribution to a scientific
or public discussion and is capable of presenting his/her findings in an
international perspective in the form of an academic English-language

Course Content

In this course, you learn to design and execute a research project on
R&D, both from a science perspective as well as from a business and
innovation perspective. Your project will focus on scientific aspects of
technological innovation as well as on strategy, structure, culture
and/or the environment of a lab research group or R&D group in practice.
You will familiarize yourself with several aspects of natural scientific
knowledge, management literature and methodical approaches to be able to
study the topic of your choice related to life & health practice or
energy & sustainability.
By doing so, you learn how a lab research group or R&D group in life &
health practice or energy & sustainability practice functions, on a
daily basis, on a yearly basis, related to other commercial functions in
its direct environment, and related to the strategy of the organization
in which it is situated.

Natural science content: In order to provide content for the natural
scientific knowledge, the course uses a selection of literature. The
literature focuses on the fundamental physical, chemical, and materials
science at the heart of nonrenewable energy sources, renewable energy
sources, future transportation systems, energy efficiency and energy
storage. Similarly, selected scientific literature on life science
topics such as personalized medicine, eHealth, molecular diagnostics and
medical imaging will be provided.

Business and innovation content: Apart from in-depth knowledge on how to
study the R&D phase of developing technological innovation from a
science perspective and from a business and innovation perspective, you
also need tools to be able to develop your research project- that is, on
a more methodological and methodical level. This course offers an
introduction to case study research and a set of much used methods for
data analysis.

Due to the nature of SBI, focusing on innovation in practice, case study
research is a widely used research technique by SBI students. You will
read about and practice with doing case study research, with the help of
a text book, several assignments and feedback moments.

Course design
The science project is taught in periods 4 and 5 and is set up according
to three modules as illustrated on the right.
In teaching period 4, module 1 and 2 run in parallel and treat B&I
methodology and natural science topics on energy & sustainability (e&s)
or on life & health (l&h), respectively. At the end of module 1 and 2, a
research plan has been formulated and extensive knowledge on current
science topics in e&s or l&h has been acquired.
In teaching period 5, a project will be executed based on the research
plan that was designed in module 1 and a science topic that was chosen
based on module 2.
Further details on these modules is provided below.

Module 1
The subject matter of module 1 consists of several theoretical,
conceptual and methodical approaches that are listed in learning goals
1-5 (i.e. case study research, disruptive innovation, the
entrepreneurial state, data analysis techniques, collaborations
patterns, and open innovation). You will exploit these approaches to
design your own case study research project by working on weekly
assignments. The assignments are:
1. Determining a research subject and objective
2. Designing a research framework
3. Formulating a research question
4. Designing a conceptual model
5. Determining a research strategy
6. Efficiently gathering research material
7. Making a research planning
The final product of module 1 is a research plan that will be executed
in module 3, period 5. Module 1 is concluded with an exam on the
assigned literature.

Module 2
This module will provide comprehensive coverage of actively developing
areas in energy & sustainability and in life & health. For e&s, a
selection of course reading material will be provided, including helpful
features to aid understanding, a historical overview and suggested
questions for discussion. For l&h, selected scientific literature on
life science topics such as personalized medicine, eHealth, molecular
diagnostics and medical imaging will be provided. Starting from the
second week of the course, three topics will be worked out in an
interactive setting with fellow students, with the aim to integrate
theory on diverse subject matter with engaging insights.

Module 3
In module 3, a research project will be executed based on the previous
two modules. (Note: The natural science and business & innovation
components of this project will have equal size and weights.) You will
report on the research project in a scientifically responsible way by
writing one or two scientific reports (level of ambition: ‘light’
scientific publication). Several options for the execution and reporting
on module 3 exist:
• In the main variant, the chosen Science and B&I components have a
clear and functional correlation. In this case a single report may be
written. The main variant may be executed independently, or it is
executed while embedded in an academic research group or in the R&D
department of an external institution or company.
• In case the chosen B&I topic cannot be functionally integrated with a
chosen science topic, two separate reports may be written.
• A transition arrangement will be in place for students that have
followed the courses Researching Science Research and/or Materials for
Energy and Environmental Sustainability previous years.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and guest lectures
Work sessions
Optional: internship

Method of Assessment

The final grade consists of a grade for:
Several assignments, organized per module
Participation grade
Reearch paper

Entry Requirements

Requirements to enter the mSBI program
SBI methodology


Selected literature references available via Canvas

Target Audience


Additional Information

Students that want to do an embedded science project (internship), need
to consult one of the teachers in P2. In case of provisional approval of
the internship, a final study plan should be submitted at the latest two
weeks before the course starts (mid January).

General Information

Course Code XM_422591
Credits 24 EC
Period P4+5
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. M.L. Blankesteijn
Examiner dr. M.L. Blankesteijn
Teaching Staff dr. J.P. Dekker
dr. ir. I. Heller
dr. M.L. Blankesteijn

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: