If you want to get more out of your Master’s programme or if you are interested in taking up an extra challenge, continue reading to learn more about the possibilities.

U/Select programme

U/Select (Utrecht Selective Life Sciences Extracurricular Track) is the Life Sciences Honours Programme for selected students of the Graduate School of Life Sciences. It is a two-year extracurricular programme for excellent students who seek to broaden their horizon and who want to get more out of their Master’s programme.

The goals of U/Select are: 

  • to broaden and deepen your study programme in extra and special learning experiences;
  • to be part of a community of excellent students in life sciences;
  • to be able to write a research proposal and execute this during your minor research abroad;
  • to have a better start position for the next step in your (study) career; and
  • to build your network beyond your own Master’s programme.


First-year Master’s students of the Utrecht University Graduate School of Natural Sciences (GS-NS) or Life Sciences (GSLS) can enroll in the QBio honours programme while continuing their Master’s programme.

The honours programme consists of the following study components:

  • A one-week Summer School in July introducing Quantitative Biology (1.5 EC). This international school is aimed at students at the end of their Bachelor in Biology, Physics, Math, Chemistry, or Computer Science (or students at an early stage of their Master).
  • A three-week QBio course in February (4.5 EC) introducing the research of the participating groups, discussing interdisciplinary papers, and having short lab rotations.
  • A monthly journal club for the maximum of 12 students selected for the QBio programme after successfully completing the February course.
  • Writing your own PhD proposal. Students choose their own research topic and choose by which group they would prefer to be supervised (7.5 EC). A national committee will grade the PhD proposals. The two top students will receive funding for a PhD position in the research group of their choice.
  • Performing at least one interdisciplinary research project within the Institute for Biodynamics and Bioinformatics.

Utrecht summer school

Visit the Utrecht Summer School website for more information

Life Sciences Representatives

Master’s students of the Graduate School of Life Sciences are organised in the ‘Life Sciences Representatives (LSR)'. LSR is a student initiative to represent the interests and rights of all Master’s students of the Graduate School of Life Sciences (GSLS) in Utrecht University.

The LSR consists of at least one Master’s student of every programme within the School, and preferably one from the programme in Applied Data Science. All student members of the Educational Committee (EC) and Board of Studies (BoS) are members of the LSR. In addition, at least one representative of the LS-associated student associations will take place in the LSR.


  • Represent the interests of all Master’s students of the GSLS at the educational level
  • Feedback between the student members of the EC and BoS and the rest of the students
  • Identify problems Master’s students experience within the course of their studies and try to resolve them, either by:
    - reporting and discussing the problems or complaints in the EC, BoS or programme coordinator meetings
    - taking direct action or passing on the problem to those who are fit to handle it

For more functions and / or information you can send an email to: LSR@umcutrecht.nl.

Young Innovators

Are you innovative, entrepreneurial, intellectually versatile, goal oriented, and socially responsible? Do you want to get more out of your Master’s programme? Then the Young Innovators might be of interest to you!

Utrecht University offers the Young Innovators to high achievers with leadership potential. The Young Innovators is a selective 15 EC honours course at the graduate level, taken on top of any Master’s programme. This course is about leadership, innovation skills, responsibility, and ethics, and it is structured around the major challenges of modern societies in a globalised world:

  • Sustainability and Growth
  • Globalisation and Identity
  • Entrepreneurship and Ethics
  • Stability and Change

Think outside your discipline
These multifaceted themes demand the joint efforts of experts from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. They also require knowledge of energy, climate dynamics, food, technology, and health. Insight into the dynamics of societies, law and economics, languages and cultures, and history and philosophy are also essential.

The issues transcend national and cultural borders. Therefore, the programme is conducted entirely in English and reflects a substantial participation of international students.

Learn more about the Young Innovators.

Graduate Honours Interdisciplinary Seminars

Are you an ambitious Master’s student looking for an intellectual challenge? Then apply to join our Graduate Honours Interdisciplinary Seminars!

This is a series of small-scale seminars, three to four meetings each, about the focus areas of research at Utrecht University. The topics will be diverse; ranging from global health issues and transition towards sustainability, to trends in youth culture and the philosophy of science. The seminars are hosted by distinguished researchers. Through close discussions with these researchers, you will get a better understanding of what it means to carry out interdisciplinary research, what obstacles researchers face, how to create a good research set-up and how to communicate about it with researchers from other disciplines as well as laymen.

The programme takes one year (7.5 ECTS). Would you like to know more about this programme? Read more about the Graduate Honours Interdisciplinary Seminars.