Read what current and former students say about their study choice and experiences with the programme.



  • ''I’m working with several different (and often new-to-me) techniques, and am acquiring a great deal of lab experience''

    Why I chose this Master’s
    After finishing my Bachelor’s in Biotechnology in Spain, I had a very broad interest and didn’t feel ready to specialize yet. I came across the Drug Innovation Master’s which offered a great variety of topics, which I found very interesting. This together with the prestige of Utrecht University was what made me decide I wanted to do this Master’s.

    About my study path
    I started the programme with 2 compulsory courses, each involving group assignments. I liked how all groups include people from different backgrounds and nationalities. This led to enriching discussions, in which everyone could add their own expertise and ideas. In addition, it also made it very easy for me to connect with other internationals, but also with my fellow Dutch students.

    After these courses, I started my major internship in the Pharmacology group. My project studies the link between cystinosis and renal acidosis by establishing and comparing two different kidney proximal tubule knock-out cell lines. I’m working with several different techniques (some of which are new to me), and I’m acquiring a great deal of lab experience.

    Finding an internship
    There are a huge number of research groups you can apply to. The process of obtaining an internship position can get frustrating, since it takes time to go through all the information, send emails and wait for replies (which are not always satisfactory). Nevertheless, in the end everybody is able to find a suitable position that matches their interests.

    Something for you?
    This Master’s really allows you to tailor the programme to your own flavor. Not only can you choose from a great variety of elective courses and research groups to work with, you can also organize your own time. This can be a bit overwhelming since it requires a lot of decision making, but it also means you are free to choose how you want your own programme to be. This is, in my opinion, a very valuable asset that makes this Master’s worthwhile.

    Julia Egido, student 


  • "The Master's takes a lot of time and energy, but it’s also very exciting"

    Before my Master's, I did a bachelor in Humanities and Science at the Amsterdam University College. At first I was unsure if I wanted to continue in research. I heard about Drug Innovation and how it is a bit on the edge of doing research and applying knowledge. The Master's is very interdisciplinary and the University of Utrecht has good collaborations between departments and between different research groups like Immunology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience. Altogether the programme really appealed to me and that was the reason I chose this Master's.

    In the Master's there are only two obligatory courses everyone has to follow. Additionally you will do a Minor and a Major internship and in-between it is possible to follow elective courses and write your thesis, when it fits your schedule. This allows you to really tailor your program to suit your interests and expertises. Because of the few ‘knowledge courses’ that are given, it is good to have quite some knowledge when you start. I was glad I followed a pre-master to broaden my knowledge, which allowed me to make a confident start at my internship.

    During the internships you will learn a lot of practical skills. In the beginning you will do a lot of reading for your research, in order to get into it. Now, I am often working in the lab where I learn many different techniques and gain a lot of lab experience. Right now I am doing my major internship in Neuroimmunopharmacology, at the department of Pharmacology. Here I am focussing on the effect of nutrition on behaviour, more specifically the effects of a certain diet on a model of autism. We are hoping to pin down more specifics and learn to understand how nutrition influences behaviour.  

    Next year will be a next step. I will be doing my second internship and broaden my experience. I try to get the most out of these two years and want to figure out whether I actually like to continue in research. Throughout the year, you will regularly have guest lectures from all kinds of people from the industry, academics, and regulators. In this way you get an overview of all the possibilities you have after this programme.

    The programme is pretty busy, especially during your internship when you work 40 hours a week. It takes a lot of time and energy, but it’s also very exciting, and I am still able to have a job and play tennis.  

    After the Master you are able to continue in an academic career if you like, but you could also go into the pharmaceutical industry or into an advisory board of hospitals for instance. You have a lot of options and that is something I really like about this Master.

    Nienke van Staveren, student