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Applied Plant Research

If you have a passion for plants and a inquisitive mind, this minor will expand your plant knowledge and teach you how to use your knowledge in applied research.

As one of the leading countries in plant production, the Netherlands is a popular base for many head offices of global seed companies. In this minor, you will conduct a real-life research project with a small team of students, commissioned by a plant breeding, plant production or plant health company. Statistics and trial design classes will support you in your experiments.

You will take classes in Plant Physiology & Photosynthesis, Plant Breeding, Plant & Soil Health, Statistics and Experimental design, among others. The curriculum includes several visits to plant breeding companies and other classes to help you develop soft skills such as communication and presentation.


At the end of the Applied Plant Research module, the student should:

  1. be able to design and execute experiments, collect and analyse data, critically evaluate the data related to plant and crop biology, physiology and genetics;
  2. be able to coherently discuss and present research data, both orally and in writing, relating to the research itself and its commercial application;
  3. have an up-to-date level of competence and understanding of plant and crop biology, physiology and genetics and be able to discuss the application of plant sciences with peers in a knowledgeable, articulate and confident manner.


Aspiring students must have finished their first year of a Dutch HBO and have additionally obtained at least 90 ECTS from year 2 and 3 in a study programme related to biology. In addition to basic knowledge of biology and research, we expect the following knowledge and skills. The student must have knowledge of the fundamentals of Mendel genetics, plant taxonomy, photosynthesis, plant hormones, plant water transport and gas exchange and basic knowledge of plant health and life cycles of plant pathogens. Regarding statistics and data analysis, the student must be familiar with the following concepts:  standard deviation, elementary probability distribution, normal distribution including confidence intervals, sample size and testing on the mean, binomial confidence intervals and sample size, chi-square test and analysis of variance. The student must have proven affinity with the field of plant biology through work experience or internships at an undergraduate level. The student can independently plan and organise their work and work in a team. As a minimum, the student has attained level B2 in reading and listening and  level B1 in writing and speaking.  Students will be invited for an interview to explain their motivation and past experiences.


  • Lincoln Taiz and Eduardo Zeiger - Plant Physiology
  • Several readers


The minor lasts 20 weeks with a study load of 40 hours per week


Grading: 50% oral assessment, 50% research project. During the minor you have to submit several assignments. Field trips and seminars are mandatory.