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Applied Crop Research

Would you like to contribute to the latest developments in the “Next Green revolution”?

What is the best way forward when you would like to make a crop more resistant to, for example, our chancing climate or diseases? How can you best make use of the possibilities offered by different disciplines within crop research to tackle this problem? To what extent should you aim for improvement through (for example) breeding for more resistance in the crop, utilizing beneficial (micro)organisms, optimization of cultivation systems through data analysis or by using new technological possibilities?

After this minor, you will be able to answer such questions. You will further extend your knowledge on crop physiology (with main focus on water and nutrient management), molecular breeding techniques and practices, future farming systems (a.o. nature inclusive agriculture practices, precision farming and circular farming) and data analysis.

To fully recognize possibilities for crop growth  and management, integration of your knowledge about the abovementioned fields of research is required. You will experience that through a sector wide research project in which you will focus on a cropping system by performing a whole chain analysis. You will present your research in a report in which you explain your ideas about the most promising developments for future-proof farming of your crop. If you have specific ideas about future farming in an area of interest or would like to add a practical component we encourage you to incorporate these in your own research project.

To experience how companies and farmers embrace new developments and apply their current knowledge on future and sustainable farming, the minor will also include field trips and guest lectures.



At the end of the module Applied Crop Research, the student should be able to:

  1. set-up crop research, collect, interpret and critically evaluate data, integrate results into coherent advice for the sector;
  2. discuss and present research, 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.
  4. describe current precision and sustainable techniques from different sectors and the application of these techniques in a field of interest.
  5. use the data analysis cycle in a specific field, determine the relevance of each step in the data cycle and evaluate the relevance of the end result of the data cycle for sustainable development.


Aspiring students 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 program related to biology. Besides basic knowledge on biology and research we expect the following knowledge and skills:

  • The student knows the fundamentals of Mendel genetics, photosynthesis, plant hormones, plant water and nutrient transport and gas exchange. The student has basic knowledge on plant health and life cycles of plant pathogens.
  • In the field of statistics and data analysis, the student is familiar with the following conceptsstandard deviation, 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 can prove affinity with the field of plant biology through work experience  and/or internships at an undergraduate level. 
  • The student is sufficiently fluent at reading, writing and speaking English and able to follow this English taught minor.

You will be invited for an interview to explain your motivation and past experiences.


Grading: oral assessment, sector wide project, and individual advisory report.