General information

What is a writing assignment?
The writing assignment has to present a clear and adequate overview of recent literature addressing the issue of interest.

The writing assignment has to have an in-depth discussion, in which the student demonstrates his/her ability to critically evaluate hypotheses and results, presents his/her own views, and draws conclusions that point towards new research opportunities.

The writing assignment has to include a summary specifically aimed at informing the laymen about the content of the topic.

Upon completion of the writing assignment a PDF file has to be sent to the administration office.

The study load of a writing assignment is 7.5 EC, which corresponds to five weeks of full-time study. Your writing assignment should be completed within three months, from the first meeting with the supervisor to discuss the assignment until submission of the assignment.

The writing assignment cannot be extended for more credits. More information about duration, extentions and delay can be found here.

After finishing his/her writing assignment the student is capable of independently:

  • Conducting literature research, using scientific secure literature databases (e.g. PubMed).
  • Using scientific literature and insights in a critical manner.
  • Summarizing literature using own words.
  • Integrating results and models of papers read into new models.
  • Formulating hypothesis for future research.

In order to assess whether the student has achieved these learning outcomes or to discuss the specific criteria on beforehand, the Rubric for writing assignments can be used.

For more information and guidelines:

Furthermore, the UU library offers online backgrounds and trainings about the use of search engines, for instance:

There are also general guidelines for writing a scientific paper:

It is important to make agreements with your examiner/supervisor about the publication of the work you do, at the start of your project. Usually, publication rights will be transferred to your supervisor or his/her research group.

As to copyrights (auteursrecht), by signing the application form the student declares to transfer the copyright of any and all products, including the tangible and intellectual products of the research project, to the institute where you perform your project. This can be either Utrecht University, the University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) or your host institute. The rights of the student by scientific standards to be a co-author of publications or to be otherwise acknowledged are still recognized.

Your contribution may be acknowledged in different ways. Not only does this depend on the amount of data/texts you have contributed (to), but it also depends on the quality of your work and the level of independence during the project. You may be named in the acknowledgments, your report/writing assignment may be used as a literature reference or you may be asked to be a co-author for an article.

Any questions regarding these issues should be addressed to the head of your group.