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Course module: BMB507110
Communication in Neuroscience
Course info
Course codeBMB507110
ECTS Credits3
Category / LevelM (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Medicine; Graduate School of Life Sciences; Neuroscience and Cognition;
Contact persondr. G.M.J. Ramakers
Contactperson for the course
dr. G.M.J. Ramakers
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
MASTER  (20/08/2018 to 17/08/2019)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slot-: Not in use
Study mode
RemarkCourse during whole year, 19 nov 2018 - 30 nov 2019, partime. Max 14 students
Course application processadministratie onderwijsinstituut
Enrolling through OSIRISNo
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesNo
Waiting listNo
Course placement processadministratie onderwijsinstituut
Upon successful completion of the course, the student:
  1. knows about the work that is done at an editorial board or
  2. organising committee of a congress;
  3. can work together with fellow students and deliver a product within a given deadline;
  4. is able to adequately complete one of the tasks that is part of making a journal or organising a symposium;
  5. knows how to take responsibility and organise;
  6. has learned how to communicate adequately and professionally to third parties.
Period (from – till): during whole year, 19 november 2018 - 30 november 2019 (parttime)

Course coordinator:
dr. G.M.J. Ramakers
dr. M de Krom

Course description
Elective course in the Master Neuroscience & Cognition. Capacity: 14 students (6 and 8)
Overall aim
Scientific results in the field of neuroscience are often disseminated as publications in a journal or presented during symposia. Writing and presenting of scientific data are skills that are trained during the internships and thus integral part of the Master’s educational program. This course goes one step further and aims to educate students in the organization of symposia and/or the publishing and reviewing process of scientific papers. This is not only useful for those aspiring a scientific career where eventually (usually as senior scientist) they are expected to be able to perform these tasks, but also for students who are interested in a future as professional conference organizer or in the scientific publishing business.
Description of the course
At the start of the course, students indicate which track they would like to pursue, i.e. conference organization or scientific publishing. For the conference organization track 8 positions are available and for the scientific publishing track 6.
The conference organization track organizes an annual two-day symposium meant for fellow Master students. Students who choose this track are guided by an experienced tutor (Mariken de Krom) through the entire process of putting together a challenging scientific program, inviting speakers, organizing a poster session, seeking sponsors, managing organizational aspects (registration, travel and accommodation for speakers, reserving a hall, slide presentations etc), pr via the website ( and keeping a budget. At the end, each student writes an evaluation that contains: a detailed description of the student’s task within the track, a SWOT analysis of the task and a time investment report, that is sufficiently clear for outsiders to help them to run a similar symposium in the future.
Students of the other track serve as editorial board of a scientific journal featuring contributions from their fellow students, during one year (two issues). They are guided by an experienced tutor (Pierre de Graan) through the process of soliciting scientific contributions, finding independent external reviewers, carrying out editorial reviews and news and views themselves, assembling the referee reports and send them with a cover letter to the authors, judging the rebuttal and revised manuscripts, determine the lay-out of the manuscripts, send the print proofs to the authors for a final check, finalize the issue, find sponsors, pr via the website (, negotiate with the printer and distribute the journal among their fellow students. At the end, each student writes an evaluation that contains: a detailed description of the task of the student within the track, a SWOT analysis of the task and a time investment report, that is sufficiently clear for a new editorial board to edit the next issue.
In addition to these practical parts of the course, the course also encompasses two round-table discussions (one with a representative from a professional conference organizer, the other with an editor from a scientific publisher), in which the students actively participate.
At the start of the course students receive information about the issues (e.g. independence, dedication, effectiveness etc) on which their performance will be judged. They receive feedback on their performance from the tutor twice during the course, once halfway the process, and once at the end (also based on the written report).

Literature/study material used
Reader with information

During introduction meeting master N&C

Mandatory for students in Master’s programme

Optional for students in other GSLS Master’s programme:
Prerequisite knowledge:
Entry requirements
Required materials
Instructional formats
Field trip

Group assignment

Group discussion

Guest lecture

Individual work

Final result
Test weight100
Minimum grade5.5

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