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OnderzoekZernike (ZIAM)EducationTop Master Program in Nanoscience

Introduction to Top Master Programme in Nanoscience

This program is organized by the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
This program is organized by the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Introduction to Top Master Programme in Nanoscience

The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ZIAM) is responsible for the Top Master Programme in Nanoscience. This is a two-year international English-language Master's degree, open to excellent students with a Bachelor's degree in physics, chemistry or materials science. The programme is composed of 120 ECTS of study elements. We aim to admit 15 students per year, at least 50% of them from abroad. A leaflet with information about the programme is available.

Students are pre-selected on the basis of academic potential and excellent results in their Bachelor's phase, supported by a letter of application explaining their motivation, a list of accomplishments, and letters of recommendation. Pre-selected students will normally be invited for an interview in Groningen. All accepted students will receive fellowships, conditional on they are making sufficient progress.

ZIAM will try to find for all students who complete the program a PhD position at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. A PhD in The Netherlands normally takes four years, after the Master's degree has been obtained. For exceptionally gifted students, it may be possible to combine the second year of the Top Master Programme with the first year of the PhD Programme, leading to a MSc/PhD-programme of five instead of six years duration.

The Top Master Programme in Nanoscience aims at an interdisciplinary training in modern materials science, with a focus on nanoscale phenomena. Teachers and supervisors associated with the programme represent the excellent research groups taking part in the research programme of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. Students are submitted to a challenging and highly demanding curriculum, combining both the broadness and depth necessary for a successful research career in modern materials science.

Upon successful completion of the Top Master Programme in Nanoscience, the student will be in an excellent position for a career in research in nanoscience and nanotechnology.


Quality assurance

All government-funded Dutch university programmes have to be assessed every six years by the organization QANU, and subsequenlty obtain an accreditation by the government-mandated organization NVAO. The Top Master Programme in Nanoscience was assessed in 2007 and 2012, resulting in highly positive reports on both occasions, and continuous accreditation under CROHO label 60618.

On 19 March 2008, the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO) decided to extend the accreditation of the Top Master Programme in Nanoscience until 31 December 2013. Furthermore, on 5 August 2008, NVAO has decided to award the special label exceptional quality to seven aspects of this Programme: the intake and admission requirements, sufficient capacity of staff, sufficient accommodation and material facilities, adequate student support and guidance, involvement of stakeholders, realization of intended final qualifications, success rates in line with targets.

It was the first time ever the NVAO has awarded such a highly positive distinction to a master programme.

On 22 April 2013, the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO) decided to extend the accreditation of the Top Master Programme in Nanoscience until 31 December 2019. Furthermore, along with this decisions the NVAO has decided to award the special label excellent to all main aspects of this Programme: Intended learning outcomes, Teaching-learning environment, Assessment and achieved learning outcomes, and General conclusion of the assessment.

This was the second time that this Programme got such exceptionally high distinctions. Citing from the reports: "The programme systematically well surpasses the generic quality standards across its entire spectrum and is regarded as an (inter)national example". The QANU committee also wrote: "...the committee wants to exemplify this programme as a 'best practice' for other master's programmes in Nanoscience (national and international)."


Programme organization

The Top Master Programme in Nanoscience is carried out by scientific staff of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (ZIAM). It is a relatively small, selective master programme with a strong emphasis on research. On all aspects, the programme has very active and close interactions with ZIAM, and this makes that it is a special master program for our university. In addition, it is a hybrid programme in that it unites subjects conventionally taught in either physics or in chemistry. For its organizational structure, and the rules and regulations for its education, Nanoscience is part of the educational programme of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) of the University of Groningen, and it is supported by the Education Support Centre (ESC) of this Faculty.

  • The Board of the Programme is formed by the Board of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering (contact information).

  • The programme director of the programme is currently dr. Thomas L. C. Jansen (appointed for the period 1/1/2017 untill 1/1/2020), who succeeded prof. dr. ir. Caspar H. van der Wal (1/11/2010 - 31/12/2016).

  • The programme coordinator is drs. Karin de Jonge (contact: escnanoscience@rug.nl). She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Top Master Programme in Nanoscience.

  • For academic advising within the programme, all students frequently interact with the programme director. This includes coaching of the transition to a PhD position at the end of the Programme. In addition, a mentor (a staff member of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials) is assigned to each student for coaching on study performance, and more individual advising on study and career choices. For any other topics, as an external advisor, an academic advisor from the Education Support Centre is associated with the programme.

  • On a weekly basis, the programme director, programme coordinator (and when useful the academic advisor) meet for the so-called three-way consultations. Frequently, at least on a monthly basis, student members of the programme committee are present for consultation.


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Laatst gewijzigd:17 november 2017 14:20