Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research Zernike (ZIAM) Education Top Master Program in Nanoscience

Introduction to Top Master Programme in Nanoscience

Introduction to Top Master Programme in Nanoscience

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

The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (Zernike Institute) 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. Scholarships are kindly sponsored by the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials and Cognigron.

The mission of the programme in Nanoscience is to educate and train future PhD-students who have the drive to perform cutting edge research in a highly interdisciplinary field of research, excel in critical thinking and collaborate with their peers to reach out for a larger goal in research. This is achieved using the advantages of a small, selective programme with students, teachers, and research groups in close contact. This allows for intensive and efficient interaction, with plenty of hands-on experiments in the lab. 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 the interdisciplinary field of nanoscience.

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. Full and partial scholarships are available for all admitted students. These are tailored to the needs of the indiviual student to allow the students to focus 100% on their study. The scholarships are given on the condition of sufficient progress.

The Zernike Institute is very successful in helping all students who complete the program secure a PhD position at the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials or other high-profile research institutes in the world. On average, 95% of the students graduating continue their PhD either in Groningen or abroad. A PhD in The Netherlands normally takes four years, after the Master's degree has been obtained. 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.


Testimonials

Tian Liu (cohort 2015-2017)
Tian Liu (cohort 2015-2017)

Tian Liu (cohort 2015-2017): "The small size of the class offered us very easy access to ask professors directly when we had any doubt during classes. The professors get interrupted during class very freqently but they can still finish their teaching contents according to their schedule. The best point of the master project was that I felt like I was treated as a colleague at the Zernike Institute instead of a master student. I really appreciated this kind of feeling."

More information about Tian on LinkedIn

Atreya Majumdar (cohort 2017-2019): "Coming from a pure physics background, the interdisciplinary nature of the Nanoscience programme impressed me, and that motivated me to apply for this very prestigious master’s programme. The very first stint was a guided study in Chemistry, that prepared us for the more chemistry-inclined topics of the core modules. What followed this was an intense period called the core modules, which was an intellectually stimulating and enjoyable journey where we got to learn basic concepts in Nanoscience. The topics taught us the physics, chemistry and even biology required to study different sorts of nanoscopic systems. Different modules posed different types of challenges to us and it was fascinating overcoming them. After this period we wrote a review article on a topic of our choice which I chose to do on nanoionic systems with applications in neuromorphic systems. Alongside that, we pursued a small research project which I did on the simulation of molecular motors. Both writing the article and doing the project involved an understanding of concepts both from physics and chemistry, which I had already acquired from the core modules. The final year is spent mostly on the masters’ research project which I did on interface-driven memristors. This project involved hands-on fabrication of nanodevices, electrical measurements and computer simulations of charge transport. The training I got before was instrumental in the success of this project. Although this whole journey was quite intense- I learned a lot, met people from different backgrounds and had my first serious experience with cutting-edge research. Now, I feel well-equipped to start my PhD project."

Machteld Kamminga (cohort 2012-2014)
Machteld Kamminga (cohort 2012-2014)

Machteld Kamminga (cohort 2012-2014): "With a bachelor’s degree in Applied Physics, I joined the Nanoscience Top Master programme in 2012. I found the interdisciplinary nature of this programme the most appealing, as I was interested in gathering expertise on areas in chemistry, physics and biology. During the Top Master, I have attended several advanced chemistry courses, did my thesis project on single-molecule studies of DNA-based processes and did my Small Research project on the synthesis and characterization of organic-inorganic hybrid materials. As part of the curriculum, I wrote a research proposal based on my experience during the Small Research project, which got funded and led to my current PhD position. I believe that the programme and the direct link to ongoing research in the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials prepared me very well for my PhD. The Top Master programme allowed me to evolve from a student with a physics background into a researcher in the field of materials chemistry. Being able to work at the border between physics and chemistry, I find myself in a position where I feel that I can make significant contributions to science. Being able to make and characterize materials, gives me the tools I need to develop my career. In addition, I think that the strength of the Nanoscience programme goes beyond the cross-disciplinary nature of the curriculum. Having a small cohort of students (maximum of 15), significantly adds to the learning process. Working with people who do not only have different scientific backgrounds (physics, chemistry or materials science), but also different cultural backgrounds, was the highlight of my master’s programme and has taught me a lot."

More information about Machteld on LinkedIn


More information


Last modified:27 October 2020 09.58 a.m.