What is the VUB Biotech Summer School all about?

  • Are you a bachelor student with a background in biology, chemistry, biotechnology or biomedical sciences?
  • Do you want to make a head start in your education and learn more about topics related to cancer research, synthetic biology, structural biology, plant genetics, microbial biotechnology and research valorization?
  • Do you want to learn how real-world applications are developed from biotechnological research?

What will you discover during these two weeks?

You will be immersed in the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)'s multidisciplinary and international research environment which has an excellent reputation in training and research in molecular biology and biotechnology. Inspiring lectures from VUB professors, but also from international guest speakers, will be combined with hands-on workshops in state-of-the-art laboratories of the "Structural Biology Brussels", "Microbiology" and "Cellular and Molecular Immunology" research groups. 

The Summer School will combine a broad introduction to a very diverse range of themes in medical and non-medical biotechnology during the first week, with a deep focus on a selected topic during the second week.

 

 

During the first week, you will go on a fascinating journey starting from the molecular level with a focus on proteins, to the cellular level with a focus on the engineering of plants or microorganisms for use as cell factories, and on disease. Unique topics will be covered, such as the use of fungi for the creation of sustainable biomaterials to nanobodies, a unique class of camel antibodies with far-reaching applications in biotechnology and medicine. During the second week, you will be able to take a close look behind the scenes of a research laboratory and follow a researcher closely during his/her research project, a unique opportunity for bachelor-level students.

Programme overview

The summer school will give every subject addressed ample time and consideration. A more detailed programme will become available at a later stage. The below is a broad outline of the event. 

On the first day, there will be a welcome session outlining practicalities for the week, with an outline on the education and research activities at the VUB, and an overview of the learning objectives and activities of the summer school itself. The rest of the first week will consist of lectures, from VUB professors and international guest speakers, and hands-on workshops. Various topics will be addressed, such as microbiology, protein biochemistry, immunology and plants.During the second week, you will be able to take a look behind the scenes of a well-equipped state-of-the-art research laboratory and to experience ongoing research activities. You will follow a researcher closely during his/her research project, which is linked to one of the themes of the Biotech Summer School.

Besides the learning activities, there will be ample of time for social activities to enjoy the VUB campus in summer and the nearby centre of Brussels: including two informal group dinners, a guided tour of Brussels, a β€œchocolate” experience and a visit to an artisanal brewery in Brussels.

biotech summer school

Participants of the 2022 Biotech Summer schools

Practical info

Date: 14-25 August 2023

Place: VUB Humanities, Sciences and Engineering Campus, Brussels, Belgium

Credits: 3 ECTS

Registration fees: we offer three registration fee options. In all cases, tuition fees are included, as well as lunches on 'school'-days, two group dinners, materials, and some activities. For the registration fees that include hotel options, breakfast is included as well:

  • two week summer school - NO accommodation: €1,100
  • two week summer school - SHARED room accommodation: €1,900
  • two week summer school - SINGLE room accommodation: €2,400

Please note that we will reserve a minimum of 3 places for students from our EUTOPIA partners, who will then receive a €550 discount on the basic fee (i.e. the 'no accommodation' price). Any accommodation would come on top. 

PLEASE NOTE: there are no scholarships available from VUB for this summer school. 

Applying

Application process & form

We are aiming to gather a group of maximum 20 motivated and enthusiastic participants with a background in biology, chemistry, biotechnology and/or biomedicine.

The selection of participants for the Summer School will occur in two steps: first, based on the screening of a short motivational statement and curriculum vitae. After the first round, those who passed, will be invited to the second round: an interview, which will take place in an online format. After the applicant has passed both rounds, will they receive an invitation to join and register (and pay) for the Summer School. 

Applications are now CLOSED.

Disclaimers

Disclaimer #1: the organisers reserve the right to cancel this summer school if there is not a minimum number of participants. The minimum for this summer school to go ahead is 10. The decision will be taken on 14 May. 

Disclaimer #2: should we need to cancel the biotech summer school for some reason or another, then we shall reimburse the registration fee to all those who have paid. We will however not reimburse travelling costs or additional expenses you made outside of this registration fee. We encourage all students to always take insurance to cover any eventualities. 

 

Disclaimer #3 regarding cancellation policy:

  • A full reimbursement of the registration fee will be given if cancellation happens before 15 May 2023 (this does not include reimbursement of flights, or other travel expenses. Only the registration fee (including or excluding accommodation) will be reimbursed). 
  • A partial reimbursement of 50% of the registration fee will be given if cancellation happens between 16 May until 30 May 2023 (this does not include reimbursement of flights, or other travel expenses. Only the registration fee (including or excluding accommodation) will be reimbursed). 
  • After 30 May 2023 there will be no reimbursements of the registration fees due to cancellation.
biotech summer school