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Guidelines Literature Thesis (MED-MMLT)

Purpose of the thesis

You will have to learn to generate scientific articles in an abridged form and in your own words. In doing so, you must:

  • Present a (medical) biological subject in a structured fashion in the form of a report using various articles from scientific journals;
  • Learn to work with various literature systems.

The subject of the thesis

A specialized subject pertaining to the field of one of your research internships that is readable and comprehensible for a broad public. The subject must be broad enough to justify writing a thesis of 6 EC on it, but not so broad that the existing knowledge cannot be summarized and critically evaluated in the time available (4 weeks).


The subject is to be worked out in more detail on the basis of a number of basic articles or review articles and using various literature systems. It is important that you formulate, deal with and then solve a problem in your thesis. In doing so, you are not only to make use of other articles in addition to the basic article, but also of the knowledge that you have acquired in other courses. For example, guidebooks may prove useful in helping you to use and reproduce technical terms in the correct fashion.


  • Writing a literature thesis must be accomplished within 168 study hours (which is about 4 weeks full time) and has a study load of 6 EC.
  • Find a subject for the literature thesis. This may be related to one of your internships, but cannot be the same project.
  • Find a supervisor and external assessor (both RIMLS-(junior)PI) for the literature thesis.
  • The supervisor is expected to have expertise in the field of the thesis subject.
  • The supervisor is expected to guide the student during writing of the literature thesis. He/she should give feedback during the writing process and is requested to discuss with the student the outline of the thesis including the ‘problem to solve' at the start of the writing process. Further meetings are to be planned for discussion of the first draft, the final version and assessment of the thesis.
  • The literature thesis (MED-MMLT) is to be assessed by two assessors: the examiner/supervisor who guides the student during the process plus an external assessor. At least one of the assessors may not have been involved in either supervision or assessment of the student's research training periods.
  • Apply at the Board of Examiners for a Literature Thesis (use the form application Literature Thesis available in the Blackboard Student community). If it is not immediately clear that the subject is different from your internship project, this should be argued in the application. The application should be signed by student, supervisor and external assessor.
  • Assessment is registered using the literature thesis assessment form available on Blackboard (MMD student community).
  • The examiner/supervisor has to check the literature thesis for plagiarism. In addition the student has to upload the thesis  to Blackboard (1112 internship MMD course) where an automatic Turnitin check will take place.

Structure of the thesis

Each thesis should count between 3000 and 6000 words and must comprise the following:

  • Title page (title, name of the author, place and date);
  • A brief summary (in English, if required);
  • An introduction in which a problem is formulated;
  • A section in which the burden of proof, the articles used, is/are examined. Proof should preferably be presented in figures, graphs and tables, as well as be described in the text. The figures should have a legend that is self-explanatory.
  • A discussion with critical comments with respect to the articles that are used and conclusions concerning the problem as formulated;
  • References in an appropriate format.

It is highly recommended that you timely discuss the set-up of your thesis with your supervisor so that you do not meet with any surprises later on.

If you are experiencing problems in writing your thesis, then discuss this with your supervisor in time. You can also discuss the situation with the educational advisor, a tutor or a teacher that you get along with well.

The Student Affairs Office of Radboud University regularly offers the opportunity to take a course 'Writing a thesis'. This training course is intended for students who have already began writing a thesis and so it is required that you already have a subject. This course deals with the following aspects: working through and processing literature, preparing to formulate the problem, the set-up of the thesis and the scheduling. You can contact the Desk Student Affairs for more information on the course and if you wish to register (Comeniuslaan 4).

Academic Writing Centre Nijmegen

The Academic Writing Centre Nijmegen (in Dutch: ASN) offers every student or teacher support based on one's individual needs concerning the execution or supervision of academic writing tasks. This support may vary from coaching with respect to various writing assignments to workshops in writing skills to assistance in sophisticating one's writing didactics. The services of the ASN are easily accessible, free of charge and intended for anyone associated with the university so as to contribute to developing a high-quality academic writing culture.

Visit www.ru.nl/asn for more information.

Assessment of the thesis

The literature thesis assessment form should be used as a guideline for supervision and assessment. Criteria for assessment stated in this form (available in the MMD student community Blackboard) are Overall quality of the thesis; Quality of figures, tables and layout; Quality of the abstract; Quality of the introduction; Justification of the scientific question; In depth work-out of scientific question; Scientific quality of the discussion; Appropriateness of selected literature; Correct citations / references; Overall writing skill; grammar use in report.