Science, Business and Innovation: Chemistry & Physics

Understanding innovation in life and energy sciences

Think big. Turn scientific inventions into succesful products.

Successfully introducing scientific knowledge and inventions into the market is a complex process in which science and business cooperate to the fullest extent at each stage of development. Are you curious about how to integrate both the scientific and the business side of innovations? Do you want to play a crucial part in determining the economic success of innovations? Then the Science, Business & Innovation (SBI) Master’s track at VU University Amsterdam is the programme for you.

Understanding Innovation in Life and Energy Sciences 

The Master Track SBI is unique in the Netherlands and is a close collaboration between the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, and the Faculty of Social Sciences. SBI consists of two specialization themes; energy & sustainability and life & health. At this moment SBI still constitutes a separate track in the Physics and Chemistry Master. However, preparations are being made to make Science, Business and Innovation an independent Master's Programme, offered by VU Amsterdam only. All up-to-date information for this programme is therefore available on this website. You can find important information on the application procedure, found below under ‘Admission’ - ‘How to enroll’. If you have any questions, please contact the SBI programme coordinator.

Your profile
The Master’s track in SBI is a challenging programme for students who already have a solid background in the natural sciences, technology studies and science based innovation studies. Students with a Bachelor’s degree in SBI from VU University Amsterdam have unconditional admission. Applicants with other Bachelor degrees will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Examination Board. In those cases the Board will decide whether there are deficiencies that have to be compensated for before or during the programme.

Kickstart your professional career with the Master’s track SBI
As an SBI graduate you are trained to integrate scientific aspects in a business and innovation context while taking organizational, social and cultural variables into account. Professionals who are able to bridge the gap between laboratory, work floor  and boardroom are rare and highly sought after. Practice and theory go hand in hand in your Master’s track in SBI. The SBI courses feature real world business cases and the things you learn in the classroom are directly applicable in your future career.

SBI has an extensive network within the industry. The Master’s programme is concluded with a six month internship at a company or research institute. The internship constitutes an important part of the Master’s programme and is an excellent preparation for a career in either the energy & sustainability or life & health sciences sector. SBI Master students are currently doing their research internships at companies like Shell and Accenture in countries all over the globe, including the Netherlands, Germany and the USA.

Further information

Overview Science, Business & Innovation: Chemistry & Physics

Language of instruction

English

Duration

2 years

Tuition fee

Application deadline

1 June for Dutch students. 1 April for EU/EEA and non-EU/EEA students. EU/EEA students with an international degree who do not need housing services through Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam University Amsterdam can still apply until 1 June.

Start date

1 September

Study type

Full-time

Specializations

 

Field of Interest

Economics, Business and Law/Computer Science, Mathematics and Business/Natural Sciences

Study programme

The Master’s track SBI is a two years programme (120 EC) and is taught in English. All SBI Master Track students will take general courses in the business aspects of and science behind scientific innovations. Alongside these mandatory courses, students will take specific courses depending on the specialization they choose.

Specializations from the SBI Master’s track

The SBI Master’s Track offers two thematic specializations: energy & sustainability and life & health. The energy science specialization focuses on the development and implementation of sustainable solutions, the life science specialization emphasizes on drug development, molecular diagnostics and innovative medical instrumentation.

Course descriptions Science, Business & Innovation
For more information about the courses in the programme you can contact the SBI programme coordinator.

Science, Business & Innovation: Chemistry & Physics courses in study guide.

Specializations

The Master’s Track in Science, Business and Innovation at VU University offers two different specializations: energy & sustainability and life & health. Students can choose one of these or decide to combine the two specializations.

Energy & Sustainability Specialization

The energy problem is one of the biggest challenges the world has to face in the 21st century. Climate change, rapidly rising oil prices and political instability in oil rich regions means we have to switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.  The Energy Science track focuses on innovations in the rapidly changing energy & sustainability sector and educates students in both the scientific aspects of renewable energy and the business side of implementing innovations in the energy & sustainability sector.

Life & Health Specialization

Even though huge steps have been made in medicine in the last 100 years, over 60% of all diseases known to man still can’t be cured. Innovations in healthcare are thus highly necessary and the Master’s Track in Life & Health of SBI emphasizes on innovations in this highly innovative sector. Master alumni of the Life & Health track are trained to guide a medicine from the laboratory to the pharmacy or focus on the application of new medical technology in hospitals worldwide. 

Structure of the program

The Table below shows the structure of the program for the Energy & Sustainability (E&S) specialization as well as the Life & Health (L&H) specialization.

Table 1. Structure of the SBI master program

Period

Year 1

Year 2

1: sep-oct

Courses 12 EC*

Courses 12 EC*

2: nov-dec

Courses 12 EC*

Courses 12 EC*

3: jan

SBI interdisciplinary specialization course 6 EC:

·        Specialization E&S: Current Sustainable Energy Technologies

·        Specialization L&H: Business, Innovation and value creation in the life sciences industry

 

 

Master project 36 EC:

·        Specialization E&S: Academic master research project in(to) valorization aspects of a commercial firm or institutional organization in the sustainable energy sector, facilitated by an internship

·        Specialization L&H: Academic master research project in(to) valorization aspects of a commercial firm or institutional organization in the life sciences or health care sector, facilitated by an internship

4: feb-mar

Science project 24 EC variant 1**:

·        Specialization E&S: Internship/research in(to) valorization aspects of a lab setting or R&D setting in the sustainable energy sector

·        Specialization L&H: Internship/research in(to) valorization aspects of a lab setting or R&D setting in the life sciences or health care sector

5: apr-may

6: jun

Course 6 EC*

*:

Specialization E&S and L&H: 24EC of the same mandatory Business and Social Science courses; These courses are: SBI Research Methodology (6EC, period 1), Management of Sustainable Innovation (6EC, period 1), Networked Organizations and Communication (6EC, period 1), Transdisciplinarity and Transition (6EC, period 1).

Specialization E&S: 12EC of natural science courses, chosen from the following E&S-list: Biosolar cells (6EC, period 1), Chemical Biology (6EC, period 1), Green Chemistry (6EC, period 1), Photovoltaics (6EC, period 4), Project Sustainable Future (6EC, period 6), Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (12EC, period 4 and 5).

Specialization L&H: 12EC of natural science courses, chosen from the following L&H-list: Biomedical modelling and simulation (6EC, period 1), Principles pharmaceutical sciences/Pharmacochemistry (6EC, period 1), Protein science (6EC, period 1), Innovation in medical technology (6EC, period 6), Chemical biology (6EC, period 1), Green chemistry (6EC, period 1).

Specialization E&S and L&H: 18EC electives. Electives are free to choose, and can also be courses from other (abroad) universities. Students who want to increase their focus on the science element of their specialization can choose to enroll for extra course from the E&S- and/or L&H-list. Students who want to further increase their focus on the business/innovation aspect of their specialization can for example choose one or more of the following courses: Technology and innovation processes (6EC, period 2), Managing service innovation (6EC, period 2), Small business development (6EC, period 2), Industriële eigendom (6EC, period 4), International Intellectual Property Law (6EC, period 4).

 

**:

or variant 2: 12EC course Researching Science Research for E&S and L&H specializations, and 12EC natural science courses from the E&S list (E&S specialization; see the above text for this list) or from the L&H list (L&H specialization; see the above text for this list).

 

In general, about the program: students in each specialization partially follow the same courses (Business & Innovation courses, 24EC), follow a specific program for all students in each specialization (specialization-related science courses 12EC, specialization-related integration course 6 EC), and follow a student-specific, specialization-based tailored program (Science project (alternative 1 or 2) 24 EC, Master project 36 EC, and Electives 18 EC).

Through this approach, students develop into business oriented and management driven innovation professionals in their specialization, with sufficient knowledge of and insight in the natural sciences as well as the business and social science of this specialization. During the two years of study the 24EC of joint business & innovation courses stimulate cohesion and cooperation between students of the same cohort. To further stimulate cohesion and cooperation between students of the two specializations, the master project (36EC) has several plenary sessions in which students exchange results, experience, insights and knowledge. Additionally, Master Group Meetings are organized to stimulate contact among students of  the cohorts.


Why Study SBI?

Practical applicability
The programme is characterized by a strong focus on the application of acquired scientific knowledge into practice through cases and research. Multiple courses feature case studies and scientific subjects are chosen such that the knowledge gained in business and innovation processes can be applied to real world situations.

International setting
The city of Amsterdam is a very welcoming environment for international students and staff. Our Science, Business & Innovation department is also very internationally–oriented. Our academic staff has extensive international experience and our students come from many different countries. 

Small scale programme
The Master’s track SBI at VU University Amsterdam has all the advantages of a small scale programme. Lectures and projects are carried out in small groups, in close cooperation with professors. Students and professors know each other personally, leading to a relaxed and productive atmosphere in which every student will feel at home quickly.

Broad focus
Because courses from the business and the sciences are combined, the SBI student is trained to become a broadly interested and trained professional who can build bridges between research and market. An SBI master alumnus has sufficient natural science knowledge to communicate with R&D departments and to operate on a managerial level thanks to a broad base in both natural and business sciences.

Cooperation with industry
The SBI staff has an extensive network within  academia and industry. VU University Amsterdam is located conveniently on the Zuidas, the Central Business District of Amsterdam, the economic and financial heart of the Netherlands. The Amsterdam World Trade Center and several multinationals, such as ING, ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel and Philips are headquartered within a few minutes of the VU campus. Amsterdam also hosts numerous smaller innovative companies and startups.

An excellent preparation for a career in business
The SBI Master's track is concluded with an internship with a company or institute. The internship forms a crucial part of your Master's track and is designed to kick start your professional career. The SBI Master's staff includes an internship coordinator who will actively support you in finding a suitable and stimulating internship.

Cooperation with the University of Amsterdam
The city of Amsterdam hosts two world class universities. VU University and the University of Amsterdam collaborate closely in natural sciences and both are ranked in the top 150 universities of the world, according to the 2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Students can enjoy the expertise of two universities and benefit from their existing networks and collaborative projects.

World Class Research Institutes
The city of Amsterdam hosts numerous world class research institutes such as the VU Laserlab and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter institute AMOLF. Amsterdam also hosts two university hospitals: the VUMC and AMC medical centers. In May 2013 VU University Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter announced that a new world class Research Institute for Nanolithography will be established in Amsterdam, in close cooperation with ASML, the world’s largest producer of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry.

Study in the city of Innovation
Amsterdam is the bustling capital of the Netherlands, a country deeply rooted in entrepreneurship and innovation. The Netherlands consistently ranks amongst the top nations in the world for innovation, and was named the 6th most innovative country in the world by the 2012 Global Innovation Index.

Enjoy the Amsterdam student life
The city of Amsterdam is one of Europes most beautiful historic cities and its gorgeous 17th century canal ring is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amsterdam also boasts a cultural life unrivalled in Northern Europe, with world class museums and concert venues.


 


 

Career prospects

SBI graduates are trained to integrate scientific aspects in a business and innovation context while taking organizational, social and cultural variables into account. Professionals who are able to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the boardroom are rare and highly sought after.

Working in the industry
Possible starting positions include assistant R&D project manager, assistant business analyst, high-tech marketing trainee, or strategy consultant in the public or private sector. Companies that are attractive for SBI graduates include venture capital companies investing in innovative new concepts, consultancy companies for both governments and businesses and the energy and pharmaceutical sector, where research and development are of crucial importance.

Continuing your studies of Scientific Careers
You can also decide to continue expanding your knowledge and apply for a PhD position.

Starting your own company
The Master’s programme SBI is also an excellent starting point for starting your own business. The Bachelor’s programme has received a special distinction for Entrepreneurship from the Dutch accreditation authorities. Our innovation projects, which form a crucial part of the Bachelor’s programme, received a Best practice from the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs for Entrepreneurial Education. There are over 15 active entrepreneurs in the current student population SBI.

SBI Students are broad allrounders who can work in a lot of different environments. Because of their broad set of skills and knowledge SBI Students are of great benefit to innovative startup companies like The New Motion.” – Wouter de Ridder, The New Motion

Internships

The Master’s Track in SBI at VU University Amsterdam is concluded with an internship and a Master’s Thesis. A four month science project, where you will perform your own natural science research is also part of the curriculum. The internship forms an important component of the Master’s phase and will prepare students for a career in either the energy & sustainability or life & health sector.

Widen your perspective with the SBI internship
Most students decide to do their internship at private companies. VU University Amsterdam is located conveniently on the Zuidas, the financial and economic heart of the Netherlands and is well connected to the rest of the country. Students can also opt to do their internship abroad.

Finding an internship
SBI employs an internship coordinator who maintains close ties with various innovative companies and will actively support you in finding a suitable and exciting environment to do your internship.

What our internship supervisors have to say about SBI students

“Working with a student from the SBI program was extremely enlightening, as these students are trained to have a good perception on the interplay between science and Business worlds for different sectors. I worked with Rens Spierings from the first batch of SBI students, on a difficult topic where the interplay is difficult, risky and not common, in Neglected Tropical diseases, and the analysis performed and conclusions drawn were accurate, concise and thoughtful for both me, Rens and the readers at the highest level of decision makers in this area. The SBI program, if it can foster such analytical thinking, will be a great asset to have in many fields in the Netherlands and beyond.” – Jay Iyer, TI Pharma

"The SBI Student who did his internship with us at Wageningen UR Plant and Applied Plant Research, helped us a lot with our project in Energy Storage. The enery producing farmers, cooperating in the Energy Guild, grealy benefited from the Student's creative and thorough work and made important steps in improving energy storage techniques. We hope to cooperate with more SBI students in the future, for example in algae research or other sustainable energy sources." - Andrea Terbijhe, Wageningen UR

Student experiences

Some experiences of current Master’s students SBI can be found below. If you want more information about student experiences, please contact the Master’s coordinator. He will gladly introduce you to a current Master’s student who can answer all your questions about the Master’s track and the bustling Amsterdam student life.

 

Solving problems by a multidisciplinary approach

Rens"As a student in the SBI master program I am encouraged to solve problems by tackling them by a multidisciplinary approach. The program's science courses enable me to specialize in my field of interest. This can be complemented by choosing optional courses and a science project at a research group within the same field, allowing for further specialization. The program's business and social science courses provide a thorough understanding of organizational structures and processes related to (scientific) innovation. In addition, several integrative SBI courses and monthly discussion sessions train me to use both disciplines in a co-operative manner.  I firmly believe the master in SBI provides me with all the skills and training I will need to achieve my long-term career goals." – Rens Spierings

 

Create your own specialization path

Marissa“SBI students have the opportunity to specialize in one of the two different tracks, the energy and the chemistry track. You will have obligatory Science, Business and Innovation courses, just like the Bachelor SBI, but you will also have a great amount of time for scientific research and your own optional subjects. This will enable you to specialize further in your own field of interest among your track. For example, I have chosen to follow my optional subjects on the faculty of architecture in Delft, since I am very interested in sustainable buildings and urbanism. For my master thesis I am an intern at a sustainable oriented architectural firm to investigate the possibility to create opportunities in times of the recent crisis. Consequently, I have created my own specialization path within the energy track.“ – Marissa de Boer

From Medical Natural Science to SBI

"My bachelor Medical Natural Sciences was a research bachelor which mainly focused on activities in the laboratory. Although I am very interested in the results from laboratory research, I did not have the passion to perform laboratory research myself. Science, Business & Innovation gives me the opportunity to combine the lab research field with a more social environment. You can make sure that interesting laboratory discoveries do not stop with a publication in a journal, but are used to create an innovative product from which society can profit. The merger of knowledge from the business field together with the natural science research field makes you a widely employable professional in which many companies are interested. My career prospects are not entirely clear but my internship at Philips Lighting and my future internship at the Dutch consulate in San Francisco strengthens my feeling that SBI students are widely employable which is of great value for big companies." - Diederik Appelboom

Study programme

The Master’s track SBI is a two years programme (120 EC) and is taught in English. All SBI Master Track students will take general courses in the business aspects of and science behind scientific innovations. Alongside these mandatory courses, students will take specific courses depending on the specialization they choose.

Specializations from the SBI Master’s track

The SBI Master’s Track offers two thematic specializations: energy & sustainability and life & health. The energy science specialization focuses on the development and implementation of sustainable solutions, the life science specialization emphasizes on drug development, molecular diagnostics and innovative medical instrumentation.

Course descriptions Science, Business & Innovation
For more information about the courses in the programme you can contact the SBI programme coordinator.

Science, Business & Innovation: Chemistry & Physics courses in study guide.

Specializations

The Master’s Track in Science, Business and Innovation at VU University offers two different specializations: energy & sustainability and life & health. Students can choose one of these or decide to combine the two specializations.

Energy & Sustainability Specialization

The energy problem is one of the biggest challenges the world has to face in the 21st century. Climate change, rapidly rising oil prices and political instability in oil rich regions means we have to switch from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.  The Energy Science track focuses on innovations in the rapidly changing energy & sustainability sector and educates students in both the scientific aspects of renewable energy and the business side of implementing innovations in the energy & sustainability sector.

Life & Health Specialization

Even though huge steps have been made in medicine in the last 100 years, over 60% of all diseases known to man still can’t be cured. Innovations in healthcare are thus highly necessary and the Master’s Track in Life & Health of SBI emphasizes on innovations in this highly innovative sector. Master alumni of the Life & Health track are trained to guide a medicine from the laboratory to the pharmacy or focus on the application of new medical technology in hospitals worldwide. 

Structure of the program

The Table below shows the structure of the program for the Energy & Sustainability (E&S) specialization as well as the Life & Health (L&H) specialization.

Table 1. Structure of the SBI master program

Period

Year 1

Year 2

1: sep-oct

Courses 12 EC*

Courses 12 EC*

2: nov-dec

Courses 12 EC*

Courses 12 EC*

3: jan

SBI interdisciplinary specialization course 6 EC:

·        Specialization E&S: Current Sustainable Energy Technologies

·        Specialization L&H: Business, Innovation and value creation in the life sciences industry

 

 

Master project 36 EC:

·        Specialization E&S: Academic master research project in(to) valorization aspects of a commercial firm or institutional organization in the sustainable energy sector, facilitated by an internship

·        Specialization L&H: Academic master research project in(to) valorization aspects of a commercial firm or institutional organization in the life sciences or health care sector, facilitated by an internship

4: feb-mar

Science project 24 EC variant 1**:

·        Specialization E&S: Internship/research in(to) valorization aspects of a lab setting or R&D setting in the sustainable energy sector

·        Specialization L&H: Internship/research in(to) valorization aspects of a lab setting or R&D setting in the life sciences or health care sector

5: apr-may

6: jun

Course 6 EC*

*:

Specialization E&S and L&H: 24EC of the same mandatory Business and Social Science courses; These courses are: SBI Research Methodology (6EC, period 1), Management of Sustainable Innovation (6EC, period 1), Networked Organizations and Communication (6EC, period 1), Transdisciplinarity and Transition (6EC, period 1).

Specialization E&S: 12EC of natural science courses, chosen from the following E&S-list: Biosolar cells (6EC, period 1), Chemical Biology (6EC, period 1), Green Chemistry (6EC, period 1), Photovoltaics (6EC, period 4), Project Sustainable Future (6EC, period 6), Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (12EC, period 4 and 5).

Specialization L&H: 12EC of natural science courses, chosen from the following L&H-list: Biomedical modelling and simulation (6EC, period 1), Principles pharmaceutical sciences/Pharmacochemistry (6EC, period 1), Protein science (6EC, period 1), Innovation in medical technology (6EC, period 6), Chemical biology (6EC, period 1), Green chemistry (6EC, period 1).

Specialization E&S and L&H: 18EC electives. Electives are free to choose, and can also be courses from other (abroad) universities. Students who want to increase their focus on the science element of their specialization can choose to enroll for extra course from the E&S- and/or L&H-list. Students who want to further increase their focus on the business/innovation aspect of their specialization can for example choose one or more of the following courses: Technology and innovation processes (6EC, period 2), Managing service innovation (6EC, period 2), Small business development (6EC, period 2), Industriële eigendom (6EC, period 4), International Intellectual Property Law (6EC, period 4).

 

**:

or variant 2: 12EC course Researching Science Research for E&S and L&H specializations, and 12EC natural science courses from the E&S list (E&S specialization; see the above text for this list) or from the L&H list (L&H specialization; see the above text for this list).

 

In general, about the program: students in each specialization partially follow the same courses (Business & Innovation courses, 24EC), follow a specific program for all students in each specialization (specialization-related science courses 12EC, specialization-related integration course 6 EC), and follow a student-specific, specialization-based tailored program (Science project (alternative 1 or 2) 24 EC, Master project 36 EC, and Electives 18 EC).

Through this approach, students develop into business oriented and management driven innovation professionals in their specialization, with sufficient knowledge of and insight in the natural sciences as well as the business and social science of this specialization. During the two years of study the 24EC of joint business & innovation courses stimulate cohesion and cooperation between students of the same cohort. To further stimulate cohesion and cooperation between students of the two specializations, the master project (36EC) has several plenary sessions in which students exchange results, experience, insights and knowledge. Additionally, Master Group Meetings are organized to stimulate contact among students of  the cohorts.


Why Study SBI?

Practical applicability
The programme is characterized by a strong focus on the application of acquired scientific knowledge into practice through cases and research. Multiple courses feature case studies and scientific subjects are chosen such that the knowledge gained in business and innovation processes can be applied to real world situations.

International setting
The city of Amsterdam is a very welcoming environment for international students and staff. Our Science, Business & Innovation department is also very internationally–oriented. Our academic staff has extensive international experience and our students come from many different countries. 

Small scale programme
The Master’s track SBI at VU University Amsterdam has all the advantages of a small scale programme. Lectures and projects are carried out in small groups, in close cooperation with professors. Students and professors know each other personally, leading to a relaxed and productive atmosphere in which every student will feel at home quickly.

Broad focus
Because courses from the business and the sciences are combined, the SBI student is trained to become a broadly interested and trained professional who can build bridges between research and market. An SBI master alumnus has sufficient natural science knowledge to communicate with R&D departments and to operate on a managerial level thanks to a broad base in both natural and business sciences.

Cooperation with industry
The SBI staff has an extensive network within  academia and industry. VU University Amsterdam is located conveniently on the Zuidas, the Central Business District of Amsterdam, the economic and financial heart of the Netherlands. The Amsterdam World Trade Center and several multinationals, such as ING, ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel and Philips are headquartered within a few minutes of the VU campus. Amsterdam also hosts numerous smaller innovative companies and startups.

An excellent preparation for a career in business
The SBI Master's track is concluded with an internship with a company or institute. The internship forms a crucial part of your Master's track and is designed to kick start your professional career. The SBI Master's staff includes an internship coordinator who will actively support you in finding a suitable and stimulating internship.

Cooperation with the University of Amsterdam
The city of Amsterdam hosts two world class universities. VU University and the University of Amsterdam collaborate closely in natural sciences and both are ranked in the top 150 universities of the world, according to the 2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Students can enjoy the expertise of two universities and benefit from their existing networks and collaborative projects.

World Class Research Institutes
The city of Amsterdam hosts numerous world class research institutes such as the VU Laserlab and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter institute AMOLF. Amsterdam also hosts two university hospitals: the VUMC and AMC medical centers. In May 2013 VU University Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter announced that a new world class Research Institute for Nanolithography will be established in Amsterdam, in close cooperation with ASML, the world’s largest producer of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry.

Study in the city of Innovation
Amsterdam is the bustling capital of the Netherlands, a country deeply rooted in entrepreneurship and innovation. The Netherlands consistently ranks amongst the top nations in the world for innovation, and was named the 6th most innovative country in the world by the 2012 Global Innovation Index.

Enjoy the Amsterdam student life
The city of Amsterdam is one of Europes most beautiful historic cities and its gorgeous 17th century canal ring is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amsterdam also boasts a cultural life unrivalled in Northern Europe, with world class museums and concert venues.


 


 

Career prospects

SBI graduates are trained to integrate scientific aspects in a business and innovation context while taking organizational, social and cultural variables into account. Professionals who are able to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the boardroom are rare and highly sought after.

Working in the industry
Possible starting positions include assistant R&D project manager, assistant business analyst, high-tech marketing trainee, or strategy consultant in the public or private sector. Companies that are attractive for SBI graduates include venture capital companies investing in innovative new concepts, consultancy companies for both governments and businesses and the energy and pharmaceutical sector, where research and development are of crucial importance.

Continuing your studies of Scientific Careers
You can also decide to continue expanding your knowledge and apply for a PhD position.

Starting your own company
The Master’s programme SBI is also an excellent starting point for starting your own business. The Bachelor’s programme has received a special distinction for Entrepreneurship from the Dutch accreditation authorities. Our innovation projects, which form a crucial part of the Bachelor’s programme, received a Best practice from the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs for Entrepreneurial Education. There are over 15 active entrepreneurs in the current student population SBI.

SBI Students are broad allrounders who can work in a lot of different environments. Because of their broad set of skills and knowledge SBI Students are of great benefit to innovative startup companies like The New Motion.” – Wouter de Ridder, The New Motion

Internships

The Master’s Track in SBI at VU University Amsterdam is concluded with an internship and a Master’s Thesis. A four month science project, where you will perform your own natural science research is also part of the curriculum. The internship forms an important component of the Master’s phase and will prepare students for a career in either the energy & sustainability or life & health sector.

Widen your perspective with the SBI internship
Most students decide to do their internship at private companies. VU University Amsterdam is located conveniently on the Zuidas, the financial and economic heart of the Netherlands and is well connected to the rest of the country. Students can also opt to do their internship abroad.

Finding an internship
SBI employs an internship coordinator who maintains close ties with various innovative companies and will actively support you in finding a suitable and exciting environment to do your internship.

What our internship supervisors have to say about SBI students

“Working with a student from the SBI program was extremely enlightening, as these students are trained to have a good perception on the interplay between science and Business worlds for different sectors. I worked with Rens Spierings from the first batch of SBI students, on a difficult topic where the interplay is difficult, risky and not common, in Neglected Tropical diseases, and the analysis performed and conclusions drawn were accurate, concise and thoughtful for both me, Rens and the readers at the highest level of decision makers in this area. The SBI program, if it can foster such analytical thinking, will be a great asset to have in many fields in the Netherlands and beyond.” – Jay Iyer, TI Pharma

"The SBI Student who did his internship with us at Wageningen UR Plant and Applied Plant Research, helped us a lot with our project in Energy Storage. The enery producing farmers, cooperating in the Energy Guild, grealy benefited from the Student's creative and thorough work and made important steps in improving energy storage techniques. We hope to cooperate with more SBI students in the future, for example in algae research or other sustainable energy sources." - Andrea Terbijhe, Wageningen UR

Student experiences

Some experiences of current Master’s students SBI can be found below. If you want more information about student experiences, please contact the Master’s coordinator. He will gladly introduce you to a current Master’s student who can answer all your questions about the Master’s track and the bustling Amsterdam student life.

 

Solving problems by a multidisciplinary approach

Rens"As a student in the SBI master program I am encouraged to solve problems by tackling them by a multidisciplinary approach. The program's science courses enable me to specialize in my field of interest. This can be complemented by choosing optional courses and a science project at a research group within the same field, allowing for further specialization. The program's business and social science courses provide a thorough understanding of organizational structures and processes related to (scientific) innovation. In addition, several integrative SBI courses and monthly discussion sessions train me to use both disciplines in a co-operative manner.  I firmly believe the master in SBI provides me with all the skills and training I will need to achieve my long-term career goals." – Rens Spierings

 

Create your own specialization path

Marissa“SBI students have the opportunity to specialize in one of the two different tracks, the energy and the chemistry track. You will have obligatory Science, Business and Innovation courses, just like the Bachelor SBI, but you will also have a great amount of time for scientific research and your own optional subjects. This will enable you to specialize further in your own field of interest among your track. For example, I have chosen to follow my optional subjects on the faculty of architecture in Delft, since I am very interested in sustainable buildings and urbanism. For my master thesis I am an intern at a sustainable oriented architectural firm to investigate the possibility to create opportunities in times of the recent crisis. Consequently, I have created my own specialization path within the energy track.“ – Marissa de Boer

From Medical Natural Science to SBI

"My bachelor Medical Natural Sciences was a research bachelor which mainly focused on activities in the laboratory. Although I am very interested in the results from laboratory research, I did not have the passion to perform laboratory research myself. Science, Business & Innovation gives me the opportunity to combine the lab research field with a more social environment. You can make sure that interesting laboratory discoveries do not stop with a publication in a journal, but are used to create an innovative product from which society can profit. The merger of knowledge from the business field together with the natural science research field makes you a widely employable professional in which many companies are interested. My career prospects are not entirely clear but my internship at Philips Lighting and my future internship at the Dutch consulate in San Francisco strengthens my feeling that SBI students are widely employable which is of great value for big companies." - Diederik Appelboom

Dutch Students

Admission

The requirements to enter the SBI master program are formulated in terms of knowledge, acquired skills and academic level. For both the specialization Energy & Sustainability (E&S) as well as Life & Health (L&H) students are required to have basic knowledge on bachelor level of mathematics (at least 9 EC), statistics (at least 6 EC), computer skills (at least 6 EC) and of business/innovation/social sciences of at least 24 EC. In addition to these requirements, students entering the E&S variant need to have at least 45 EC obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including thermodynamics), while students entering the L&H variant need at least 45 EC obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including molecular and pharmaceutical sciences). 

In general, students who have completed the bachelor program Science, Business & Innovation (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) or Natuurwetenschap en Innovatiemanagement (Universiteit Utrecht) will be admitted, provided that motivation and general academic level meet the standards required for the program. Students from most science-based university bachelor programs can enroll after completing a pre-master program (30 EC). A pre-master program is also conditional for students with a (professional) bachelor’s degree in Physics or Chemistry. Students from these bachelor programs are advised to enroll for the Minor Science, Business & Innovation at VU University (30 EC; Social dynamics of Technology 6EC; Technology and Innovation 6EC; Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen en Duurzaamheid 6EC; Open Innovation in Science 6EC; Innovatieproject Diagnostiek en Gezondheid 6EC). 

In case a tailor made program needs to be made, for example for international students or for Dutch science bachelors who have a deficiency that is less than 30EC, this is coordinated by the SBI program coordinator, in close cooperation with the program director of SBI and specialists from the section SBI. Dutch students directly contact the SBI program coordinator when they want to start the admission procedure for the master program SBI. International students have to register at the Internationalization Office (IO) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. IO coordinates the admissions of international students, in close cooperation with the SBI program coordinator, SBI program director, and the specialists in the section SBI. The admission procedure consists of two steps. The first step is a screening of the diplomas and background of the student, resulting in an admission decision. This decision can be positive, conditionally positive or negative. In case of a conditionally positive decision students need to enroll and pass for deficient courses before they can enter the program. The second step for all students who are allowed to enroll is that they develop a Personal Education Plan (PEP) in which they choose semi-elective and elective courses. Students can contact the SBI program coordinator to start this PEP procedure. Last phase of this second step is the examination committee who checks this Personal Education Plan and needs to give a final accord.

How to enroll?
SBI is currently a Master’s Track in both the Chemistry and the Physics Master. Preparations are being made to continue this track as an independent Master’s programme at the VU University as of September 2017. Therefore we advise prospective SBI students who want to enroll, to do this after 1 March 2017. If you have any questions or you wish to preregister, please contact the SBI program coordinator.

General language proficiency requirements
VU University Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an international Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.

Admission to a Master’s programme: the Bachelor-before-Master rule
The Bachelor-before-Master rule (‘harde knip’) will be applied to all VU programmes as of 1 September 2013. This means that you can only start a Master’s programme on 1 September 2013 if you have obtained your Bachelor’s degree. Uncompleted Bachelor’s subjects are not permitted if you want to start a Master programme.

What does this mean now for students?
You may have to adjust your study plan. For example, if you’re planning a semester abroad in the first semester of the academic year 2012-2013, and you would like to start the following Master’s programme in September 2013, please note that every part of the Bachelor’s study programme has to be completed – not only the compulsory parts of the programme. Other (short) interruptions of your study programme can also have an effect on your ability to proceed onto a Master’s programme. If the Bachelor’s programme is not fully completed, you cannot start the Master’s programme until the start of the next academic year. Take this into account when planning your study path! Please contact our faculty’s study advisors when you have any questions.

Contact

Always contact the Master's coordinator for advice before sending in your application.

Information about the programme

For further information about admission to the programme you can contact the programme coordinator:

VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Sciences
Bart Bossink
De Boelelaan 1083a, room O-128
1081 HV Amsterdam 
T +31 (0)20 59 89242
E b.a.g.bossink@vu.nl

Practical information for international students

Would you like to know more about our courses, scholarships and application & registration procedure? Please contact our International Office.

Email: admissionsfs@vu.nl

General information about VU University Amsterdam

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00). You may also email us at study@vu.nl.

Would you like to read the key points of the Master's programme? Order the brochure. Or find out more about the Master's programmes and visit our information days.

Admission

The requirements to enter the SBI master program are formulated in terms of knowledge, acquired skills and academic level. For both the specialization Energy & Sustainability (E&S) as well as Life & Health (L&H) students are required to have basic knowledge on bachelor level of mathematics (at least 9 EC), statistics (at least 6 EC), computer skills (at least 6 EC) and of business/innovation/social sciences of at least 24 EC. In addition to these requirements, students entering the E&S variant need to have at least 45 EC obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including thermodynamics), while students entering the L&H variant need at least 45 EC obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including molecular and pharmaceutical sciences). 

In general, students who have completed the bachelor program Science, Business & Innovation (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) or Natuurwetenschap en Innovatiemanagement (Universiteit Utrecht) will be admitted, provided that motivation and general academic level meet the standards required for the program. Students from most science-based university bachelor programs can enroll after completing a pre-master program (30 EC). A pre-master program is also conditional for students with a (professional) bachelor’s degree in Physics or Chemistry. Students from these bachelor programs are advised to enroll for the Minor Science, Business & Innovation at VU University (30 EC; Social dynamics of Technology 6EC; Technology and Innovation 6EC; Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen en Duurzaamheid 6EC; Open Innovation in Science 6EC; Innovatieproject Diagnostiek en Gezondheid 6EC). 

In case a tailor made program needs to be made, for example for international students or for Dutch science bachelors who have a deficiency that is less than 30EC, this is coordinated by the SBI program coordinator, in close cooperation with the program director of SBI and specialists from the section SBI. Dutch students directly contact the SBI program coordinator when they want to start the admission procedure for the master program SBI. International students have to register at the Internationalization Office (IO) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. IO coordinates the admissions of international students, in close cooperation with the SBI program coordinator, SBI program director, and the specialists in the section SBI. The admission procedure consists of two steps. The first step is a screening of the diplomas and background of the student, resulting in an admission decision. This decision can be positive, conditionally positive or negative. In case of a conditionally positive decision students need to enroll and pass for deficient courses before they can enter the program. The second step for all students who are allowed to enroll is that they develop a Personal Education Plan (PEP) in which they choose semi-elective and elective courses. Students can contact the SBI program coordinator to start this PEP procedure. Last phase of this second step is the examination committee who checks this Personal Education Plan and needs to give a final accord.

How to enroll?
SBI is currently a Master’s Track in both the Chemistry and the Physics Master. Preparations are being made to continue this track as an independent Master’s programme at the VU University as of September 2017. Therefore we advise prospective SBI students who want to enroll, to do this after 1 March 2017. If you have any questions or you wish to preregister, please contact the SBI program coordinator.

General language proficiency requirements
VU University Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an international Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.

Admission to a Master’s programme: the Bachelor-before-Master rule
The Bachelor-before-Master rule (‘harde knip’) will be applied to all VU programmes as of 1 September 2013. This means that you can only start a Master’s programme on 1 September 2013 if you have obtained your Bachelor’s degree. Uncompleted Bachelor’s subjects are not permitted if you want to start a Master programme.

What does this mean now for students?
You may have to adjust your study plan. For example, if you’re planning a semester abroad in the first semester of the academic year 2012-2013, and you would like to start the following Master’s programme in September 2013, please note that every part of the Bachelor’s study programme has to be completed – not only the compulsory parts of the programme. Other (short) interruptions of your study programme can also have an effect on your ability to proceed onto a Master’s programme. If the Bachelor’s programme is not fully completed, you cannot start the Master’s programme until the start of the next academic year. Take this into account when planning your study path! Please contact our faculty’s study advisors when you have any questions.

Contact

Always contact the Master's coordinator for advice before sending in your application.

Information about the programme

For further information about admission to the programme you can contact the programme coordinator:

VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Sciences
Bart Bossink
De Boelelaan 1083a, room O-128
1081 HV Amsterdam 
T +31 (0)20 59 89242
E b.a.g.bossink@vu.nl

Practical information for international students

Would you like to know more about our courses, scholarships and application & registration procedure? Please contact our International Office.

Email: admissionsfs@vu.nl

General information about VU University Amsterdam

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00). You may also email us at study@vu.nl.

Would you like to read the key points of the Master's programme? Order the brochure. Or find out more about the Master's programmes and visit our information days.

International Students

Admission

The requirements to enter the SBI master program are formulated in terms of knowledge, acquired skills and academic level. For both the specialization Energy & Sustainability (E&S) as well as Life & Health (L&H) students are required to have basic knowledge on bachelor level of mathematics (at least 9 EC), statistics (at least 6 EC), computer skills (at least 6 EC) and of business/innovation/social sciences of at least 24 EC. In addition to these requirements, students entering the E&S variant need to have at least 45 EC obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including thermodynamics), while students entering the L&H variant need at least 45 EC obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including molecular and pharmaceutical sciences). 

In general, students who have completed the bachelor program Science, Business & Innovation (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) or Natuurwetenschap en Innovatiemanagement (Universiteit Utrecht) will be admitted, provided that motivation and general academic level meet the standards required for the program. Students from most science-based university bachelor programs can enroll after completing a pre-master program (30 EC). A pre-master program is also conditional for students with a (professional) bachelor’s degree in Physics or Chemistry. Students from these bachelor programs are advised to enroll for the Minor Science, Business & Innovation at VU University (30 EC; Social dynamics of Technology 6EC; Technology and Innovation 6EC; Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen en Duurzaamheid 6EC; Open Innovation in Science 6EC; Innovatieproject Diagnostiek en Gezondheid 6EC). 

In case a tailor made program needs to be made, for example for international students or for Dutch science bachelors who have a deficiency that is less than 30EC, this is coordinated by the SBI programme coordinator, in close cooperation with the program director of SBI and specialists from the section SBI. Dutch students directly contact the SBI program coordinator when they want to start the admission procedure for the master program SBI. International students have to register at the Internationalization Office (IO) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. IO coordinates the admissions of international students, in close cooperation with the SBI program coordinator, SBI program director, and the specialists in the section SBI. The admission procedure consists of two steps. The first step is a screening of the diplomas and background of the student, resulting in an admission decision. This decision can be positive, conditionally positive or negative. In case of a conditionally positive decision students need to enroll and pass for deficient courses before they can enter the program. The second step for all students who are allowed to enroll is that they develop a Personal Education Plan (PEP) in which they choose semi-elective and elective courses. Students can contact the SBI program coordinator to start this PEP procedure. Last phase of this second step is the examination committee who checks this Personal Education Plan and needs to give a final accord.

How to enroll?
SBI is currently a Master’s Track in both the Chemistry and the Physics Master. Preparations are being made to continue this track as an independent Master’s programme at the VU University as of September 2017. Therefore we advise prospective SBI students who want to enroll, to do this after 1 March 2017. If you have any questions or you wish to preregister, please contact the SBI programme coordinator.

General language proficiency requirements
VU University Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an international Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.

Admission to a Master’s programme: the Bachelor-before-Master rule
The Bachelor-before-Master rule (‘harde knip’) will be applied to all VU programmes as of 1 September 2013. This means that you can only start a Master’s programme on 1 September 2013 if you have obtained your Bachelor’s degree. Uncompleted Bachelor’s subjects are not permitted if you want to start a Master programme.

What does this mean now for students?
You may have to adjust your study plan. For example, if you’re planning a semester abroad in the first semester of the academic year 2012-2013, and you would like to start the following Master’s programme in September 2013, please note that every part of the Bachelor’s study programme has to be completed – not only the compulsory parts of the programme. Other (short) interruptions of your study programme can also have an effect on your ability to proceed onto a Master’s programme. If the Bachelor’s programme is not fully completed, you cannot start the Master’s programme until the start of the next academic year. Take this into account when planning your study path! Please contact our faculty’s study advisors when you have any questions.

Contact

Always contact the Master's coordinator for advice before sending in your application.

Scholarships

There are several possibilities for obtaining funding. Among them are:

  • VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP)
  • Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP)
  • Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS)
  • Fulbright scholarship
  • STUNED Scholarship Programme
  • Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education (LPDP)
  • Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)
  • Direct Loan Programme 

Information about scholarships, fellowships and grants

Information about the programme

For further information about admission to the programme you can contact the programme coordinator:

VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Sciences
Bart Bossink
De Boelelaan 1083a, room O-128
1081 HV Amsterdam 
T +31 (0)20 59 89242
E b.a.g.bossink@vu.nl

Practical information for international students

Would you like to know more about our courses, scholarships and application & registration procedure? Please contact our International Office.

Email: admissionsfs@vu.nl

General information about VU University Amsterdam

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00). You may also email us at study@vu.nl.

Would you like to read the key points of the Master's programme? Order the brochure. Or find out more about the Master's programmes and visit our information days.

Admission

The requirements to enter the SBI master program are formulated in terms of knowledge, acquired skills and academic level. For both the specialization Energy & Sustainability (E&S) as well as Life & Health (L&H) students are required to have basic knowledge on bachelor level of mathematics (at least 9 EC), statistics (at least 6 EC), computer skills (at least 6 EC) and of business/innovation/social sciences of at least 24 EC. In addition to these requirements, students entering the E&S variant need to have at least 45 EC obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including thermodynamics), while students entering the L&H variant need at least 45 EC obtained during their bachelor on chemistry and/or physics courses (including molecular and pharmaceutical sciences). 

In general, students who have completed the bachelor program Science, Business & Innovation (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) or Natuurwetenschap en Innovatiemanagement (Universiteit Utrecht) will be admitted, provided that motivation and general academic level meet the standards required for the program. Students from most science-based university bachelor programs can enroll after completing a pre-master program (30 EC). A pre-master program is also conditional for students with a (professional) bachelor’s degree in Physics or Chemistry. Students from these bachelor programs are advised to enroll for the Minor Science, Business & Innovation at VU University (30 EC; Social dynamics of Technology 6EC; Technology and Innovation 6EC; Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen en Duurzaamheid 6EC; Open Innovation in Science 6EC; Innovatieproject Diagnostiek en Gezondheid 6EC). 

In case a tailor made program needs to be made, for example for international students or for Dutch science bachelors who have a deficiency that is less than 30EC, this is coordinated by the SBI programme coordinator, in close cooperation with the program director of SBI and specialists from the section SBI. Dutch students directly contact the SBI program coordinator when they want to start the admission procedure for the master program SBI. International students have to register at the Internationalization Office (IO) of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. IO coordinates the admissions of international students, in close cooperation with the SBI program coordinator, SBI program director, and the specialists in the section SBI. The admission procedure consists of two steps. The first step is a screening of the diplomas and background of the student, resulting in an admission decision. This decision can be positive, conditionally positive or negative. In case of a conditionally positive decision students need to enroll and pass for deficient courses before they can enter the program. The second step for all students who are allowed to enroll is that they develop a Personal Education Plan (PEP) in which they choose semi-elective and elective courses. Students can contact the SBI program coordinator to start this PEP procedure. Last phase of this second step is the examination committee who checks this Personal Education Plan and needs to give a final accord.

How to enroll?
SBI is currently a Master’s Track in both the Chemistry and the Physics Master. Preparations are being made to continue this track as an independent Master’s programme at the VU University as of September 2017. Therefore we advise prospective SBI students who want to enroll, to do this after 1 March 2017. If you have any questions or you wish to preregister, please contact the SBI programme coordinator.

General language proficiency requirements
VU University Amsterdam requires international applicants to take an English test and to submit their score as a part of the application. Exceptions are made for students who have completed their education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia or who have obtained an international Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate diploma.

Admission to a Master’s programme: the Bachelor-before-Master rule
The Bachelor-before-Master rule (‘harde knip’) will be applied to all VU programmes as of 1 September 2013. This means that you can only start a Master’s programme on 1 September 2013 if you have obtained your Bachelor’s degree. Uncompleted Bachelor’s subjects are not permitted if you want to start a Master programme.

What does this mean now for students?
You may have to adjust your study plan. For example, if you’re planning a semester abroad in the first semester of the academic year 2012-2013, and you would like to start the following Master’s programme in September 2013, please note that every part of the Bachelor’s study programme has to be completed – not only the compulsory parts of the programme. Other (short) interruptions of your study programme can also have an effect on your ability to proceed onto a Master’s programme. If the Bachelor’s programme is not fully completed, you cannot start the Master’s programme until the start of the next academic year. Take this into account when planning your study path! Please contact our faculty’s study advisors when you have any questions.

Contact

Always contact the Master's coordinator for advice before sending in your application.

Scholarships

There are several possibilities for obtaining funding. Among them are:

  • VU Fellowship Programme (VUFP)
  • Holland Scholarship Programme (HSP)
  • Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS)
  • Fulbright scholarship
  • STUNED Scholarship Programme
  • Indonesia Endowment Fund of Education (LPDP)
  • Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)
  • Direct Loan Programme 

Information about scholarships, fellowships and grants

Information about the programme

For further information about admission to the programme you can contact the programme coordinator:

VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Sciences
Bart Bossink
De Boelelaan 1083a, room O-128
1081 HV Amsterdam 
T +31 (0)20 59 89242
E b.a.g.bossink@vu.nl

Practical information for international students

Would you like to know more about our courses, scholarships and application & registration procedure? Please contact our International Office.

Email: admissionsfs@vu.nl

General information about VU University Amsterdam

Please phone us at +31 (0)20 598 5000 (Monday – Friday, 10:00 to 12:00). You may also email us at study@vu.nl.

Would you like to read the key points of the Master's programme? Order the brochure. Or find out more about the Master's programmes and visit our information days.