Complex Molecular Systems

Master program Complex Molecular Systems

The Institute for Complex Molecular Systems offers talented master and PhD students challenging interdisciplinary education programs aiming at a career in research. Participants following the ICMS master or PhD program always do this in combination with a master degree program or PhD degree program in a Graduate Program in one of the TU/e departments. This ensures a strong focused background in combination with the skills and knowledge to work in an interdisciplinary research organization.

ICMS is an interdisciplinary institute for research and education in the area of molecular complexity. The institute aims to create complex, functional objects based on novel engineering tools and state-of-the-art modeling. ICMS brings excellent researchers from different areas and departments together to promote cross-fertilization of ideas across departments and across disciplines. We focus on applications in the area of functional materials, soft biomaterials, sustainability, energy efficiency and complexity itself. The combination of expertise in chemistry and biology, engineering, and theory and physics is unique in the Netherlands and guarantees fundamental understanding as well as application in functional systems.

The Master program
Each student will follow an MSc degree program in a Graduate Program of the TU/e departments. The Complex Molecular Systems master program is an additional program and results in a certificate handed over to the student at the diploma ceremony.

The ICMS master program needs to be done on top of the master degree program. The topics chosen by the student within the program should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of ICMS. In addition to the 20 or 12,5 cp study program the student needs to do his/her undergraduate project with one of the staff members of ICMS (see website for an overview of ICMS staff members). The total study load during the master phase is 140 (120+20) cp for the two-year program or of 132,5 (120+12,5) cp for the one-year program.

As a participant of the ICMS master program you will become a member of the ICMS community. This will help you learn to know much more about different staff members and research areas within your own and other departments. You are invited to join activities like:
• Two-weekly discussion meetings
• Scientific lectures
• Science classes (especially aiming at bachelor and master students)
• Yearly Outreach Symposium
In addition you can apply for one of the student research jobs (studentassistentschappen) within ICMS.
Students participating in the master program can apply for a PhD position within the ICMS, however no position is guaranteed beforehand.

Two-year programOne-year program
Student starts with the ICMS program in the first year of the MasterStudent starts with the ICMS program in the second year of the master
2,5 cp Scientific skills (8I030)2,5 cp Scientific skills (8I030)
2,5 cp ICMS Lectures 1 (8I040)2,5 cp ICMS Lectures 1 (8I040)
10 cp Electives5 cp Electives
2,5 cp ICMS Lectures 2 (8I050)-
2,5 cp Master thesis Communication (8I060)2,5 cp Master thesis Communication (8I060)
20 cp Total12,5 cp Total


2,5 cp Scientific Skills (8I030)
This course gives the student more insight into the University as institution, in making research plans, doing literature research, the process of peer review and writing articles, scientific integrity, and giving presentations.

2,5 cp ICMS Lectures 1 (8I040) (&2 (8I050))
The student attends 15 scientific lectures of ICMS and at the end of the academic year submits a document including for all 15 lectures:
• the take-home-message (max. three lines) per lecture
• a question that you have asked, or could have asked to the speaker (max. three lines per lecture)
The lectures can be chosen freely from all ICMS lectures but should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the ICMS. Students who follow the two-year program do this in their first year (ICMS Lectures 1) as well as in the second year (ICMS Lectures 2).

10 cp Electives
Students follow two or more courses from other departments that help you understand the multidisciplinary nature of the ICMS topics. The courses should be worth 10 cp (or more).

5 cp Electives
Students follow one or more courses from other departments that help you understand the multidisciplinary nature of the ICMS topics. The courses should be worth 5 cp (or more).

2,5 cp Master thesis Communication (8I060)
The student writes a communication like paper, that translates the contents of the master thesis to a broader scientific audience. The format follows Nature Communications and the length (including figures) should not exceed three pages.
The staff member who has guided the student during the thesis project will also guide the paper writing process. The students hands in the paper to ICMS and the guiding staff member suggests a grade to ICMS. ICMS gives the final grade and takes care of the administration.

Only highly motivated and talented students will be admitted to participate in the ICMS master program. The selection will be based on:
• Grades in the bachelor phase (minimum average 7,5 out of 10)
• Demonstrated multidisciplinary interest
• Ambition to follow a PhD program or to work in a research environment
• Excellent communication skills and fluency in spoken and written English
Required: Successful admission to a TU/e Master degree program in one of the following departments: Applied Physics, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science.

To apply for the Complex Molecular Systems Master program, please send a motivation letter, your Curriculum Vitae and a list with grades of your bachelor program to Cindy Plompen ( If this meets the requirements, you will be invited for a personal meeting (short interview and introduction to the ICMS). A short recommendation by your ‘afstudeerdocent’, who is also an ICMS core staff member, is required. Only after the personal meeting the admission can be completed. Preferably, you start with the program in September. The list with ICMS core staff members can be found on our website (see ‘about - members’).

After having passed the selection procedure for the ICMS master program you can register as a certificate student Complex Molecular Systems by filling in the Registration Form.  José Janssen is the ICMS contact person at the student administration BME and she will take care of the further registration process. The registration form is available via the ICMS website.

Participating in the Master program
After being admitted to the ICMS master program and having registered as certificate student, your study program can be designed. As one of ICMS staff members is your undergraduate project supervisor (afstudeerdocent) he/she might help you in choosing the relevant electives. This study program has to be submitted via the Form Study Program to Cindy Plompen and after approval by the exam committee you are ready to start. The Form Study Program is available via the ICMS website.

Finishing the Master program
After having completed all courses, you are in charge! Contact José Janssen at the student administration of BME and let her know that you have finished your individual study program. After a check if your results fit with the study program as was decided upon at start, it will be forwarded to the exam committee for official approval. If successful, the student administration will prepare the certificate. Please do this well in time, as the certificate will be presented to you during the diploma ceremony of the department.

More information about this Master program, the PhD program and about ICMS:
Cindy Plompen
tel. +31 (0)40 247 5074

Student administration
José Janssen
Tel.: +31 40 247 5443