Student opportunities

Courses, student competitions, externships and graduation research projects

Our most important goal is to train bachelor, masters and PhD students to become creative biomolecular engineers and independent critical scientists.


Bachelor's courses:

• 8RA00: Biochemistry
• 8RB00: Molecular Cell Biology
• 8PM00: Project Molecular Biology
• 8RB20: Chemical Biology

Master's courses:

• 8SM10: Protein Engineering
• 8NM10: Molecular Biosensors

Student competition

Our group has been an initiator and remains and active supporter of the TU Eindhoven iGEM teams. Besides being an excellent training ground for talented and dedicated undergraduate students, the iGEM competition provides an excellent forum to discuss both ethical/ socio-economic issues surrounding synthetic biology.We also supported the 2016 SensUs team T.E.S.T. with the development of a mobile-phone based point-of-care assay for kidney failure. 


An externship of at least three months full time is part of the Master’s curriculum. An externship can be done at other universities, at hospitals or in industry. Most students do their externship abroad. For information on possible topics and places for an externship, you can contact Maarten Merkx. All practicalities (travel, housing and, above all, funding) you have to arrange yourself. For information and help in this area, please visit the website of TU/e’s international office.

Graduation research projects

If  you are interested in doing your final graduation project with us, please contact Maarten Merkx well in advance to discuss the many possibilities. The Merkx group is active in the fields of protein engineering, molecular biology, bionanotechnology, chemical biology and synthetic biology. Research ranges from the development of new concepts in the engineering of proteins and smart biomacromolecular devices to the development of biosensors for applications in molecular diagnostics, intracellular imaging and antibody-based targeting. Techniques range from molecular biology, protein chemistry, peptide-, DNA- and bioconjugation chemistry, a broad variety of biophysical and analytical techniques, cell biology and optical life cell imaging. Strong research collaborations exist with the groups of Tom de Greef (bottom up synthetic biology), Menno Prins (biosensors/diagnostics), and Jurjen Tel (Immunoengineering. The Merkx group is also a core member of Institute for Complex Molecular Systems and the Netherlands Research School of Chemical Biology. Students that want to do something extra can therefore participate in the master programs offered by either the ICMS (1 or 2 year) or the NRSCB (1 year).