What is a student research?

A student can choose to enrich his or her knowledge and experience by applying for credits as a Student researcher. After registration, (s)he is expected to spend at least 20 days on a research project during the following academic year (this can include summer preceding it) and submit a report about the research (s)he did.

It is advised to participate in a student research during summer vacation, but it is not obligatory. The student researcher status will be indicated in the curriculum of a student at the end of the academic year. Becoming a student researcher gives you the chance to engage in a wide variety of research projects at the KU Leuven. It also gives you a better idea of what topics you are most interested in, so that you are more directed in your pursuit of a career in the field of biomedical sciences.

Application process

The request for student researcher status can be submitted starting from 1st of March. The student needs to undertake the following steps first:

  • Choose the place of internship. It can be selected from the list, but students can also contact any professor of the KULeuven (fundamental, translational, clinical research)

The list provided by LVSO is uploaded at the 1st of March but can also be updated after 1st of March, with new topics added at the end.

  • The students then visits the place of internship and comes to an agreement with the professor about what and when the student will participate in the research project.
  • After this, the student must register with this form before 24th September. A notification via email will follow a successful registration.

In case of not having passed all the courses it is necessary to contact Prof. Lies Langouche with Prof. Ludwig Missiaen in cc before starting the internship.

All registered student researchers are covered by insurance. If a student registers but eventually decides not to participate in the research, he or she must contact the supervisor of the selected lab and Maura Slootmaekers, no later than 24th September.

Working with lab animals

It is a priority for KU Leuven to ensure ethical handling of test animals, and for that a proper knowledge and skills are required. All students wishing to work with animals during their internship are obliged to have a certificate stating their capability to handle laboratory animals (Felasa B). KU Leuven offers an internet learning module for students who do not have the certificate. Contact Lisa De Jonghe for more information.

Important documents

The following documents need to be filled in

  • evaluation of the internship location – it is filled in by the student and sent to the Faculty to assess the quality of the internship
  • a scientific report that must contain:
  • a description of the topic, supported with references
  • a scientific question that the student wishes to answer
  • methodology
  • results
  • conclusion
  • student evaluation and score – this document is filled in by the professor responsible for the internship and signed by both the professor and the student.

The documents must be uploaded on Toledo.


From October 2017 all registered students have their student-researcher status indicated in their study program – it is a credit contract of 3 study points. In the ISP it stands as Wetenschappelijk onderzoek – X (Scientific research), where X is a total number of student research projects conducted by the student.

The final score will be visible in KU Loket after June exam period (it can appear up to 2 weeks later than exam scores). A formal proof of credit can be the requested from the Central Studentadministration (sa@kuleuven.be) in the Universiteitshal, Naamsestraat 22 box 5401, 3000, Leuven, or it can be obtained upon submitting a web form http://www.kuleuven.be/studentenadministratie/attestformcredit.html.

When problems arise during the internship, the student can contact the following professor:

Sophie Vanvooren (Speech Language and Hearing Sciences (Logopaedics))

Prof. Myriam Baes (farmaceutical sciences)

Prof. Johan Lefevre (Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science)

Prof. Lies Langouche (medicine, biomedical sciences, dentistry, sexology).

The student or the professor can terminate the research before it has been completed. In this event no score is given in the ISP.