MaRBLe brings multidisciplinary scientific research to the bachelor phase. Based on the concept of Research Based Learning (RBL), MaRBLe aims to introduce Maastricht’s most talented and motivated students to undergraduate research and provides them with the ability to develop and improve their creative and critical thinking skills.
Initially funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as part of the Sirius programme, MaRBLe has developed over the course of the past years into a great addition to the curriculum at all of our faculties. In MaRBLe, students get the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with various aspects of academic research.
Enabling highly motivated and capable students to focus more in depth on academic research.
Executing a challenging research based project.
A community of (former) MaRBLe students to start your network
A valuable addition to your education, a form of undergraduate research.
Teamwork in groups originating from various teaching programmes
Providing students the chance to apply for a scholarship in MaRBLe/ PEERS
MaRBLe alumni about MaRBLe
“Since the very beginning of my studies, I developed a deep passion for Quantitative Methods. It was not until my exchange semester at UC Berkeley, however, that I discovered how the sound use of statistical concepts can provide solutions for the most pressing challenges of our time. Back in Maastricht, I was delighted to join the MARBLE program which gave me the opportunity to conduct my own research. Thanks to the MARBLE program, some old statistics books and while standing on the shoulders of giants, I made it to the national Student Research Conference where I will present my findings to a panel of professors from all Dutch universities.”
Ufuk Altunbüken (SBE)
Isabelle de Coninck (FASoS)
“PBL teaches you to read better and think more critically, MaRBLe adds another dimension to that. You don’t just follow the research topic set by the course like you usually do in class, but actually get to design it all yourself from start to finish.
MaRBLe also gave a chance to build a network of people with the same interests and motivations. I am much more inclined to add someone on platforms like LinkedIn that I met during MaRBLe than other people I studied with, the experience bonds you.”
MaRBLe at your faculty
Maastricht University offers talented and motivated third-year Bachelor students the opportunity to conduct their own research within a Research-Based Learning (MaRBLe) project. This MaRBLe project has to be combined with one regular elective course.
During a research project, you are introduced to theoretical aspects of conducting research within your field or discipline and you conduct your own research. The skills you develop within this project are useful for either a career in scientific research or research positions in business.
In the first selection round, the second year Bachelor students with the best results (top 20%) will be invited to participate.
Due to (administrative) reasons, there might be situations where you inadvertently did not receive an invitation, for instance:
– You have submitted a catch-up assignment that has not been assessed.
– You have an exemption for one or more courses
– You received a high mark for Critical Thinking or Statistics 1
If this is the case, you can send a correction request to email@example.com.
The second round is open to all other second-year Bachelor students. A motivation letter and a recommendation letter from your research practicum supervisor are needed to take part in this round.
The MARBLE programme is aimed at enabling highly motivated and capable students to focus more in-depth on academic research by creating a highly motivating learning community. It includes the following aspects.
- During this research track, you will be introduced to the theories of the discipline and its research methodology.
- You will be able to conduct your own custom research in the form of the bachelor thesis.
- You will be supervised by a respected researcher in the field
- You participate in the MARBLE research course (period 2 or 5) which supports you in 1) writing your bachelor thesis, 2) developing general research skills using an applied research, and 3) developing critical thinking skills.
- Analytical skills will be acquired that will be a great asset to your career in business and economics, whether research-focused or not.
The track is integrated into the regular curriculum and consists of regular courses and the Marble research course, and the bachelor thesis and is offered each semester. If there are enough students separate tutor groups will be created.
Aside from these elements, you have meetings with your supervisor and join the MaRBLe symposium.
Eligibility and admission:
To apply for MaRBLe you must meet the following requirements:
- You have completed all courses in the second year;
- You fulfill the GPA requirements (GPA >= 7.5, either in year 1 or year 2)
- You have to submit a letter of motivation in English (maximum 1 page A4).
June for the Autumn semester, November for the Spring semester.
Send an e-mail with your name, ID, your letter of motivation and a transcript of your results to
- Timeframe: April-June/July;
- Number of students involved: 20-25 students per year;
- Students use their thesis as their project;
Are you a third-year bachelor student looking for a new challenge?
Are you interested in learning how to do research at an academic level?
Are you able to approach issues both in a creative and critical manner?
If so, then MaRBLe may be the thing for you!
Selected students are offered the opportunity to learn about conducting research and to acquire new substantive knowledge by doing research, as opposed to taking traditional classes. In other words, MaRBLe has a hands-on approach: while participating in a MaRBLe project, you will learn about the research process, research methodology and the dissemination of research results, as well as obtain in-depth substantive knowledge. MaRBLe is offered in the form of projects that focus on a theme or method that is not generally addressed in the regular curriculum, that is current and topical and/or multidisciplinary. By participating in a MaRBLe project, you are involved in a core task of the university: research.
In each project, attention is given to research methodology as well as the specific theme under investigation. In general, the project starts with group meetings in which you explore the subject-matter and/or methodology under the guidance of the supervisor and/or guest speakers. As the project progresses, the focus turns more towards your own research as you develop the contours of your own research project. Throughout, you will be given the opportunity to share your experiences with the other students in your project group, to discuss the progress of your research and the challenges you encounter, as well as to provide and receive feedback on proposals, drafts, and presentations. The project culminates in a final paper, which may even be published in the Marble e-journal and presented during a public workshop or roundtable.
The projects are supervised by researchers in the faculty who will guide and support you while you explore the substantive topic and develop your own research project. The project groups usually have 5 -12 participants.
New! From 2017-2018, the Faculty of Law will be offering the MaRBLe programme twice a year.
MaRBLe projects in semester 1 will commence in period 1 and run through until period 3; second-semester projects will run from period 4 to period 6.
Please click here for more information about the MaRBLe projects in semester 2.
The projects for semester 1 2018-2019 will be published in May 2018.
Who can participate?
Participation in MaRBLe is open for students in the third year of their bachelor studies who meet one of the following requirements:
- participate in the Maastricht University Law College (UMLC)
- belong to the top 25% of their cohort (in general, this means they must have a GPA of approximately 7,5) or
- who demonstrate exceptional drive and commitment to participate in research-based learning
To be admitted to the MaRBLe programme, you need to submit an application in accordance with the instructions below.
How can you apply?
You can apply to the MaRBLe programme by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The application should include a short statement of one page explaining why you would like to participate in the MaRBLe programme in general and which MaRBLe project you are applying for. You should also include an overview of your grades from the Student Portal and a C.V. You should state which project is your first, and which project is your second choice. The projects might be over- or under registered. For some projects, you may be invited for an interview before a decision is taken on your application.
The deadline for submitting an application to participate in a semester 2 project is Monday 13 November, 2017. We will endeavor to finalize the selection by Friday, 17 November, 2017
What is the study load and how many credits can be earned?
The study load for participation in a MaRBLe project is 18 ECTS (486 hours) spread over one semester. Upon successful completion, you earn 18 ECTS. Of these 18 ECTS, a maximum of 12 credits will be awarded within your regular bachelor programme, and six credits are awarded as extra-curricular credits, reflecting the excellence character of the MaRBLe programme.
From 2017-2018, we offer you greater flexibility in developing your curriculum. The 12 credits within your bachelor programme may replace your bachelor essay or two electives. For UMLC students, the six extra-curricular credits will count towards your UMLC programme credits.
Successful participation in the Marble project will be mentioned in a special certificate you will receive with your diploma.
Maastricht Research-Based Learning, MaRBLe for short, is a UM-wide programme for talented and motivated 3rd-year bachelor students. It brings multidisciplinary scientific research to the bachelor phase. Based on the concept of Research-Based Learning (RBL), MaRBLe aims to introduce Maastricht’s most talented and motivated students to undergraduate research and provides them with the ability to develop and improve their creative and critical thinking skills. The programme is now entering its 9th year with a larger than ever, number of projects to choose from.
You can find more information and a brochure on the Student Portal, FASoS-Marble. The brochure describes the ins and outs of the programme and includes an overview of the available projects.
You can register by e-mailing to email@example.com before June 8th with ‘Marble’ in the subject line. You must start the message by stating your first (1) and second (2) choice. You must also include a short statement why you want to participate in a particular Marble-project. Your motivation will ultimately decide whether you are allowed to participate.
- Timeframe: 2nd semester;
- Number of students involved: 60-80 students;
- Number of projects involved: 10 projects;
- 6-12 Students per team;
The Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering offers its most talented students the possibility to gain even more in-depth knowledge by completing their study programme with an additional honours programme.
This DKE Honours Program consists of two different tracks: a research-oriented track (MaRBLe) and a practice-oriented track (also known as KE @ Work) each in combination with a common part: the Honours+ programme organized by EDLAB.
In the research track of our Honours Programme, students get the opportunity to work on a state-of-the-art research project. Work will be organized in a similar way as in professional research institutes where students work together as individual experts on a team project. Each student specializes in a task, will get assigned a team role and receives a self-contained research project. Together they will be working towards a common demonstration where individual research projects integrate towards a journal publication. For the individual subprojects, each student receives an individual supervisor from DKE.
MaRBLe is a form of RBL, Research-Based Learning. In RBL, learning is based on research that students do themselves, rather than being dependent on research done before and by others.
Small groups of students will conduct research under the guidance of a senior researcher. They will act as a group but engage in individual work as well. MaRBLe offers a unique opportunity to develop one’s own research topic within the context of a pre-defined research program. In this way, student researchers will make an actual contribution to ongoing research and will experience first-hand what is involved in doing research. During the project, specific skills will be addressed at the appropriate time: e.g. problem analysis, writing a proposal, data selection, and analysis
reporting and presenting.
MaRBLe brings multidisciplinary scientific research to the bachelor phase. It is a semester-long research program carrying 10 ECTS. The level of the project depends on the subject matter and the required academic background of the participating students and can be either 2000 or 3000 level. Successful MaRBLE participants may be allowed to continue their research for more than one semester.
MaRBLe encompasses the two Skills and one Project offered during a semester. In most MaRBLe projects, the first-course period will be mainly dedicated to an introduction into the specific field and related methodologies, and a research plan or proposal will be written. During the second and third period, the students will engage in their own research, while staying in touch with the other members of their group to discuss progress and challenges. At the end of each semester, UCM will organize a symposium during which all participating students will present their research to their fellow researchers and the larger UCM community.
NB: Exchange students who are interested in doing the MaRBle project can only apply if they stay for a full year and then only in their second semester.
More than anything else, the MaRBLe undergraduate research program is aimed at students with a great appetite for learning and research. Students should ideally have a progress rate of ≥0.9, and a grade average of ≥7.5. In addition, specific courses may be required for particular projects (these prerequisites will be mentioned in the announcement of offered projects). At least as important as these ‘technical’ requirements, we expect students who apply for MaRBLe to be motivated and to have a clear idea on how the project they apply for fits into their individual UCM curriculum. Students will apply by writing a letter of motivation, and if eligible, can be invited for an interview.
Coordinator: Jeroen Moes
Coordinator: Ulrike Mueller
Credits, Certificate & MaRBLe Scholarships
The number of credits varies from 15-18 ECTS, depending on the faculty that organises the project. A research project can be combined with the final assignment capstone or thesis. UCM awards 10 ECTS for each project, and it is possible to extend a project at UCM over several skill blocks. For each skill block you receive 10 credits. At UCM, your bachelor’s thesis is not included in the research project.
Students receive a separate certificate for their MaRBLe participation. A Research Based Learning project is not included on your diploma.
The university allocates scholarships to the most talented students participating in RBL-projects. Every academic year 6 scholarships of € 750 are available.
The scholarship can be used for:
- an internship with a (foreign) renowned research institute
- a congress or conference
- a publication.
Read the Marble Guidelines for a scholarschip.
The Maastricht Research Based Learning (Marble) was originally funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as part of the Sirius programme.
Students can send the application to firstname.lastname@example.org, the programme manager for MaRBLe/PEERS. She will discuss all applications with the steering board.
Every student that receives a scholarship is requested to write an article about their experience and send it together with their picture, to email@example.com.