Tutor Section

Dear tutor,

Welcome to our website, we are very pleased you found the way till here. Here you'll find all the information about how you yourself can give students the opportunity to get involved in research and the advantages for you and your group.

As you might know yet, the Belgian Medical Students’ Association (BeMSA), enables students to get involved in research by offering scientific internships. Since this very year it is possible to participate in research abroad. However, as this is only possible in a framework of bilateral exchanges, we also welcome students from those countries our students are send. These are distinguished countries with strict selections, making that only their best students come to Belgium.
These passionate students from abroad would like to gain understanding and learn new skills in the fascinating fields of health sciences that your lab is offering. Therefore we ask your help to supervise a student for a four week during project, conducting him/her to new insights, while the student helps in your lab.

On this page we explain a little about our Research Exchange program and how you can help us with it. We would be very thankful when you decide to offer international students this splendid opportunity.

Together we can bridge the gap in our scientific education


What is expected from a tutor?

Providing a research project for a duration of four weeks or longer, aimed at (bio)medical students, under daily management of a supervisor. We strive for a situation where the student has his own project, starting with acquiring theoretical knowledge and experimental techniques, progressing through collecting results, data analysis and finishing with presentation of the results in a report, poster presentation or scientific talk. In this situation, the student has responsibility for his results, and the project is typically a small pioneer project, for the tutor to know if there are potential break-throughs in a specific direction.

However, we realize that these small projects are not possible in every lab, and therefore it is also possible for the student to rotate between the multiple projects of the different people working in the lab.

There is no strict obligation to offer one of both types of projects, but since the student learns most from these projects, we recommend these types.


What does a tutor gets in return?

In the most labs it is a PhD-student who guides the student, and they often find it interesting to guide a student, as they are eager to learn more. By the presence of the student, the supervisors often improve their communication skills and understanding of their research subject since they are challenged to explain it brief and clearly to non-experts. Besides, the student aims on collecting results, which can be an advantage for the entire group, and once the student is able to conduct some experiments himself, the supervisor can spend his time elsewhere. Of course, there is also the reward from being part of the education and development of a future health leader, and our eternal gratitude towards you. There is of course also the interesting aspect of intercultural exchange and communication.

Sharing knowledge between nations


IFMSA Research Exchanges

   The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organization representing 1.3 million students from more than 100 countries and recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). IFMSA activities are developed by different standing committees, being one of them the Standing Committee On Research Exchange (SCORE).

The Research Exchange Program offers medical students the opportunity to participate in research work abroad. This way, we aim to develop culturally sensitive medical students achieving fundamental research techniques and understanding. Having a network of more than 75 SCORE active countries, students can apply for 3200 projects. Yearly 2.000 students go on Research Exchange, and in total yet almost quart a million students went on an IFMSA exchange, making it the biggest student-runned exchange program in the world since 1951, 36 years before the existence of the Erasmus program. The IFMSA Exchanges are also endorsed by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME).


BeMSA, the Belgian Medical Students’ Association, also participates in SCORE research exchanges. Therefore, it is our pleasure to invite you to be part of a growing community of research and clinical investigators worldwide, who are actively providing medical students from across the world with unmatched opportunities to expand and strengthen their research-based knowledge.  

The IFMSA Research Exchange Program gives medical students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on a specific medical topic and to facilitate their access to foreign clinical or basic-science research perspectives. Furthermore, it is a unique opportunity for a foreign medical student to participate in research abroad in order to compare differences in research attitudes, medical education, as well as healthcare in general.  

IFMSA Exchanges provide the student with accommodation, boarding and a social program. The requirement for the tutor is only to ensure the academic quality of the project. The duration of exchanges may vary between 4 and 8 weeks. We work with bilateral contracts, meaning that for every international student that can come to Belgium, also a Belgian student can go abroad. Once again thank you for taking time and be interested on our organization; your collaboration is important for our program.  


How can I define a project?

Defining a project is very easy, we just ask you to fill in the attached project form and send it to the LORE of your city (cfr. infra), which will be added on the database on ifmsa.net. From then on, it is possible that an international student chooses your project. By March, you will receive the motivation letters of all the student interested in the project you offer, and you can decide which student can come to your lab. If you like so, you can ask for a skype meeting with the incoming student to test motivation, then please mention this on the project form, or you can send the student papers as preparation for the internship.

During the internship, the student will fill the Academic Quality Logbook, and in the end we ask you to have an evaluation with the student. Afterwards, both the student and you will receive an official certificate.


Please feel free to contact the Local Officer on Research Exchanges (LORE) of your city. These are Grégoire Coppens (researchexchanges@studentonderzoeker.be) for KU Leuven and Eva Vanheule and Emmeline Deloddere (score@bemsa-gent.be) for UGent. The coordination on national level as well as the communication with our international partners, is achieved by the National Officer on Research Exchanges (NORE) Koen Demaegd, who can be contacted on nore@belgianmsa.be.

Thank you very much for your collaboration!