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Tesla Minor

Bringing together science, business, and society

Tesla is a minor programme (30 ECTS) for Master's students from science faculties (UvA or other university). During the programme, a selected group of students works on a complex challenge for a company or societal organisation. This allows them to utilise science and their academic background in a project on the interface of science, business and society.

  • Tesla minor: something for you?

    Do you want to: 

    • Apply your scientific and academic background in business and society;
    • Work on a project for a real client;
    • Develop your professional skills;
    • And engage in intensive training in different environments? 
    Then the Tesla minor might be something for you! 

    Out of the academic comfort zone 

    The Tesla programme has the objective to move students out of their academic comfort zone and engage them in different types of real challenges. They learn how to manage a project, communicate in different situations, and create value in ‘non-scientific settings’.

  • Programme

    The Tesla Minor is an interdisciplinary 30 EC minor for research master students from science faculties. During the minor students work in small groups on complex client projects that combine science with a business or society challenge. Thereby Tesla minor cuts across traditional boundaries between disciplines and professional environments. Besides working on a project for an external partner organization, students attend lectures by speakers from within and outside of academia, participate in a range of skills training and are responsible for organising part of the programme. Special elements such as an integrated sports programme make Tesla Minor a unique learning experience.

    During the programme, students have full-time access to their own office space. Most trainings, guest lectures and project work takes place here. Surely, other locations will be visited as well (visiting companies, going on excursions, engaging in training sessions, etc.). The programme takes place in the second semester of the second year of your Master's programme. 

    Project work

    Working on a real challenge posed by an external client (in 2019: TNO, Politie, FrieslandCampina, ARTIS, Fungalogic and more)

    Training and workshops on

    • Projectmanagement (planning, budgetmanagement etc.)
    • Teamwork
    • Communication (interaction, influencing, conversational- & interview techniques)
    • Self-reflection (What are your talents, drivers, motivation, weaknesses)
    •  ‘Information processing’ (structuring and analysing information, presentation skills)´
    • 'Doing business' (entrepreneurial skills, consultancy, sales, marketing, persuasion).  
    • Theatre (improving communication & presenting)  
    • Visual thinking
    • Story telling
    • and many more...


    Guest speakers from all sorts of disciplines visit to speak and provide insights on science, business, and society. Tesla students partially organise the lectures themselves and are welcome to invite inspiring individuals


    • Professional skills
    • Consultancy & problem solving
    • Media
    • Job interviewing


    On top of the normal work week, students participate in a specialised Tesla sports programme, designed in cooperation with the University Sports Center to encourage physical health and team building. 

  • Criteria and selection


    In general, the following criteria apply to the Tesla minor candidate. You: 

    • Are enrolled in a 2-year MSc programme at a science faculty (UvA or another university)
      The programme takes place in the second semester of the second year of your Master's programme. 
    • Have finished 48EC of the obligatory part of your programme before the start of the minor, including the first research project if your programme consists of two research projects
    • Have the ambition to utilise your science background in non-scientific environments
    • Are motivated to take up a challenge for a real client 
    • Have a strong drive to improve your professional and interpersonal skills
    • Are keen to work in interdisciplinary teams
    • Are attracted to unusual challenges
    • Are motivated to enter a highly intensive 5-month programme
    • Have demonstrated these qualities during and next to your studies


    Please note that there is a maximum of 24 participants for the programme. A selection, based on the above mentioned criteria, is part of the admission procedure. 

  • How to apply

    The Tesla minor has limited space (24 participants) and is a selective programme. This means that not all applicants will be granted admission.

    Application process

    1. Approval examination board 

    If you consider applying for the Tesla Minor, inform your study advisor a.s.a.p. and make sure you get approval of the Examinations Board of your Master's programme. For FNWI students: to request approval, you have to fill in your Study Plan (SPA) on your personal page in DataNose and submit this to the Examinations Board for approval.

    2. Application   

    Every applicant is required to deliver a resume (C.V.), list of courses and grades, a motivation letter (not exceeding one page), and a recommendation letter before being invited to participate in the rest of the intake procedure.

    3. Presentation

    Based on the ‘paper application’ the applicant may be invited to participate in the second phase. In this phase of the intake procedure each applicant is asked to prepare  a short presentation (10 minutes). The general theme of the presentation is ‘connecting your science background to practice’, but applicants are free to choose their own specific topic and approach.  The audience will consist of other candidates and UvA staff. Each of the applicants will present their story and provide feedback and questions on the presentations of the others. 

    4. Personal intake  

    After the presentation round follows a personal interview with the coordinator of the Tesla Minor and possibly another FNWI staff member.  After this personal intake, you will be personally contacted and invited to join the Tesla Minor or given feedback on why you have not been selected. 


    • The application deadline for the programme is 1 December.


    UvA students

    When the application for Tesla is open, you can apply using the Tesla application form and upload the required documents. Log in to Datanose using your UvANetID and password.

    Tesla application form in Datanose

    Non-UvA students

    To apply for the 2022 programme, please e-mail Els Aarts

  • Contact

    If you have questions, please email these to

    More information