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Finding and arranging

How can you find an internship or research project and what arrangements do you need to make?

Under the faculty or study programme tab you can read more about how to find and arrange an internship or research project. Information sessions take place on a regular basis. These can be found in the agenda.

If you have any questions please contact your internship and/or research coordinator.

Astronomy Bachelor Research Project

All Astronomy bachelor students carry out a Bachelor Research Project (BRP). During a ~5-month period covering almost half of the third year, it offers the first intense contact with state-of-the-art research. You will learn to define a scientific question, search for a method to address this question and apply this method to obtain more insight in the question raised. You will discuss your conclusions in a short scientific presentation and in a written bachelor research thesis.

If you are a lecturer or supervisor, please visit the Astronomy lecturer's website.

General information

After completion of the Bachelor Research Project you will be able to conduct innovative scientific research. This includes the first conception of a research subject, doing the research and reporting the conclusions in a scientifically fully sound way in written and oral form. The Bachelor Research Project also strengthens the development of behaviour-oriented soft skills, including independent thinking, the ability to find creative and original solutions and thereby enhance your auto-didactic abilities.

Research: Scientific Knowledge, Research Skills, Interaction & Independence, Level and Quality of Research, and Student motivation

Written thesis: Introduction and problem definition, Description of Methods, Results&Discussion and Scientific writing

Oral presentation: Contextualisation and delivery at appropriate academic level, Clarity, Style and Structure, and Handling questions.

Click here to view the full Assessment Rubric

Please find below an overview of the number of EC attributed to the various components of the Bachelor Research Project for the different study programmes.

Programme Research Thesis Presentation Total
Astronomy 18 3 1 22
Physics 20 3 1 24
Astronomy & Physics 20 3 1 24
Astronomy & Mathematics 24 - - 24
Physics & Mathematics 24 - - 24

Astronomy: the Bachelor Research Project has a total credit of 18 EC. The project is concluded with a Thesis (3 EC) and a Presentation (1 EC), which are credited separately. 

Astronomy & Physics: the Bachelor Research Project has a total credit of 20 EC. The research project is concluded with a Thesis (3 EC) and a Presentation (1 EC), which are credited separately. 

Astronomy & Mathematics: the Bachelor Research Project has a total credit of 24 EC. This includes a Bachelor's Thesis and a Presentation.

The Bachelor Research Project needs proper preparation and timing. In September, an introduction meeting is scheduled for third year bachelor's students, followed by a Bachelor Research Project preparation meeting in late November or early December. Make sure to attend those meetings, as all important details will be highlighted there.

Scroll down for a step-by-step Roadmap that will take you through the whole process of the Bachelor Research Project.

Registration forms:
Bachelor Research Project Registration Form (Astronomy)
Bachelor Research Project Registration Form (Astronomy & Physics)
Bachelor Research Project Registration Form (Astronomy & Mathematics)

Assessment forms:
Bachelor Research Project Assessment Form (Astronomy)
Bachelor Research Project Assessment and Thesis Publication Forms (Astronomy & Physics)

Evaluation form:
Bachelor Research Project Evaluation Form (all)

In case of personal issues, problems with your project or with your supervisor that you want to discuss confidentially, contact the Astronomy study advisor, located in room 567 of the Oort building.

Roadmap

Follow the steps below to start your Astronomy Bachelor Research Project.

Preparation

Before you start with your Bachelor Research Project, you need approval by the Astronomy study advisor. Students following a double bachelor's programme with Astronomy need approval from both study advisors.

Requirements for approval:

  • Succesful completion of both the first and second year of the bachelor's programme
  • Up to date Study Plan

Procedure for approval:

  1. Download the Bachelor Research Project Registration Form from the Forms section above. Make sure to use the appropriate registration form for your study programme.
  2. Complete section 1 of the registration form (student details).
  3. Ask the study advisor for approval, preferably directly after the BRP Preparation Meeting. You can also get approval later by appointment or by e-mail. Make sure to bring or attach your BRP Registration Form with section 1 completed.
  4. The study advisor will complete section 2 of your BRP Registration Form. If you meet all requirements you will get approval. If not, the study advisor will decide whether you will receive conditional approval, based on the number of ECs.

You cannot proceed to step 2 without (conditional) approval from the study advisor.

In the period November-December, you will choose the topic for your Bachelor Research Project. Projects may involve the analysis of new observations, calculating models for astrophysical or astrochemical processes, or a combination of the two. Hands-on research in laboratory astrophysics or optical instrumentation is also possible.

In November a Bachelor Research Project Fair will be organised in the Atrium of the Gorlaeus Building. At the BRP Fair, research groups open to students will present their work and themselves with poster presentations. You can talk to the groups and get inspired by their research and the projects they offer.

After the BRP Fair, the Bachelor Research Project coordinator will provide a list of all available projects on Blackboard. Consult the Bachelor Research Project course description in the e-Prospectus for details about the BRP coordinator and how to enroll in Blackboard.

Students following the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programmes may choose a project from either Astronomy or Physics. Astronomy projects that involve laboratory or instrumentation work are appropriate. Astronomy projects with a focus on data analysis should address data collection, calibration and reduction and should demonstrate a technical understanding of the instrumentation involved. Even if you did not collect the data for your project yourself, you should clearly explain how this was done. Wherever possible, you are expected to dedicate a chapter of your final thesis to linking a physics topic to astronomy research and vice versa.

All Astronomy Bachelor Research Projects are carried out under supervision of a member of the scientific staff of Leiden Observatory. Each project on the list of available projects is connected to a supervisor.

Students following the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programmes and doing an Astronomy project need to have a second supervisor from Physics who is ultimately responsible for approving the project (or a modified version thereof). Students are responsible for finding this second supervisor from the Physics department.

You can only proceed to this step after (conditional) approval form the study advisor. 

After deciding on the topic of your choice, you have to register your project with the Education Office Astronomy using the Bachelor Research Project Registration Form. Please note that you are required to follow and complete all sections on the form in sequential order. To register your project, do the following:

  1. Contact the supervisor connected to the research project of your interest from the list provided by the BRP coordinator. If your potential supervisor confirms that you can work on the project, proceed with the registration.
  2. Include the details of your project in section 3 of the registration form.
  3. Place your signatures and those of your supervisor(s) in section 4 of the registration form.
  4. Get final approval with a signature of the BRP coordinator in section 4 of the registration form.1
  5. Hand in the fully completed and signed Bachelor Research Project Registration form to the Astronomy programme coordinator in room 564 of the Oort buildingThe deadline for 2019 is January 18, 23.59h!
  6. The Astronomy programme coordinator will send the completed and signed BRP Registration Form to all people involved. In case of conditional approval, the study advisor(s) will check if you have met the requirements and if you are allowed to start your Bachelor Research Project. You will be informed soon after handing in the BRP Registration Form.

1For students following the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programmes, the project must also be approved by the Physics Bachelor Research Project coordinator. Students with a primary supervisor from Physics should have their project approved by the Astronomy Bachelor Research Project coordinator.

For practical matters and formal recording of your participation in the Bachelor Research Project, enrollment in the uSis and Blackboard systems is essential.

  1. Enroll for the Bachelor Research Project in uSis. Please note that the research, thesis and presentation are separate study activities. Make sure you enter the correct study activity number(s) for your project. For double bachelor's programmes, different study activity numbers are usedClick here for more information.
  2. Enroll for the Bachelor Research Project in Blackboard. The Bachelor Research Project coordinator will provide the name of the Blackboard course in the BRP preparation meeting. For double bachelor's programmes, different Blackboard courses are used.

Doing research

The Bachelor Research Project formally starts with a kick off meeting, in which the BRP coordinator will take you through all practical details of the Bachelor Research Project.

The Bachelor Research Project Kick Off meeting is directly followed by a week of training in research skills, including for example project management, CV writing, science communication and a library workshop. Astronomy students only need to attend the components indicated by the Bachelor Research Project coordinator.

Students following the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programmes are required to follow all components of the Research Skills programme.

In the second week of February, you will get started with your Bachelor Research Project. Over the first weeks, start background reading on the research topic of your interest. Make an appointment with your supervisor(s) and schedule weekly meetings with them. Make sure you have a place to work, a functional computer account, etc. Also, plan the first steps of your research project.

By mid-February, you should be spending most of your time on your Bachelor Research Project. To structure your time, develop regular working habits. Do not perform your project in free or filler time. Consider it as a job!

The Astronomy Bachelor Research Project is concluded with a thesis (scientific report, one per group). Do not put off writing your thesis until the last few weeks. Start writing parts of the work as you go along. Do not be afraid to ask for feedback from a colleague on your writing. While drafting your thesis, use the Astronomy Thesis writing tips and tips for good academic writing.

The writings and ideas of others form an important part of academic work. The work of others, however, must be clearly identifiable and distinguished from your original writings and ideas. Failure to properly acknowledge the work of others is plagiarism, whether or not you intended to represent the work as your own. All Astronomy bachelor's theses will be checked for plagiarism. Click here to learn how to avoid plagiarism in your writing.

To monitor the progression of the project regular meetings will be scheduled every two weeks with the Bachelor Research Project coordinator and teaching assistants. Consult the e-Prospectus to see who this year's teaching assistants are. They will be your primary point of contact. During the progression meetings, you will be giving three graded presentations during the course of the project:

  1. What will we do in the project?
  2. Where do we stand in the project?
  3. Final results

For the first meeting, prepare a short (5-min) presentation of your project (one presentation per project), describing:

  1. Your research question
  2. Why the question is interesting
  3. Method by which you are going to address the question

Finishing your Bachelor Research Project

The deadline for handing in your final thesis is the last Friday in June. For 2019, this is 30 April, 23.59 hrs. Your supervisor will check your thesis for plagiarism using approved methods.

  1. Hand in your final thesis by e-mailing a pdf-version to:
  2. Hand in a printed copy to the Astronomy programme coordinator in room 564 of the Oort building.

This only applies to students following the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programme.

After handing in your thesis as described above, you need to store your thesis online in the Leiden Thesis Repository. Before you follow the steps below, please read the following documents:

Please follow these steps: 

  • Log into the  Leiden Thesis Repository using your ULCN account details.
  • Use the date that is mentioned on the Bachelor Research Project Assessment and Thesis Publication Form.
  • All theses from Physics and Physics & Mathematics are uploaded in the repository and are made public.  Theses from students following the double Physics & Astronomy programme are uploaded in the repository but are not made public (under embargo).
  • The decision for making a thesis public or non-public is confirmed by signing the permission form which is attached to the grading form (Bachelor Research Project Assessment and Thesis Publication Form).

Please note that uploading your thesis is a prerequisite for obtaining the diploma for the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programme.

In addition to the thesis, the Bachelor Research Project is concluded with a final oral presentation. Prepare your presentation by mid-June. An instruction session and the exact date for the presentation sessions will be communicated by the Bachelor Research Project coordinator. For your presentation, prepare and practice your talk well in advance using these presenting tips and action plan for your presentation.

Upon completing your research project, your supervisor has to complete the Bachelor Research Project Assessment Form (Astronomy) or the Bachelor Research Project Assessment and Thesis Publication Forms (Astronomy & Physics). When completed, send a digital version to the Astronomy programme coordinator at eduster@strw.leidenuniv.nl. Hand in the original form to the Astronomy programme coordinator in room 564 of the Oort building. Make sure to keep a copy of the form for your own administration.

All Astronomy Bachelor Research Projects are graded on a 1-10 scale using dedicated assessment forms. Your Bachelor Research Project will be assessed by the supervisor(s) of your project, based on the assessment criteria mentioned in the General information section above.

Evaluate your Bachelor Research Project using the online Astronomy Research Project Evaluation Form.

 

Great care is taken to provide you with all information relevant to the Bachelor Research Project. If any question still remains after reading this website, please contact the Astronomy study advisor. If you are a lecturer or supervisor, please visit the Astronomy lecturer's website.

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