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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.

More information on the Bachelor Research Project of your programme can be found in the Prospectus and on Brightspace.

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 quality: scientific knowledge, research skills and scientific quality of work

Learning process: professional skils and management skills

Report and communication: thesis writing and oral presentation

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.

Registration forms:

You can find the registration forms in Brightspace on the Bachelor Research Project page.

Assessment forms (for 2020-2021):

Bachelor Research Project Assessment Form (Astronomy)
Bachelor Research Project Assessment Form (Astronomy & Mathematics)
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

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.

Below you will find general steps for starting and completing the Bachelor Research Project.  More detailed step-by-step instructions including a timetable will be made available on the Bachelor Research Project page in Brightspace.

Preparation

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

For more information on the procedure for requesting approval to start your Bachelor Research Project, please visit the Bachelor Research Project page in Brightspace and check under the section BRP registration form. 

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

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-December a Bachelor Research Project Preparation Meeting will be organised. After this meeting, the Bachelor Research Project coordinator will provide a list of all available projects on Brightspace.

Students following the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programmes may choose a project from either Astronomy or Physics. For details see the Prospectus page on the Bachelor Research Project for the double programme Astronomy and Physics and the Bachelor Research Project Brightspace page.

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. In addition, you need to find a staff member who will be second examiner for your thesis.

Students following the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programme and doing an Astronomy project need to have a second examiner from Physics who is ultimately responsible for approving the project (or a modified version thereof). Students are responsible for finding this second examiner 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. For a detailed step-by-step plan please visit the Bachelor Research Project page in Brightspace.

For students following the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programme, the project must be approved by both the Astronomy Bachelor Research Project coordinator and the Physics Bachelor Research Project coordinator.

For practical matters and formal recording of your participation in the Bachelor Research Project, enrollment in uSis is essential. In this way, you will also get access to the relevant Brightspace page(s). Please note that the research, thesis and presentation are separate study activities and that you have to enroll in each of them. Make sure you enter the correct class number (study activity number) for your project. For double bachelor's programmes, different class numbers are used.

Doing research

The Bachelor Research Project starts of with a Kick Off meeting in January/February and is directly followed by the Research Skills and Scientific Integrity course. See here for information on this course. Enrollment in uSis for this course is required. Make sure you enter the correct class number (study activity number). For the double Astronomy and Physics bachelor's programme a different class numbers is used. Check the course's Brightspace page as well.

The Research Skills and Scientifc Integrity course includes two weeks of training in research skills, including for example project management, CV writing, science communication and a library workshop. Details including a timetable can be found on the specific Brightspace page for this course.

 

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.

Templates for writing your thesis in Latex/Word are offered on the Bachelor Research Project Brightspace page.

To monitor the progression of the project regular meetings will be scheduled every two weeks with the Bachelor Research Project coordinator and teaching assistant. Consult the Prospectus to see who this year's teaching assistant is. 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

For 2021, the deadline for handing in your final thesis is Friday 18 June, 23.59 hrs. Your supervisor will check your thesis for plagiarism using approved methods.

Hand in your final thesis as a pdf file on the Bachelor Research Project Brightspace page.

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.

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 and second examiner of your project, based on the assessment criteria mentioned in the General information section above.

Upon completing your research project, your supervisor has to:

1. Complete the Bachelor Research Project Assessment Form (Astronomy), the Bachelor Research Project Assessment Form (Astronomy & Mathematics) or the Bachelor Research Project Assessment and Thesis Publication Forms (Astronomy & Physics).
2. Send a digital version to you (for your own administration) and to the Education Office Astronomy (bachelor@strw.leidenuniv.nl).

Make sure your supervisor is aware of what he or she is expected to do - this is your shared responsibility!

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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