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 master's research projects
Students in the specialisations Astronomy Research, Astronomy and Cosmology, Astronomy and Data Science, and Astronomy and Instrumentation carry out two astronomy research projects: the First Research Project and the Master’s Research Project. The First and Master's Research Projects must be on different topics. The Master's Research Project can be started only after successful completion of the First Research Project.
Students in the Astronomy and Business Studies (BB), Astronomy and Science Communication and Society (SCS) or Astronomy and Education specialisations carry out only the Master’s Research Project. Please find below important general information and procedures.
Students seeking information on possible research projects should contact the Astronomy study advisor, consult the Leiden Observatory Annual Reports, or check out the Leiden Observatory website. Students who strongly prefer to conduct part of a research project outside Leiden Observatory or abroad must first propose this to the Astronomy study advisor. They need, in all cases, prior permission from the Board of Examiners.
All Astronomy research projects are carried out under the supervision of a member of the scientific staff. Keep in mind that if you do two research projects, they cannot be in the same area.
The maximum duration in calendar time of any Astronomy research project is 9 months. However, if the First Research Project is started before November 1 of the first year of the Astronomy master's programme, the deadline is extended to August 1 for students who started the programme in September.
For students who started the programme in February, this deadline is extended to January 1 if the First Research Project is started before April 1 of the first year.
Both Astronomy research projects have a total credit of 30 EC. Per project, this equals 30 x 28 hrs = 840 hrs of research work. Both research projects are concluded with a thesis.
For the Master’s Research Project, the total credit includes also a public presentation (the Student Colloquium).
Please carefully check if the correct project is selected on your registration and assessment forms.
All Astronomy research projects are graded on a 1-10 scale using the Master Research Project Assessment Form. Your Master's Report will be evaluated both by the supervisor(s) of the project and by another staff member not directly connected to the same research project (the second reader). Both the supervisor(s) and the second reader have to be approved staff members with examination authority (click here for the list of approved staff members). The project will be evaluated on three points:
- The quality and depth of the research
- The dedication and initiative shown by the student
- The quality of the thesis (and presentation)
To monitor the progression of Astronomy research projects, student will receive periodic emails at so-called milestones. These milestones occur at the start of the project and at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the allotted duration of the project. These emails contain information about the remaining time until the end date (at 100%). If the project has not been completed by the final date (100%), a grade will be given based on the available material. Student and supervisor should monitor progress with this schedule in mind. Problems or delays should be reported to the Astronomy study advisor, who will also monitor progress.
All Astronomy Master's Research Projects are concluded with a public presentation, referred to as Student Colloquium. This presentation will be graded by the Student Colloquium coordinator for your presentation skills and not for the scientific content or the way you conducted your research. Prepare your talk well using these presenting tips and action plan for your presentation. Practice your talk well in advance. Your grade will be sent to your supervisor by the Student Colloquium coordinator.
As an Astronomy master's student, you have to plan your own Student Colloquium, which will be held in the format of an Astronomy master's colloquium conference three times per year. You have to arrange your own reservation using the online Astronomy Student Colloquium registration form.
Should personal problems, problems with your project or problems with your supervisor occur which you would prefer to discuss confidentially, you can contact Astronomy study advisor Wouter Schrier, located in room 567 of the Oort building.
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 master's theses will be checked for plagiarism. If plagiarism is proven, the Board of Examiners will impose penalties. Click here to learn how to avoid plagiarism in your writing.
- Identify three potential research areas and/or supervisors for your research project. You will discuss your preferences with the Astronomy study advisor, who will propose you one or more potential projects to choose from, supervised by Leiden Observatory staff members. You can then talk to potential supervisors in person before deciding whom to work with. Keep in mind that if you do two research projects for your Astronomy master's, they cannot be in the same research area.
- Fill out the details of your research project in the Master Research Project Registration Form. Have the form signed by all parties involved and hand it over to the Astronomy study advisor.
- Automatic progression monitoring messages will be sent to you, your supervisor and the Astronomy study advisor at the start of your project and at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the scheduled project duration. Make sure you meet up with your supervisor at least at each notification date. In that way, you’ll be in time to notice problems or delay. Report any problems or delays immediately to the Astronomy student advisor.
- Conclude your research project with a Master's Report and (for Master's Research Projects only) Student Colloquium as described above.
- Hand in the final version of your Master’s Report to your supervisor, who has 15 working days to grade your work using the Master Research Project Assessment Form. The research project must also be graded by another staff member not directly connected to the same research programme. This second reader is selected by your supervisor. See the tab Grading above for more information and a list of approved staff members.
- Hand in the final version of your Master's Report to the Astronomy education coordinator. Send a digital copy to firstname.lastname@example.org and hand in a paper copy in room 564 of the Oort building. The Education Office Astronomy will check your thesis for plagiarism.
- Evaluate your research project using the online Research Project Evaluation Form.