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Bachelor Project: Research (N+S)

Vak
2019-2020

Admission requirements

  • You can only participate in the Bachelor Research Project (BRP) after successful completion of both the first and second year of the combined bachelor's programme in Physics & Astronomy. If you do not meet this requirement, you will need to contact the Physics or Astronomy study advisor who decides whether authorization for participation can be given based on the number of EC's you have obtained.

  • Please note that as a student in the combined bachelor's programme in Physics & Astronomy you need to succesfully complete the Research Skills and Introduction week in the first week of February prior to starting your BRP. The workshop schedule will be available on Blackboard.

  • Prior to starting your BRP you will have to register for the project by completing a registration form. The procedure for this is available on the Aanvragen Afstuderen website (Physics) and on the Bachelor Research Project website (Astronomy).

Description

In the Bachelor Research Project (BRP), you independently perform scientific research in one of the research groups of Leiden Institute of Physics or Leiden Observatory during a period of 17 weeks. 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.

In November-December, a list of available research projects and their supervisors will be made available by the BRP coordinator and presented in a poster session named the Bachelor Project Fair. In order to be eligible for starting your BRP, you first need permission from the Physics and Astronomy study advisors. Following permission, you will choose one of the available projects and discuss the details in a follow-up meeting with your potential supervisor if needed. Please note that students in the combined bachelor's programme in Physics & Astronomy are expected to do the project individually and not in pairs.

You will start your BRP with a number of courses that address specific research skills, including time management and the use of scientific databases. In parallel, you will join your research group. You will start your research as part of ongoing work in the host group and participate in regular group meetings and other activities. Every two weeks there will be a BRP meeting event, where you meet with your fellow BRP students and the BRP coordinators to shortly discuss the progress of your research. This starts with a short talk on ‘Introducing my project’ in the first month, continues with a ‘Midterm talk’ halfway and is concluded with your ‘BRP presentation’ at the end of your BRP. In the second half of June (exact date will be communicated) you need to hand in your BRP thesis.

Please note that for students in the combined bachelor's programme in Physics & Astronomy, the project needs to be primarily experimental.
All Physics projects need to have a second supervisor from the Astronomy department who is ultimately responsible for approving the project (or a modified version thereof) and vice versa. Students are responsible for finding this second supervisor from the Astronomy or Physics department. The project choice must also be approved by the BRP coordinator of the other education programme.

You can find the full procedure on the Bachelor Research Project website.

Course objectives

After completion of the Bachelor Research Project you will be able to conduct innovative scientific research from the first conception of a research subject up to reporting and presenting the conclusions drawn from the research and in a scientifically fully sound way.

This means that after this project you will be able to:

  • Write an innovative measurement plan on the basis of which usable results can be expected

  • Transfer plans into practice, critically interpreting the outcome of your research

  • Interpret results in an objective way, linking your research question to a scientific conclusion

  • Present your research question, research approach, research findings and conclusions, both orally and in a conclusive bachelor research thesis

Soft skills

The Bachelor Research Project also strengthens the development of a number of behaviour-oriented skills. After the project, you will be able to:

  • Collaborate within a research group, contributing to its scientific momentum

  • Plan your research activities realistically and deliver expected products before deadlines

  • Professionally respond to feedback and to incorporate the feedback into the research by adapting your practices

Furthermore, the BRP will stimulate your independent thinking and your ability to search for creative and original solutions and thereby enhance your auto-didactic abilities. Depending on your project, you may also develop complex ICT-skills (data analysis, programming, simulations, complex ICT applications).

Timetable

  • The schedule largely follows the planning of the hosting BRP group. Special BRP events are communicated through Blackboard by the BRP coordinator.

  • See the Roadmap on the Bachelor Research Project website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures on research skills

  • Research

Daily supervision guarantees that you stay on track. In addition, you will attend biweekly meetings with the BRP coordinators to learn from the experiences of your BRP fellows.

Assessment method

  • Bachelor Project: Research (N+S) (20 EC)

  • Bachelor Project: Thesis (N+S) (3 EC)

  • Bachelor Project: Presentation (N+S) (1 EC)

  • Bachelor Project: Research (20 EC) will be assessed by your direct supervisor

  • Bachelor Project: Thesis (3 EC) will be evaluated by your direct supervisor and a second assessor

  • Bachelor Project: Presentation (1 EC) will be evaluated by your direct supervisor and a second assessor

For more details, see the Grading section on the Bachelor Research Project website.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used to communicate with students and to share lecture slides, homework assignments, and any extra materials. You must enroll on Blackboard before the start of the course. To have access, you need a student ULCN account.

Reading list

Relevant information will be provided by the BRP coordinator. Literature on your research topic will be provided by your direct supervisor.

Registration

  1. Register for the course via uSis. More information about signing up for your classes can be found here
  2. Register your project as described in the procedure on the Bachelor Research Project website.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to register. For a la carte and contract registration, please see the dedicated section on the Prospective students website.

Contact information

BRP coordinator Physics: Prof.dr. Thomas Schmidt
BRP coordinator Astronomy: Prof.dr. H.V.J. (Harold) Linnartz
Assistant: Dieuwertje van der Vlugt
Procedures and forms: Bachelor Research Project