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LDE Thesis Labs


Registration for this course has been closed for 2023/24. We look forward to seeing you again next year.


Become a leader in sustainability. Work on your individual master thesis based on a real challenge. At the same time learn, share and collaborate with other motivated students from Leiden, Delft and Erasmus universities and contribute to a common, interdisciplinary result with real impact.

With a team of 10-12 students, you will work on a sustainability challenge set by an external organisation (a company or governmental organisation). You will meet professionals and academic experts, follow workshops, lectures and join excursions. You’ll learn from other students, confront ideas and exchange methodologies. You will write your own master thesis, meanwhile creating an interdisciplinary result for the challenge you all work on together. There are eleven bi-weekly sessions. In 2023/2024 we selected four Thesis Labs. We organize the Labs together with Medical Delta, Airbus, Province of South Holland, ACCEZ, InnovationQuarter and Economic Board South Holland.

See more information on the LDE Centre for Sustainability website.

Admission requirements

This is an extracurricular programme for master thesis students. Students will be selected based
on their motivation.
The conditions for enrollment 23/24:

  • We only admit students from Leiden University, Delft University of Technology or Erasmus University Rotterdam.

  • The lab is open to students with all ranges of expertise. For example: natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, design, law, health, economics, management, humanities, philosophy, etc.

  • You work on your own master thesis within the timeframe of the Thesis Lab programme (February to July), with the possibility of starting your individual thesis somewhat earlier or later, if your study programme requires it.

  • Preferably, you start your thesis (preparation) somewhere between October 2023 and April 2024.

  • Your thesis accounts for 10 to 60 EC.

  • You find your own thesis supervisor(s) at your university. Supervision of your individual master thesis is not part of the LDE lab programme.

  • You are motivated to join the half year – extracurricular – interdisciplinary programme and will attend all 11 bi-weekly in-person sessions.

  • You agree with the workload of the programme: approximately 60 hours in total.

  • At the end of the Lab program in June 2024, you will present data, results and/or conclusions from your thesis. You agree to prepare and share the following deliverables: 1. Individual thesis report (no later than November 2024); 2. Individual poster, or your individual contribution to a 'patterns' book, with key takeaways of your thesis (to be completed before session 11, the final presentation). 3. Interdisciplinary result (you will create this with your lab team during session #9 and #10 of the programme); 4. LDE Centre for Sustainability communicates about the Labs via Lablogs on the website. We will ask some students for an interview.

Registration process

Enrolment for the academic year 2023-2024 is closed. Enrolling for 2024-2025 will be possible
from September 25th up to and including October 20th (23:59) through the LDE Centre for
Sustainability website. The registration link will also be posted on the student website of the
Honours Academy.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis. Your registration will be done

The Selection procedure is as follows:

  • We will let you know by email if you are invited to an interview.

  • We organise online interviews of 20-25 minutes at the end of October/beginning of November.

  • The interviews are conducted by the academic coordinator of the lab (LDE researcher) and LDE Centre for Sustainability hub coordinator.

  • During the interviews we will discuss: * 1. Your motivation: why do you want to join the Lab? Are you ready to commit to the lab program and to the extra work it requires? Will you be an active member of the interdisciplinary lab group? 2. The assignment you’re applying for: does the assignment you’re applying for fit your curriculum? Do you already have ideas of what you would like to research in your thesis? 3. Can we make an interdisciplinary team? We are looking for a team consisting of multiple LDE master programs.

  • We will let you know if you are selected by email after the interviews.

  • If you are selected, we ask you to find a thesis supervisor (if you haven’t already found one already). We also match you with the external case holder of the thesis assignment. Together with this case holder, your thesis supervisor and us you can start finetune your thesis assignment.

  • In January, we organize a short online meeting together with all the other Lab students, to get to know each other and ask questions.

Learning goals

After completing an Interdisciplinary Thesis Lab, students will receive a certificate, and are able to

  1. Work on a societal challenge set by an external organisation and learn from the issues faced in practice by this organisation;
  2. Get a deeper understanding of the sustainability challenge and of all its aspects;
  3. Incorporate their own unique study background in other projects and exchange ideas across disciplines, make connections across wider areas of studies, and confront their ideas and ways of thinking to others and approach their topic from other perspectives. Apply this knowledge in their individual thesis and in a collaborative interdisciplinary result.