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Bachelor Research Project (S+N)


Admission requirements

  • You can only participate after successful completion of both the first and second year of the dual Astronomy/Physics bachelor’s programme. If this is not the case, you will need to contact the Astronomy Study Advisor who decides on the basis of the number of obtained ECs whether authorization for participation can be given.

  • Please note that dual Astronomy/Physics bachelor students need to succesfully complete the Research Skills and Introduction Bachelor Project course before starting their Bachelor Research Project.


The Bachelor Research Project (BRP) is a very important part of your Astronomy bachelor's programme. During a period covering almost half of the third year, it offers the first intense contact with state-of-the-art research. In the period September-December, you will be able to choose your subject from an extensive list with potential projects. Between January and June, you will join one of the research groups and participate in running research. Please note that dual students are expected to do their project individually and not in pairs. During this period, you are hosted at the institute; you will get a desk, a computer, and attend regular group and progress meetings. The BRP is concluded with a scientific report and a final presentation.

Projects can 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. Please note that for dual students, the project needs to be primarily experimental. Astronomy projects that involve lab or instrumentation work are appropriate. Projects with a main focus on data analysis must include a component related to data taking. This may include hands-on calibration or data reduction. There must in any case be a section in the report describing how the data were obtained, reduced and calibrated, including aspects of the instrumentation. Even if the data were not taken by the students themselves, they should clearly explain how this was done.

All Astronomy projects need to have a second supervisor from the Physics department 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. The project choice must also be approved by the Hara Papathanassiou, the Physics Research Skills and Introduction Bachelor Project coordinator.

Course objectives

Gaining experience with academic research. This includes reporting the results in written and oral form.

Soft skills

During your Bachelor Research Project, you will be trained in the following behaviour-oriented skills:

  • Problem solving (recognizing and analyzing problems, solution-oriented thinking)

  • Analytical skills (analytical thinking, abstraction, evidence)

  • Structured thinking (structure, modulated thinking, computational thinking, programming)

  • Project management (planning, scope, boundaries, result-orientation)

  • Responsibility (ownership, self-discipline, bear mistakes, accountability)

  • Motivation (commitment, pro-active attitude, initiative)

  • Self-regulation (independence, self-esteem, aware of own goals, motives and capacities)

  • Verbal communication (presenting, speaking, listening)

  • Written communication (writing skills, reporting, summarizing)

  • Collaboration (teamwork, group support, loyalty, attendance)

  • Flexibility (adaptability, dealing with change, teachability, eagerness to learn)

  • Critical thinking (asking questions, check assumptions)

  • Creative thinking (resourcefulness, curiosity, thinking out of the box)

  • Integrity (honesty, moral, ethics, personal values)

  • Project dependent: Complex ICT-skills (data analysis, programming, simulations, complex ICT applications)


See Schedules Astronomy bachelor 2017-2018

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Research (20 EC), thesis and oral presentation (4 EC).
See also: Grading Form Bachelor Research Project Astronomy/Physics (in Dutch)


Blackboard is not used for this course.

Reading list

Not applicable. Relevant information is provided by e-mail.


  1. Register for the course via uSis. More information about signing up for your classes can be found here
  2. Register your project via the Registration Form Bachelor Research Project Astronomy/Physics

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

Lecturer: Prof.dr. Harold Linnartz
Assistants: Dieuwertje van der Vlugt, Frits Swijen
Course website: Bachelor Research Project (will be online at the start of the course)