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Bachelor Research Project (S+W)


Admission requirements

You can only participate after successful completion of both the first and second year of the double bachelor's programme in Astronomy and Mathematics. 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.


In the Bachelor Research Project (BRP), you independently perform scientific research in one of the research groups of Leiden Observatory during a period of 17 weeks. 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. In order to be eligible for starting your BRP, you first need permission from the Astronomy study advisor. Following permission, you will choose one of the available projects.

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. You will 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. On July 1st you will need to hand in your BRP thesis.

You can find the full procedure on the Astronomy 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

Futhermore, the BRP will stimulate your independent thinking and your ability to search for creative and original solutions and thereby enhance your auto-didactic abilities.


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

The full Bachelor Research Project (24 EC) will be assessed by your direct supervisor. Your thesis and oral presentation will also be evaluated by a second assessor from the Mathematics programme. See also the Grading tab on the Astronomy Bachelor Research Project website.


Blackboard is not used for this course.

Reading list

Not applicable. Relevant information is provided by e-mail by the BRP coordinator. Literature on your research topic will be provided by your direct supervisor.


  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

Lecturer: Prof.dr. Harold Linnartz
Assistants: Dieuwertje van der Vlugt, Frits Sweijen
Course website: BRP coordinator's teaching website
Procedures and forms: Astronomy Bachelor Research Project