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2. Starting your thesis

Before you start with the actual writing of your thesis and conducting your research there are a number of things you need to take into account in order to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible.

2.1 Planning and Process

An activity overview (guideline) is available for students and supervisors, which includes the various aspects of working on the bachelor's thesis. The overview includes a schedule of the meetings you will need to plan with your supervisor. Arrange a date for these meetings yourself. The overview also includes important progress and submission dates and the date of your presentation. Make sure that you discuss this with your supervisor in good time and if necessary make arrangements in advance. While planning your activities for the bachelor’s thesis take into account the following:

  • Make sure to consider the availability of your supervisor in your planning;
  • As from the start of your research, start the writing process as soon as possible;
  • Make sure that you have plenty of time available to work on your thesis, around 20 hours a week;
  • Your conduct, actions and the course of the process are all taken into account in the assessment of your thesis;
  • If things are not going according to plan and you are falling behind more and more, discuss this with your supervisor. You can also make an appointment with your study adviser to discuss further steps.
  • Make a report of every meeting. Summarize the agreements that you made and any points that you are still unsure about. Also include the date of the next meeting. Send the report to your supervisor.

2.2 Arrangments with the supervisor

Once being allocated to a supervisor it is helpful to make clear arrangements. Agree on what you expect from one another and the tasks and responsibilities both you and your supervisor have. The meetings with those involved are vital if you want to make good progress with your final project. In addition, in case of an external assignment, you will often find that you are the link between the university and the organization where you are completing your assignment. The standard supervision time is around 20 hours. This includes the time that is needed to read your work. If a meeting with your supervisor(s) is necessary in order for you to make progress, please follow these guidelines:

  • Make an appointment.
  • Indicate when you will submit written work. Meetings where there is no written work to discuss are pointless. Submit the written work four working days before the meeting (do not bother your supervisor with every new version of a particular section). Ask whether they prefer a paper or digital version.
  • Indicate what you want to discuss or where you are having problems 

The thesis track consists of a number of phases. Most supervisors will want to meet you at the following moments:

  • At the start of your research, you will have one or two meetings regarding the planning and content of your research.
  • When you sign the graduation contract, with an emphasis on your introduction, hypothesis and study design.
  • After you have started your data collection to discuss your progress, your methods and results section and the first concept of the conclusion.
  • When the first version of the method of analysis and the results are done.
  • When you have written the complete thesis, including results, conclusions and recommendations. The first version of your thesis will not usually be perfect and you will need to make changes before it is approved.
  • For the green light meeting, when you have an improved version of your thesis with an English summary.

The second supervisor functions mainly as a second reader for the first supervisor, but will be actively involved in the green light and final version of your thesis. If the first supervisor deems it necessary, the second supervisor will also be involved at other times. The thesis may serve as the basis for a publication. The first supervisor is, in principle, the first author. Agreements need to be made in this regard.

In case of an external supervisor, you need to make workable, realistic agreements. At the start, you will have more frequent contact than later, once the research design is clear. Initially, the company supervisor will need to be available for two hours a week.

2.3 Formal arrangements

As from the beginning of your thesis, there are several formal arrangements you need to carry out.

2.3.1 Register in Mobility Online and submit the signed application form

An important part of the activity overview is registering the assignment in Mobility Online and submitting the application form after it has been signed by the first supervisor. When the assignment and the supervisor have been confirmed, you register the assignment in Mobility Online using the ‘Graduation - standard pipeline’ and add the required information. When you log in to Mobility Online, you can then download and print the application form and have the printed form signed by your first supervisor. Make a copy of the signed application form for yourself and your supervisors, and then submit the original form to the Educational Affairs Office (BOZ) (Anneke Laarhuis, Citadel H436) within 6 weeks of the start of the bachelor’s thesis. For an overview of the registration procedure you can download the Mobility Online manual.

2.3.2 Approval of the Ethics Committee

To ensure an ethically responsible research practice, it is mandatory for employees and students from the Faculty of BMS to submit their research project for ethical assessment in case your research involves human participants or/and using potentially sensitive data about and/or from individuals, groups or organizations. In consultation with your supervisor, you can submit the ethical approval form to the Ethics Committee. You can only start your data collection once you have obtained ethical approval. For more information about the application procedure, you can visit the website of the Ethics Committee.