Once being allocated to a supervisor you need to make clear arrangements with him/her about what you may expect from each other, and which tasks and responsibilities both you and your supervisor have. The following (partly already set) arrangements should at least be discussed.
- The supervisor explains the learning goals and assessment to the student.
- Expectations (of both student and supervisor) are being discussed regarding:
- Product: intermediate documents and final thesis. The documents to be discussed are to have been submitted no later than three working days prior to the meeting (unless otherwise agreed upon with the supervisor(s)). The documents to be discussed are to be paginated and include the name, date and list of literature (if applicable).
- Process: the student and his/her supervisor should be specific about how and when both parties will keep in touch. The student holds first responsibility of staying in contact with the supervisor.
- Communication: the student is advised to note down decisions and actions to be taken (no more than 1 A4 page), and to submit them to the 1st supervisor within one week.
- The student informs the external coach/supervisor (if applicable) precisely and timely on their role (advisor) in their graduation project and sends him/her a copy of this graduation guide.
- The UT supervisor holds responsibility of the assessment and grading.
- In case the University of Twente supervisor and the external supervisor do not know each other the student is advised to check with his/her supervisors whether it is desired that they meet at the beginning of the project. This will allow them (next to become acquainted) to discuss roles and responsibilities.
- Other specific circumstances that student or supervisor think are relevant for the professional relationship.
Besides this it is our experience that it is really important and helpful to discuss your research question thoroughly in the first few meetings and to agree on and write it down carefully as soon as possible.
The following points of interest are relevant for the thesis planning and thesis process:
- A guideline has been developed for the number of meetings, the contents of those meetings, the times the second supervisor is to be present and the overall schedule. Depending on the type of project and the process, this guideline may be (somewhat) derogated from in mutual consultation: guideline schedule 10 EC thesis & guideline schedule 25-35 EC thesis
- Start the thesis-writing-process as soon as possible after commencing the project.
- While planning the master thesis process, ask your supervisor when he/she will be absent (e.g. conference, vacation), and make sure to consider this in your time-line.
- Make sure that you have plenty of time available to work on your master's thesis. For a master's thesis of 30 EC, the graduation process takes on average 840 hours. Spread equally over 3 periods, this averages to 28 hours per week! The time required to complete the master's thesis varies, and depends on the difficulty level of the project, the set-up of the research, the engagement of any external parties, and the skills, capabilities and diligence of the student.
- Your conduct and actions and the course of the process (incl. completion within the scheduled time) are all taken into account in the assessment of the master's thesis.
- Should progress not accord to plan, it is imperative that you and/or your supervisor contact the study adviser (for additional support, adjustment of the planning, etc.).