General Introduction

Here you can find information on Thesis research and the possible topics from the "Food Quality and Design" group. Most of our topics are within projects of staff members and PhD students of our group.

The list is not static, new topics can emerge and others may be concluded. It is therefore possible to choose topics outside the list. This leaves the student with substantial freedom of choice. The topic has however to fulfill the following requirements:

  • There should be a reasonable chance to success within the (short) time available. This is dependent on the nature of the subject, the availability of equipment and validated methods etc.
  • The topic shouldn't be too difficult to too easy. This will depend among other things also on the knowledge level and expertise of the student.
  • Good supervision of the research should be possible. This depends on the available expertise and time of the foreseen supervisor.

Characteristics of thesis research

The primary objective of a thesis research is to learn how to do research. The student will experience how to systematically handle a food science problem (dependent on the topic), how to select the appropriate methods to do so, how to recognize and formulate sub-problems, how to obtain enough confidence in the results, how to prevent to waste time on less important issues, and finally how to translate results and conclusion into a clear and concise report and a presentation. Of secondary importance is to obtain useful results. Giving the time constraints usually thesis research does not yield enough information and evidence that would justify a scientific publication of the results.

Students shouldn't have to high expectations of the outcome of their thesis research. The obtained results are sometimes not as expected. Good and reliable research is difficult and requires perseverance of the student. The initial information gathering and writing of the work plan of the thesis research are important elements in the start-up of the project and require substantial time. The value of the obtained results is also a matter of coincidence, supervisors can make too optimistic judgments on the chance of success. Since the research topics will explore new areas of science this success rate is not known before.

The thesis research includes a written report, containing a literature review of the topic. The work is concluded by a final colloquium. The attendance at the colloquia of other thesis students in the group is obligatory.

During the time that is spend on the thesis research it is expected that the student will spend his/her time at the group, as if he/she would be an employee of the group. The student will give twice intermediate presentations (one at the start of the research and one halfway) on the progress and plans of their research. These presentations are scheduled on monday morning. The objective of these presentation is to guide the research by means of presenting and discussing the results, failures and further plans. Another important objective of this presentation is to train and improve ones ability to give a presentation. It is obligatory to attend these presentation for all students at our group, to be informed about the research of others and their approaches and to critically evaluate those.

Prerequisites

See the study guide

Registration for a thesis research

It is good to make appointments with the supervisor(s) of the topic(s) that you are interested in at least one to two months in advance. Earlier is advised. The contact persons at the mentioned topics will be happy to inform you about the possibilities for a research topic. As soon as you have made your choice about a research topic you should arrange this with the supervisor of that topic. A list of phone and room numbers of the staff members of the group can be found under the "staff" button at the left.

Planning

The available time of the thesis research (16-28 stp) includes the initial information gathering, literature review, experimental work and reporting and presenting. The amount of time is 'netto'; it is allowed to do other things in between your research (other courses, colloquia, exams, holiday, etc.) but this will result in spending more time to finish the thesis. Make sure to finish all requirements for the thesis work (colloquium and reporting) before you start another research or internship.

Thesis contract

The student, supervisor and examiner will arrange some of the mentioned aspects of the thesis research in a thesis contract. This contract will be handed over at the start of the work by the secretary.

For an overview of supervisors we refer you to our people page.