For Anne Boshove, the decision to do her master thesis at Animal Breeding and Genomics (ABG) wasn't a difficult one:
Anne explains: "I am currently in my second year of the master Bioinformatics. Before I started my master I did the bachelor Animal Sciences and I followed the minor Bioinformatics. I knew I wanted to do my thesis at ABG because it enabled me to combine the two fields of interest I am most passionate about; working with biological data and the biological functioning of animals. And my research is about how high-quality breed specific reference genomes can be used to identify structural variations within and between different pig breeds, so that ties in well with everything I learned during my bachelor."
Finding a research topic
"When I started looking into the possible topics for my master thesis, I first had a look at the list with possible topics that was posted on the chair group webpage of ABG. Most chair groups have a list like that, and it is a really useful tool if you are struggeling to come up with a research topic. And if you can't find a topic that matches your personal interests, you can always contact your study advisor for more information," Anne says.
She continues: "Once I had an overall idea of what I wanted to do, I had a meeting with the internship coordinator at ABG to discuss the possibilities. He put me in touch with Martijn Derks, my thesis supervisor. Martijn was working on a research project that tied in well with my personal interests, and I was welcome to assist him."
Contact and supervision
"The contact between me and my thesis supervisor was great; I never got the feeling that he was my 'superior' because he was very approachable and I could always contact him if I had any questions. That's really how I experienced the contact with everyone at ABG; they are all very helpful and approachable," Anne says.
"What I also found very useful were the thesis rings. Every two weeks we would have an online meeting with all the students that were working on their thesis research so we could give each other feedback and ask questions. Personally, I found the writing-part of my thesis quite challenging at times, so it was nice to talk to other students who were experiencing the same struggles."
She recommends: "My advice for everyone who is about to start their thesis would be to participate in the thesis rings, and also to start writing in time, because the writing process takes a lot more time than you think!"