The graduation research project (46 ECTS for BTT, 50+10 ECTS for NANO) can be carried out with any of the COBRA-Photonics staff members as a supervisor. It is carried out in one of the three Research areas Materials, Devices, or Systems. The options cover a broad range, from fundamental to applied and from theoretical to experimental.
The project is carried out independently and is original. It usually results in scientific output in the form of a product, a tool, a scientific publication, a presentation at an international conference, or a patent. The research results are described in a written Master thesis and presented for a public audience consisting of students, staff members and other interested people (unless research was classified). The thesis has to be defended before a special committee of exam authorized lecturers, appointed by the examination board, in a private session.
To continue in a subsequent PhD trajectory, the MSc student has the option of preparing a research proposal for the PhD project within the last stage of the graduation project. They will get ample support from staff members to ensure that the proposal will be compatible with the existing infrastructure and funding.
Once a student has conceived an idea for a subsequent PhD research project, he/she gets in contact with one or more prospective thesis advisors and starts to write a research proposal independently.
The writing of this proposal is part of, and embedded in, the Graduation Project, scheduled in the second half of the allocated time slot. To assist and train him to write a proposal, the student is supported by his personal coach as well as by a second coach from another group. Both will act as independent reviewers during the writing process, providing feedback to the student and providing information on boundary conditions such as laboratory infrastructure and available funding schemes.
For students under the NWO –scheme, funding restrictions are strongly relaxed. For this scheme, but when applicable for others as well, the research proposal will be an important selection criterion for admission to the PhD program.