The MSc project is a major part of your masters and the proof of your abilities to future employers.
The project may be performed at TU/e, at another university or research institute, at a hospital or with industry. It is worth 45 or 60 ECs and is concluded by an MSc thesis, a presentation and a defence.
NB: please be aware that you are to have completed all your courses before you can finalize your MSc project. You can no longer take exams once your MSc project has been graded. The externship is the only element that may be performed after the MSc project.
How do I find a project?
You can find a list of projects here, but this list is certainly not exhaustive.
Your mentor can help you. Have a meeting discussing what interests you (and what doesn’t). Do you have a preference for a certain topic, modality or disease? Do you want to stay at TU/e or go to industry or a hospital? Your mentor can give you some suggestions and, once you have studied those and indicated a preference, give you contact information for the institute of your choice. For external projects, please do not contact a large number of people at once.
You are of course not bound to the suggestions of your mentor. If you find a project yourself (via the internet or a fellow student or whatever), however, do discuss with your mentor whether the institute and project are suitable.
NB: ME students generally do their project at a hospital, but at the very least an expert with a clinical task should be involved.
How do I register my MSc project?
You need to officially register your project. There is a form to be filled in and signed by your supervisors. Before signing, your supervisor will want to see a brief description of your project (half a page is sufficient). Please note that this form is to be submitted at the Education Office before the start of your project.
What are the elements I am judged on?
Your achievements will be judged by a small committee of at least three members of staff, of which one is from another group in the Department. Additionally, other supervisors may be involved in the evaluation.
Basically, we judge how well you can perform a true research project, regarding all aspects involved. This includes independence, practical and experimental skills, creativity and innovative elements of the work, critical analysis of the results, structure and clarity of thesis, understanding of problem and methods, presentation and defence.
What is the purpose of the midway presentation?
When you are roughly half way through your project, you will present your work to the IMAG/e group and the other master students at an Espresso meeting. This serves to let others know what you are working on, but it is also an opportunity for you to get feedback and input. The presentation should describe the problem you work on, an overview of what you have done so far and briefly what you plan to do in the second half of the project. If you want, you can include some discussion topics (questions or problems) that the group may help you with. The midway is not an evaluation, it does not count towards the final grade for your project.
Erica will contact you in due time to plan a date for your midway. The presentation is scheduled for about 20 minutes.
In which format should the MSc thesis be?
The MSc thesis is to be written like a scientific paper. You will find this may force you to select which results are relevant for your thesis, to present results in a summarized way and to write in a clear, yet concise style.
As a guideline, we use the format of the IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging journal. You can find the specifications here. Using this format a maximum of 12 pages holds for your thesis. You can (and probably should) have appendices, but these should indeed only contain additional information. Appendices are used, for instance, to present a mathematical derivation or proof, to present some work that took a substantial part of your time but did not end up in your thesis, to give a more extensive overview of relevant literature or to add extra descriptions of methodology. Your thesis should be written at a level that a fellow student would be able to understand it. Such a person may have a similar background to yours, but may not know about specific techniques. It may not be possible for the 12-page paper to contain such information, because scientific papers are generally aimed at fellow researchers. You can use appendices to include descriptions of such expert techniques. As an example, you do not explain the basics of MR imaging, but you may need to add an explanation of UTE or CEST imaging.
Another format than the one given is acceptable too. Please contact your supervisor to discuss a potential change in the maximum number of pages. If you perform your research externally and your local supervisor objects to the format of a scientific paper, also discuss this with your TU/e supervisor.
How about my final presentation?
When you are a few months from finishing your project, you should discuss with your TU/e supervisor whether he/she thinks you will indeed finalize your work according to plan. If so, your supervisor will decide on a committee and determine a suitable date for your presentation. You are to apply for the assessment of your MSc project (see here), which is only possible when you have completed all your courses and your study programme meets the requirements of the Department. You will obtain a form to apply for approval of your MSc exam by the Exam Committee. This form needs to be signed by the chairman of the EC numerous weeks in advance of your presentation (usually four weeks, but check the study guide!). So start early, because we will also need some time to compose an evaluation committee for you.
Also contact the secretary (Seccbioimage@tue.nl), as she will arrange the room for your presentation and sends the form to the chairman of the committee. She can help you out with many of the logistics.
You are to make sure your report is distributed to the committee members, either in digital or paper form (whatever they prefer). You are to upload your report for the Department, but know that your committee members cannot access that database, so you need to provide them with a copy.
Your presentation is to last at most 20 minutes and is in public, meaning you can ask friends and family to attend, if you like. Afterwards, there is some time for questions from the audience. The next and final part is the defence.
What does the defence entail?
You will have a discussion about your work with the committee. This is a closed session, only you and the committee. The discussion takes around 45 minutes, to at most an hour. The committee will then ask you to leave the room and determine your grade, while you nervously pace the halls. As soon as consensus has been reached, the committee will call you back, inform you of your grade and give you some feedback on how they came to this grade. Then you celebrate and either leave to do your externship or go off into the real world.
Please also read this document !