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Thesis Process

Thesis Process ISSD 2018
Thesis Process

Each thesis follows this process. Moreover, participation in each colloquium is mandatory for all students (1x per month). You can find all details here.


NOTE: The DORIS course is not yet accessible and therefore is not mandatory so far. Detailed information are available from the respective supervisor.



Modalities and Colloquium


If you are interested to write your bachelor or master thesis at our research group, you will find all required information to start your successful research project on this page

In general, there are no formal prerequisites to write a thesis at our research group. However, we suggest to complete the course “Methods and Theories in IS” and participating in one of our seminars.  

1.   How to find a topic?

There are two ways to identify your research topic:

  • You can check the list of currently available thesis topics.

  • You can take a look at our research team (see http://issd.iism.kit.edu/21.php) to see on which we are curretnly working. Based on this, you can suggest a thesis topic by yourself.


2.   Apply for a thesis

After you identified an interesting thesis topic, please contact the team member that has either announced the thesis topic or fits at best to your individually developed thesis proposal. When you contact us for the first time, please provide the following:

  1. A short CV (including potentially relevant experience to the topic),

  2. Your transcript of records (“Notenauszug”),
  3. A short thesis description (only in case you suggest the topic by yourself)
  4. An short motivation why you are interested in this topic.


3.   Thesis process

After you and your  supervisor agreed a topic, our thesis process starts (see figure). This process will guide and support you through your thesis project.


As a first step, you discuss the topic with your supervisor and prepare a thesis proposal that should include the following items:

  1. Working title

  2. Motivation of the research problem and the research question
  3. Summary of background literature and state of the art solutions
  4. Proposed research method
  5. Outline of the thesis
  6. Preliminary literature list
  7. Work plan including monthly milestones

Based on this submission you will receive feedback by Prof. Mädche. Either we will ask you to revise the proposal or you will be officially registered ("Zulassung für Abschlussarbeit"). For the registration, complete the application for approval (“Zulassungsantrag”) and hand in the completed and signed form as soon as possible to your supervisor. Then, your supervisor will forward it to our office assistant. After this step, you have a clear timeline for your thesis project and are able to plan all relevant steps.

Required documents

See thesis process figure for all required documents.

Thesis Colloquium

In addition to the individual supervision by one research group member, you are expected to attend the thesis colloquium. The main goal of our colloquium is to foster the exchange between students (e.g., with similiar thesis topics or research methods). Furthermore, it is an opportunity for you to practice your presentation and feeback-giving skills.

The participation in the colloquium is mandatory and will be part of the overall grading of your thesis. The colloquium takes place:

  • Every third Friday of a month from 9:00 to 12:00
  • In our seminar room (Röser Building/Fritz-Erler Strasse 23) in the fourth floor

Within the colloquium, each student has to present his or her thesis at least two times (master students three times).

For the preparation of your presentation, please consider:

  • The PowerPoint template provided by us
  • The presentation is divided in:
    Your time for presenting your results, and
    Q&A from the audience
  • Presentation slides and length
    -   Pitch presentation: 1 slide, 5 min presentation, 5 min discussion
    -   Intermediate presentation: max. 5 slides, 10 min presentation, 10 min discussion (master thesis only)
    -   Final presentation: max. 10 slides, 20 min presentation, 10 min discussion

Write the thesis

When writing the thesis, please consider the formatting guidelines provided below. Furthermore, you should report to your supervisor the progress of your work at minimum every four weeks. Intermediate consultations are expected to be proactively arranged by yourself to check on the agreed milestones with the supervisor. The form of intermediate consultation is to be agreed upon individually between supervisor and student (e.g. meetings, email-report).

Submit the thesis

No later than six months after the official registration, the thesis needs to be submitted. For the submission of the thesis:

  1. Send a digital PDF version of your thesis to your supervisor

  2. Prepare two bound copies of the thesis, each including the signed affidavit
  3. Prepare one CD or one USB stick containing your thesis and supplementary material

Hand in the thesis to your supervisor or to our office assistant.

Grading of the thesis

We try to review and grade your thesis as fast as possible. The grading of the thesis takes various criteria into account, relating both to the thesis as a product and the process of establishing its content. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Correctness of spelling and grammar

  • Aesthetic appeal of document and figures
  • Compliance with formal rules
  • Appropriateness of thesis structure
  • Coverage of relevant literature
  • Appropriateness of research question and method
  • Diligence of own research work
  • Significance of research results
  • Punctuality of work progress
  • Proactiveness of handling research progress

 Furthermore, the grading also takes into account

  • Your presentation of the final thesis, and
  • Your participation and collaboration in the colloquium.


The following formatting rules apply:

  • Consider the Word template provided by us
  • A Bachelor thesis is expected to have 40 to 60 pages (excluding the cover, table of content, list of figures and tables, references, and appendices)
  • A Master thesis is expected to have 60 to 80 pages excluding the cover, table of content, list of figures and tables, references, and appendices)
  • The thesis has to be written in English

Please consider, although the thesis is written in English, the affidavit has to be written in German. Every thesis has to contain the following affidavit:

»Ich versichere hiermit wahrheitsgemäß, die Arbeit selbständig angefertigt, alle benutzten Hilfsmittel vollständig und genau angegeben und alles kenntlich gemacht zu haben, was aus Arbeiten anderer unverändert oder mit Abänderung entnommen wurde.«