If you are interested in a bachelor or master thesis in our research group please study carefully the guidelines provided on this website before approaching us,
In general, there are no formal prerequisites to apply for and perform a thesis at our research group. However, we suggest the successful completion of the course “Methods and Theories in IS” offered by us. Furthermore, we also recommend participating in our seminar.
1. How to find a topic?
While searching for a topic you should primarily consider and reflect your personal interests and skills. There are two ways to identify a topic:
- You can consult the list of currently available thesis topics
- You can consult the web pages of our team (see http://issd.iism.kit.edu/21.php) to learn who is working on which research topic. On this basis you can suggest a thesis topic by yourself.
2. Apply for a thesis
In case you have 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:
- A short CV (including potentially relevant experience to the topic),
- Your transcript of records (“Notenauszug”),
- A short thesis description (only in case you suggest the topic by yourself)
- An explanation why the topic fits to your skills and interests
3. Prepare the thesis
When you and your individual supervisor agreed a topic, prepare a formal thesis proposal within four weeks at maximum. In doing so, submit the proposal including the following:
- Working title
- Motivation of the research problem and the research question
- Summary of background literature and state of the art solutions
- Proposed research method
- Outline of the thesis
- Preliminary literature list
- Work plan including (at least) 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. 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.
4. 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).
Our students are required to attend our thesis colloquium that takes place once a month in our seminar room. During this colloquium each student has to present three times:
- A pitch presentation
- An intermediate state of the thesis
- The final state of the thesis after its submission
The participation in the thesis colloquium is mandatory. In case students can’t participate, the supervisor has to be informed in advance and reasonable arguments have to be provided.
5. Submit the thesis
No later than six months after the official registration, the thesis is expected to be submitted. For the submission of the thesis:
- Send a digital PDF version of your thesis to your supervisor
- Prepare two bound copies of the thesis, each including the signed affidavit
- 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.
6. 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.
In addition to the individual supervision by one research group member, you are expected to attend the thesis colloquium. The participation in the colloquium is mandatory and will be part of the overall grading of your thesis. You will be set to a group, which fits to your topic. The colloquium takes place:
- Once a month on friday (exact time: set by supervisor)
- At 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 three times. For detailed information see the thesis process.
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
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.«