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:
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 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.
To accomplish the DORIS course and receive the certificate you have to search on your ILIAS account for the "DORIS - Design-oriented Research in Information Systems - Online Course". After completion of the course on ILIAS you receive the certificate which you have to submit to your supervisor at Checkpoint 1.
As a first step, you discuss the topic with your supervisor and prepare a thesis proposal that should include the following items:
- 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 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, please send all required documents to thesis-issd∂iism.kit.edu. Your thesis will be registered only when all required documents are received. Meanwhile, we will reserve a repository on Gitlab to store your relevant files.
See thesis process figure for all required documents.
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 conference room (Kollegiengebäude am Kronenplatz 05.20/Kaiserstraße 93) in the fifth floor (5C-01)
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:
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.
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.«
Practical Seminar Process
The process for a practical seminar slightly differentiates from the main thesis process:
Student searches for a topic, either on the website for practical seminars or by submitting a proposal and discussing it with a researcher as potential supervisor directly.
In case of positive interest, acceptance of practical seminar by a supervisor.
Student writes seminar proposal (3-5 pages, thesis template), including definition of main content. The proposal is reviewed by Prof. Dr. Mädche. In case of acceptance, this represents the official start of the practical seminar.
Student conducts the agreed-on practical seminar. The maximum amouttn of time is six months.
Final submission of content by student to the supervisor.
If content is complete, the practical seminar is finished.
The maximum duration of the practical seminar is 6 months from the acceptance of the proposal to the final submission.