Research internship 1 and 2 (1st and 2nd Ma)

For a complete listing of all research apprenticeships at Ansymo, visit the ESP website.

The two papers for research internship 1 (2009) can be found at [ Papers2009 ] . They will be defended on wednesday, July 22nd with a 20 minute presentation + 10 minute question round. Afterwards feedback will be given using the criteria check-list.


The goal of the two internships (1 and 2) are to acquaint students with the essential aspects of scientific research as it is conducted in both academic as industrial research institutes. In particular the internships cover activities like analyzing related work; the identification, formulation and motivation of research questions, ...

Consequently, both internships target two important milestones in any scientific work:

  • a research paper, (internship 1) which demonstrates that you are capable of conducting a small scale experiment and report about it using the traditional format of a workshop paper, to be presented for an audience of peers.
  • a research proposal, (internship 2) which demonstrates that you are capable of developing a research vision, and write it down in a concrete and convincing project plan, to be defended for an audience of experts.

Practical Issues

  • The internships should cover research questions which are different from your masters thesis. The research questions can (and probably should) cover closely related topics (like that you can optimize your experience with a particular topic) but you shouldn't get any unfair advantages compared to students who do a masters thesis without an internship.
  • To identify a potential research topics, have a look at the list of master thesis proposals and internship proposal in the ESP-system offerred by the research groups FOTS and LORE. Afterwards, talk to the contact persons mentioned there to see whether there is a match.

Study Material

  • An introductory presentation regarding Ph.D. research in Computer Science/Informatics/Software Engineering; adressing questions like
    • What exactly is a Ph.d ? And now that you mention it, what is a Ph.D. in Computer Science/Informatics/Software Engineering ? (Is it difficult ? Is it only for geniusses ? ...)
    • Why should I want to obtain a Ph.D. ? (Will I get a higher salary afterwards ?)
    • How can I obtain a Ph.D.? (research grants - research projects; FWO-IWT-...)
    • Practical matters (registration - ...)

    [ phdInformaticsOct2008.ppt ]

Research Proposal

The result of internship 2 should be a research proposal conforming to the guidelines provided by the IWT_beurs_reglement_2008.pdf (in Dutch)).

Below are the guidelines concerning the format of such a research proposal.

  1. probleemstelling: situering van het probleem dat zal worden aangepakt, inclusief een beschrijving van de internationale stand van zaken, met verwijzing naar de wetenschappelijke literatuur (max. 1 pagina);
  2. doelstelling: korte en heldere formulering van de concrete technisch-wetenschappelijke doelstelling(en) van het project met uitdrukkelijke vermelding van de innovatieve aspecten en een duidelijke kadering in de onderzoeksactiviteiten van de onderzoekseenheid (max. 1 pagina);
  3. projectbeschrijving: gedetailleerde beschrijving van de experimenten/activiteiten die zullen worden uitgevoerd, de motivatie van hun uitvoering en de wijze waarop de relatie tussen de experimenten/activiteiten leidt tot de te realiseren doelstellingen (max. 10 pagina's, inclusief figuren en tabellen en exclusief referenties);
  4. planning: situering van de mijlpalen in het project en een grafische voorstelling van het geplande verloop van de activiteiten in functie van de 4 beursjaren (max. 2 pagina's);
  5. toepassingsmogelijkheden: beschrijving van de mogelijke toepassingen van de beoogde onderzoeksresultaten in de landbouw, de industrie of de dienstensector (max. 1 pagina);
  6. referenties

Four examples of research proposals (in Dutch !). The first two are samples of what is expected from someone who just started research, while the latter two are examples of more experienced researchers.
The examples are password protected -- ask for access.

The official documents from the IWT -- the funding agency that offers grants to ph.d. students based on an oral defense of a written research proposal.

Evaluation (incl. Criteria)

  • The evaluation of the research paper, (internship 1) is based on the quality of what you have writted and how you presented it to your peers. We use the same criteria as the ones for a masters thesis here (see criteria eindverhandeling (in Dutch).
  • The evaluation of the research proposal, (internship 2) is based on the quality of what you have writted and how you presented it to your peers. We use the exact same criteria as the funding agenecy that is used as a benchmark, namely (copied from IWT_beurs_reglement_2008.pdf (in Dutch)):
    • THE SCIENTIFIC BACKGROUND OF THE RESEARCHER (generic knowledge of computer science research, particular knowlede of the research field, overview of the literature, ...);
    • THE SCIENTIFIC POTENTIAL OF THE RESEARCHER (ability to argue and defend a position, critcical attitude, ...);
    • THE SCIENTIFIC QUALITY OF THE PROJECT (originality, challenging, strategy, relevance, ...) (originaliteit, moeilijkheidsgraad, strategie, wetenschappelijke relevantie, ...);
    • THE FEASABILITY OF THE PROJECT (i.e. within 4 years);

    These criteria are refined in a checklist [.doc | .rtf].

Student material