4. Project execution

Process

You will have many supervision meetings. Here we will discuss only the mandatory ones.

1. The kick-off meeting

If your draft project proposal is sufficient according to your TUD supervisors, then you can ask for a kick-off meeting. Either you or the thesis professor will ask his/her secretary to plan a kick-off meeting date, time and place.
An average kick-off meeting proceeds as follows.
With the kick-off meeting your thesis project has formally started. The date is not registered, however.

Make minutes of the kick-off meeting and email them to your committee for comments. Presenting and writing at the same time is multi-tasking and human brains were never designed for that. Ask for permission to record the discussion and ask for (a copy of) supervisor notes as well.

Special case: It frequently happens that you receive the email about acceptance of your TIL-1-2 forms just before or after the kick-off meeting. Your supervisors are in the cc of this email. In case of a 'non acceptance', check MyTUDelft and contact OSA to find the cause(s) and resolve this/these. Read the MSc TIL Regulations before you contact the TIL Graduation Coordinators. Inform your supervisors about the progress of your actions, but don't panic.

If you are confused by the comments, ask for a short meeting with one of your supervisors directly after the meeting to calm down.

2. The Mid-term meeting

This meeting is either requested by you or suggested by your supervisors. If you feel ready for it, ask for permission and organise it.

In this meeting we discuss your research, timetable and next steps. Use an agenda similar as the one for the kick-off. Ask for recording permission and ask for supervisor notes at the end. 

With sufficient progress you swiftly continue towards the green light meeting. In practice you will receive many advises for improvement, which can range from modest to very serious (mandatory) changes. If you are delayed, then you can also be advised to speed up, improve your work and probably adapt your planning sheet. There will be no formal go/no go decision as in the Green Light meeting.

Special case: It is possible that your progress is seriously lagging. In that case a decision can be made to postpone a planned mid-term meeting or organise a second one. This gives you extra time to improve your work.
Exception: A mid-term meeting can also be used to stop your project.

If you are confused by the comments, ask for a short meeting with one of your supervisors directly after the meeting to calm down.

Preparing for the Green Light Meeting
When writing the green light report, take particular care of the following:

  • Use all the remarks received in the previous meetings and check your TODO-list for things not fully addressed;
  • A green light report is 95% ready with summary, all chapters, draft conclusions and draft recommendations. If time allows, also submit a set-up or draft version of your scientific paper;
  • Recommendations are about scientific- (literature and reduction of research gap, opinion about experts) and societal/practical value. You may use your Preface to compare your learning objectives, assumptions and expectations with what you actually have achieved;
  • Include Appendices as far as possible. Don't forget appendices where you describe tools used such as models or MCA (specification, formulas, validation and verification, description of data, code listing, additional statistics, graphs etc.), if not included in the main text. This transparency helps us to assess your work and allows replication  in a next project.

Submit your green light report to your supervisors 1 week before the Green Light meeting. Take care that you fulfil the relevant course requirements as specified in the TIL-2 form and MSC TIL Regulations from the year you started your MSc before the Green Light Meeting.

The Green Light meeting

The Green Light meeting takes place at least four weeks before your Final defence and graduation meeting. In this meeting we discuss your green light report and agree about necessary changes and enhancements.

  • If you received a green light, then you can organise your Final defence and graduation meeting. Email the TIL-3 form to the TIL administrator, ASAP or at least 20 working days before that meeting should take place;
  • If not, then you have to negotiate with your supervisors what, where and how to improve your results.

Make minutes of the comments and agreements and send these to your supervisors. Use these as a checklist when you upgrade your report and also in the final meeting to see whether specific comments are justified, given the agreements you made during the Green Light or Mid-term meetings.

Special case: It is possible that your green light report does not fulfil our expectations. In that case a decision can be made to have another green light meeting or we can also ask you to write a short note in which you explain how you want to improve your report. This note will then be discussed among the TUD supervisors and you will receive your go/no go decision. This gives you extra time to improve your work. You have to receive a green light as well.
Exception: If your work is still far below the level we deem acceptable, then a decision can be made to stop your project. This will mean that you will have to find another topic, probably also another commissioner and surely another supervision team.

If you are confused by the comments, ask for a short meeting with one of your supervisors directly after the meeting to calm down.

Preparing for the Final Defence and Graduation Meeting

In the weeks ahead of the final thesis meeting, you address the comments made during the Green Light meeting. You also write your scientific paper (Annex A of your thesis report). Discuss a draft version of that paper with your supervisors.Then finalise your thesis report. Ask your supervisors if and when they expect a bounded copy and email the pdf well ahead of the final thesis meeting.
Upload your thesis to the Brightspace Ouriginal plagiarism checker (help).

Final presentation
Your presentation will be graded as explained in the TIL Thesis Grading rubric. It precedes your defence, hence it raises or lowers our expectations and gives direction to your final mark. Take sufficient time to prepare it. Send at least one draft version to your supervisors for comments. It should be understood by your family, friends and fellow students and still be attractive for a science-oriented audience. You may use an entertaining element, but take care of technical limitations. Plan a 20-25 minutes presentation with 10-15 sheets. Use the presentation tips below the Content tab. 

Defence and Graduation meeting

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