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Bachelor Research Project (S)


Admission requirements

You can only participate after successful completion of both the first and second year of the Astronomy bachelor’s programme. If this is not the case, you will need to contact the Astronomy Study Advisor who decides on the basis of the number of obtained ECs whether authorization for participation can be given.


The Bachelor Research Project (BRP) is a very important part of your Astronomy bachelor's programme. During a period covering almost half of the third year, it offers the first intense contact with state-of-the-art research. In the period September-December, you will be able to choose your subject from an extensive list with potential projects. Between January and June, you will join (alone or with another student) one of the research groups at the Leiden Observatory and participate in running research. Projects can involve the analysis of new observations, calculating models for astrophysical or astrochemical processes, or a combination of the two. Hands-on research in laboratory astrophysics or optical instrumentation is also possible. During this period, you are hosted at the Leiden Observatory; you will get a desk, a computer, and attend regular group and progress meetings. The BRP is concluded with a scientific report and a final presentation.

Course objectives

Gaining experience with academic research. This includes reporting the results in written and oral form.

Soft skills

During your Bachelor Research Project, you will be trained in the following behaviour-oriented skills:

  • Problem solving (recognizing and analyzing problems, solution-oriented thinking)

  • Analytical skills (analytical thinking, abstraction, evidence)

  • Structured thinking (structure, modulated thinking, computational thinking, programming)

  • Project management (planning, scope, boundaries, result-orientation)

  • Responsibility (ownership, self-discipline, bear mistakes, accountability)

  • Motivation (commitment, pro-active attitude, initiative)

  • Self-regulation (independence, self-esteem, aware of own goals, motives and capacities)

  • Verbal communication (presenting, speaking, listening)

  • Written communication (writing skills, reporting, summarizing)

  • Collaboration (teamwork, group support, loyalty, attendance)

  • Flexibility (adaptability, dealing with change, teachability, eagerness to learn)

  • Critical thinking (asking questions, check assumptions)

  • Creative thinking (resourcefulness, curiosity, thinking out of the box)

  • Integrity (honesty, moral, ethics, personal values)

  • Project dependent: Complex ICT-skills (data analysis, programming, simulations, complex ICT applications)


See Schedules bachelor Astronomy 2017-2018

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Thesis (18 EC) and oral presentation (4EC).
See also: Grading Form Bachelor Research Project Astronomy


Blackboard is not used for this course.

Reading list

Not applicable. Relevant information is provided by e-mail.


  1. Register for the course via uSis. More information about signing up for your classes can be found here
  2. Register your project via the Registration Form Bachelor Research Project Astronomy

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to register. For a la carte and contract registration, please see the dedicated section on the Prospective students website.

Contact information

Lecturer: Prof.dr. Harold Linnartz
Assistants: Dieuwertje van der Vlugt, Frits Swijen
Course website: Bachelor Research Project (will be online at the start of the course)