The individual Master’s Final Project is the completion of the Master's programme. The assignment is performed in one of the Nanotechnology research groups under the supervision of a mentor and the responsibility of a Master's Assignment Committee. Conditionally, the assignment can be done (partially) at another external UT-group or an external institute or organization.
- The main objective of the Final project is for students to learn and prove that (s)he is able to define, perform, complete and reflect a research project with a large degree of independence. This objective includes amongst others:
- problem analyses (familiarising oneself with a field of study, evaluation of the context, and formulating the research questions and approach),
- the realisation (the theoretical and experimental approach and realisation), and
- the results analysis (analysis of the results and their relevance)
- Societal Embedding:
- The student is able to describe current challenges in the societal embedding of nanotechnology, in general and with regard to a technology or research field relating to his or her master thesis topic.
- The student is able to analyse the ethical and normative aspects of the consequences and the assumptions of scientific thought and actions within nanotechnology and to describe and explain the societal embedding of new technologies from the point of view of selected concepts from science, technology and innovation studies.
- The student is able to relate and apply these concepts to cases in the domain of nanotechnology.
For this final project you will spend 6 to 7 months in one of the participating research groups and conduct a full research project. Under guidance and supervision of a PhD student and/or senior researcher, you will start with an extensive literature survey (reported in a literature report), followed by some experimental work. To monitor the progress, you have to write an evaluation to report the information survey, problem analysis, state of the art progress and future plans to finish the assignment. At the end of the experimental work, you will write up your results in a MSc thesis report that you will defend in a presentation in front of a public audience. Occasionally, the assignment can be (partially) conducted at an organization outside the UT.|
Societal embedding: Turning nanotechnology into working and acceptable products and systems implies much more than proper technical functioning; it has to be actively embedded into its socio-technical context as well. Students are supported in understanding and reflecting on this broader socio-technical context of research and innovative technologies. This includes questions such as: What is the societal relevance of a particular technology or research, for whom is it relevant, why and how? What are benefits and risks? How is a technology perceived by different actors and how may these actors affect the further development and societal embedding of the technology? Furthermore, we will consider what is necessary to make a particular technology work in practice, not only technically, but as something which is actually used, produced and conforms to regulations?
During classes, students learn about approaches which help to address these questions, and consider what are relevant questions relating to the subject of their master thesis. Students choose a topic related to the societal embedding of the research or technology they are working on in their master thesis, and address this topic in a paper which will accompany the master thesis.