How To Choose Your Master Thesis Topic (Science Peeps)

in science •  4 months ago

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."

---Wernher von Braun

Such an apt quote. I could not agree more!

Who here is sick of writing their thesis? Meeeeeeee. Anyway, let's get into what we are here for. Master Thesis is one of the most important documents that you are ever going to write and the research you carry out in this period is an important life changing thing you will experience.

Now, I am doing my masters in Chemistry. When I was about to start my thesis, I was really desperate and I was willing to pretty much agree to any topic that I could get, because, here in Berlin research groups are sort of picky who they take in and also there aren't enough places available. So, I was sort of runninglate and finally I ended up taking a topic from organic synthesis, a topic that pushed me literally into depression. I hated the work, I hated the lab, I hated the attitude of the research group and I hated waking up every morning to go to that hellhole.

Alot of you do not understand the simple fact that never rush into something because it seems convinient or fancy at that moment because you are going to spend 6-9 months researching that topic and I promise you, if it does not truly interest you then it will drive you insane. You will have diddly squat in name of motivation and you will end up burnt out and with a shitty thesis.

Secondly, when you choose a topic it has to be something that you believe in firmly. Of course a lot of times it does not work out if you are from a science background and that is nothing to feel about, but, when you begin the project you have to believe in the cause of the project. If you do not believe in it, it will sure as heck not work out.


Thirdly, take at least a ten day period before you say yes to a topic. Take out your computer, research the shit out of that topic. Try to know what has already been done, what needs to be done, but most of all, what could be the applications? What is the big picture? Next, think real hard, "Does my skill set allow me to do this kind of work?" "Can I do this for next year?"

When you answer those questions to yourself the last thing you need to know is that the kind of work you do in your thesis will sort of carve out your career. If you plan to do a PhD you will 99% have to do the kind of research you did in your master thesis. What I mean, if you do your thesis in say "Synthesis of natural products", do not expect to land a PhD in Material Sciences or something. So be very very cautious when you choose your topic. Pick something that you see yourself doing for quite some time.


Written by @things, 2018. All rights reserved.
First Image by Pexels


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You are absolutely right.

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You'll get there though. Two years of frustration and confusion paid off with 3 publications. #i<3ticks & fluorescence