Guidelines and grading

Guidelines for the essay and presentation

The essay should have a total length of 10-15 pages (as a guideline: 5000 words +/- 10%) excluding the bibliography. The number of references should be 30-50 of which the majority should be primary research articles and at least 10 should be less than 2 years old. The first page of the essay should be a title page containing at least:

  • title
  • your name
  • student number
  • MSc programme (Chemistry or LST)
  • colloquium supervisor name
  • mentor name
  • jury name
  • the word count (excluding the bibliography)
  • number of EC points
  • date

The title as presented on the front page of the essay is used on your diploma, so should not be written in all caps! 

The style of the essay should be as an academic review article and should contain at least an abstract, an introduction and scope, a body with review of the topic and a conclusion and outlook. Use of figures is allowed, either from references or original work. The presentation should be a discussion of your essay lasting 20 min, followed by 5 min discussion with the audience. The intended target audience for both your essay and colloquium presentation is your fellow MSc students. Remember that they may not be specialising in the same research area as you are.

The colloquium supervisor cannot be the main supervisor of your major research project, but you can discuss possible topics and fields of study that interest you with them. Your colloquium supervisor will invite a jury. It is not allowed to choose a topic directly related to any of your research projects, but a topic may be chosen in the same field as a research project.

Grading of the colloquium

The final grade for your colloquium is determined by your colloquium supervisor and jury, one independent LIC staff member. The jury cannot be the main supervisor of your main research project. The grade is a weighted average of your essay (50%) and presentation (50%). Both parts need to be graded with at least a 6.0 to pass.

For the colloquium essay, you will be judged on

  • the scientific level and depth
  • the style, structure, tone
  • the level of English and readability
  • the use of literature
  • your self-sufficiency during the writing process

 In addition, the presentation will be judged on

  • the scientific level
  • your presentation skills
  • your ability to answer questions

The jury and supervisor use a rubric to determine the grade and provide feedback on the performance. The jury and supervisor will fill in the rubric and sign the grading form via this website. The student can view the feedback also via this website.

Part of the requirement for the colloquium is attendance at other students’ colloquia. Every student has to attend at least 7 student colloquia before their own colloquium (10 colloquia for students not following WORK). An attendance list must be handed in before the colloquium is graded.

Students are recommended to especially attend colloquia from students in other research areas, as those colloquia can discuss interesting topics which can enrich their knowledge base. Active participation in the form of asking questions is expected from all students. Colloquia are announced in the weekly newsletter and on the MSc website in the calendar.

Essay and colloquium rubrics