General remarks  on the process

At the Institute for Customer Insight, we are interested in supervising theses in the areas of our research.  The theses  can be written in English or German (depending on the supervisor; proposal needs to be written in respective language). In terms of topic definition, you have  two  possibilities  at our institute: 

For both possibilities the procedures and structures are the same. If interested in any topic, please send  your CV, grade transcript and a  proposal  to the indicated/desired supervisor  (via email).  Based on your proposal, we will decide if we can supervise your thesis.  The potential supervisor will give you feedback on the proposal and inform you about the further procedure.


Research Proposal

The proposal should be written in academic language (approx. one-two pages without references)  and cover the  following  aspects:


1. Short summary  (approx.  100  words) 

  • What is the  business-relevant  research problem  you would like to research? Provide evidence for the relevance of conducting research on the chosen topic  (e.g. use media sources, statistics and industry publications to support your claim of the importance to conduct research on this topic).
  • Guiding questions for this section:  What is the research about and why is it worth conducting it?


2. Literature 

  • Indicate  the broad literature stream to which your topic belongs  and the literature you want to review  (should include  recent  articles from high quality academic  journals, refer to Journal Rankings to guide your literature research  (e.g. the VHB Journal Ranking)).
  • Additional requirement for Master thesis: How does the research problem relate to previous work? Which theories might inform the research? – at least five academic articles.


3. State your research question(s) and objectives:  

  • The research question  indicates  the different concepts that inform the research and their relationship with each other.  It should be clear and focused.
  • State  the  research  question(s ) starting with: how, why, who, what, how, when …. and ending  with a question mark.
  • Use sub-questions where  the main  research question cannot be answered directly.
  • Objectives:  State the results that the research should deliver.  State the objectives with verbs specific enough to be measured, such as:  to assess, describe, explain, compare, determine, verify…


4. Methodological outlook

Please note: A bachelor thesis is preferably based on empirical data (i.e. interviews,  surveys,  experiments etc.), but can also be based on a literature review. Every master thesis needs to be based on empirical data (i.e. interviews, surveys, experiments etc.) 

  • Outline the methodological approach chosen and the rational for the chosen methodology (including academic references for your chosen approach)
  • Guiding questions for this sectionHow should the research be conducted, what is the research design and what type of data is needed? How shall the data be analyzed and used to develop theoretical explanations? 


5. Timeline 

  • Timeline  with  major  milestones 


6. List of  Academic references