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:
- You propose a topic in our fields of research (for an overview please check our webpage: http://www.ici.unisg.ch/en/research/
- You choose a topic that we offer on our webpage. Please click here to find a list of suggested topics: http://www.ici.unisg.ch/en/theses-education/topics-for-final-thesis/
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.
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?
- 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 section: How 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?
- Timeline with major milestones
6. List of Academic references