Research

Did you ever consider that a lot of things from your daily life and society are the result of research and applications that were developed at the university? Batteries in electric vehicles, the camera lenses in your smartphone, rehabilitation robots, 3D cameras for gaming, camel antibodies for the development of new medicines, the latest generation of wind turbines, ... This is just part of the groundbreaking research conducted at the VUB.

Your research at the VUB:

Also see:     entrepreneurship      Spin-offs     knowledge centres

Support services  

The Department of Research Policy strives to support research and accomplishes three major tasks:

  1. supporting the research policy  + advice on research funding (R&D-department)
  2. popularisation of research and research results + raising awareness of the importance of science through the Science Shop, Science Bar, “Nacht van de Onderzoekers” (Researchers Night),... (Science communication)
  3. information on and assistance with all aspects of doctoral studies (Central PhD Office)

In addition, the department of Innovation and Valorisation is responsible for valorising research through patent management, contract research, spin-offs, ...  (Technology Transfer Interface)

Bachelor and master thesis

The bachelor and master thesis are the final part of your study programme. Your thesis shows that you are able to

  • define a research problem within your field
  • link one or more research questions to this
  • apply the domain-specific method of scientific research
  • formulate relevant and research-based conclusions.

It is crucial that when writing your bachelor or master thesis you can clearly demonstrate the experience you have gained in scientific thinking and reporting. Your master thesis, in particular, is considered proof of your research attitude and skills.

Need help writing your thesis? Consult the manual "First Aid for Research Problems" (EHBO-kit) on PointCarré (currently only available in Dutch). You'll find this under the Courses tab.

Here you will find the general research rules and principles that will help you in initiating, conducting and reporting on a research project.

For further assistance you can

  • contact the staff at the Study Guidance Centre (SGC)
  • attend one of the trainings organised by the Study Guidance Centre (dealing with stress, writing a Bachelor’s paper/Master’s thesis,…)

When writing your bachelor and master thesis

Confidentiality and intellectual property rights

Finally, your master’s thesis entails intellectual property rights. These are rights to protect creative and immaterial accomplishments (story, inventions, musical composition,…). One of the most famous intellectual rights, for example, is the copyright (more information).

Research conducted and/or published by university academics is, under the Universities Decree, the property of the university. Results that arise from a master research are generally the property of the master student.

However, you need to keep the following three things in mind as a master student:

  1. If, as part of your master thesis, you work with confidential information from the university, you are required to keep it confidential. It’s advisable that a confidentiality agreement is signed before the start of the research;
  1. If you are involved in a research project with third parties and the research results can be valorised, you are obliged to transfer your intellectual property rights to the university. This is necessary to enable the university to fulfil its obligations. In this case it is best to contact Technology Transfer Interface;

  2. With regard to the defence of the master thesis, it may be necessary to provide a confidential version of the thesis and/or an oral defence behind closed doors. Your supervisor is in the best position to make a decision on this.