Master's Thesis

Supervisor:

1.  Students in a research study track must find a supervisor to guide them in their research work and writing the final thesis. It is students’ responsibility to find a supervisor. Every teaching program may determine procedures for this, and in particular may require that a supervisor be found within a set interval from the commencement of studies (in experimental teaching programs, within up to a year), or to make the actual admission to studies conditional on finding a supervisor before the studies begin. Teaching programs may suspend the studies of students who have not found a supervisor within the set time.

2.  Students in a research track should take into account that they will not receive any part of a scholarship whose source is a supervisor or teaching program/supervisor (see below) if they had not yet contacted a supervisor, unless expressly specified otherwise by the relevant teaching program. Moreover, at the discretion of the teaching program, all or part of students’ financial assistance may begin only after they have contacted a supervisor.

3.  The supervisor will be selected from among the supervisors who are approved by the teaching program and are members of the senior faculty.

4.  Joint supervision is considered on an individual basis and must be approved by the primary teaching program in which students are registered. Joint supervision with a supervisor who is outside the faculty must be approved by the faculty.

The teaching program is responsible to the Teaching Committee for the proper professional guidance of students, and for the existence of all the elements necessary for the work (budget, equipment and other accessories) as well as for safety measures. The signature of the head of the teaching program will certify that he examined the program, and he is confirming that it can be carried out in a reasonable time, which will not exceed one year of research, and that all elements needed for its implementation, including an appropriate budget, are available to the student.

Final Master’s thesis:

The final thesis is research in a defined subject, performed by students under the guidance of one or more of the faculty’s teachers and summarized by the students as a scientific paper, in a more detailed manner than an ordinary essay. The work should reflect students’ ability to master the scientific tools acquired in their field of research, their capacity to express original thinking and initiative in scientific research and their ability to summarize their research in a clear and convincing manner.

As a rule, most of the research in Master’s degree studies in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences will be conducted within the Hebrew University, at the Edmund J. Safra campus. Any deviations from the above in specific circumstances will be considered on an individual basis.

Completion of the Master’s thesis is conditional on writing a detailed scientific paper describing the aims of the research, the results and conclusions. The research in the form of a paper, i.e., the thesis, should be printed in a neat and organized manner. See the regulations below. The head of teaching program will provide the work for assessment to the supervisor and at least one other teacher, to be appointed by the head of the teaching program. This teacher may be from outside the university. According to procedures determined by each teaching program, a public lecture may be held at which students will be questioned about their work and this lecture may form the basis for awarding the grade for the work. If necessary a meeting may be held between the assessors of the work and the students. The evaluators’ assessment will be provided within a month of the date for submission of the work by the students. The work may be discussed in detail also in the framework of a final exam.

Confidentiality of the Master’s thesis:

In any case where a question of confidentiality of a Master’s thesis or parts of it arises, a request regarding this should be made in advance by the head of teaching program and the faculty supervisor to the Vice-Dean for Teaching Affairs. As a rule, the Master’s thesis or parts of it will not be granted confidentiality, and in all cases a full and complete work must be submitted to the teaching secretariat and deposited into its control. If the Vice-Dean for Teaching Affairs approves the request for confidentiality, the work will be kept by the teaching secretariat for a predetermined period of time, not to exceed one calendar year from the date of submission of the work, before it is deposited in the library for public availability. This practice will apply also in a case of confidentiality until the date of approval of a patent.

The thesis has a uniform format. The thesis must be submitted in a number of copies as determined by the teaching program (according to the number of examiners and assessors) and an additional copy (on a CD in one file in PDF format) will be provided by the secretariat of the teaching program to the secretariat for Master’s students together with the final grades. This copy will be forwarded to the appropriate libraries. The head of teaching program will appoint examiners for the final thesis (at least one examiner in addition to the supervisor). The examiners must return their assessment of the work within up to a month from when they received it for consideration. A final grade of 95 and above for the thesis will be awarded only if it is given by all the examiners; in other cases, the grade will be no higher than 94. The teaching program will provide the thesis to the assessors of the final exam a month before the date of the exam.

Regulations for writing a Master’s thesis – the Faculty of Natural Sciences:

The Master’s thesis is a detailed scientific paper describing the aims of the research, the results and conclusions. The work must be printed.

The scope of the paper should not exceed 60 pages printed in 12 point font size, with 1.5 line spacing, including charts and tables, but not including bibliography and appendices.

Published scientific articles should be included only as appendices and not in the body of the work.

Language of the paper: Hebrew or English. If it is in English an expanded abstract in Hebrew is required. An English abstract must be appended to a work written in Hebrew.

The thesis should be set out as follows:

1. Opening page including:

a. Heading – “The Hebrew University of Jerusalem – the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences – the Institute of (Chemistry, Life Sciences, Physics, Mathematics, Earth Sciences, Computer Science)

b. Title of the thesis in Hebrew and English

c. Author’s name (+ student number)

d. Supervisor’s name

e. “Final thesis for Master’s degree in Natural Sciences”

f. English and Hebrew date of submission

2. Personal page (dedication etc.)

3. Abstract

4. Table of contents

5. Body of the work

6. Bibliography

7. Appendices

The body of the work will include:

1. Scientific background

2. Aims of the thesis

3. Methods of work (theoretical or experimental part)

4. Results

5. Discussion and summary.