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Hello,

This is regarding my query to get a master thesis topic or getting a supervisor for a topic where topic has been offered in an industry.

It is already getting difficult to get a topic from university and then if one tries to get a topic from an industry then also, one is facing struggle in finding a supervisor.

Is there any way where one can get a supervisor or do we need to email to relevant departments where students get the rejection or no reply?

It is truly demotivating. Almost all technical universities have no problems with students pursuing thesis from external organisation.
in # Study-Organisation (Master) by (640 points)

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It really makes me a little sad to read this, but it also makes me glad that someone is bringing this up (since it seems to be really necessary).

In general, students should ask professors about master's/bachelor's thesis topics they currently offer. Some professors maintain websites for their topics, but most (like me) have given up on it because those sites get outdated so quickly and then make a bad impression.

I have heard that it has become difficult for students to find supervisors for their theses these days. Actually, I don't understand why that is, because it never used to be a problem, and we have more professors now than ever before, but no more students than before. So something is going wrong, but I don't know what it is.

Issues from industry are an additional problem. To understand that, you also have to understand the situation of the professor in such a situation: The professor is responsible for the topic and the supervision. Now, if the topic is not really part of the professor's research area, he or she may not feel competent to supervise it and may not be motivated to do it, because on the other hand there are so many problems that need to be solved in the professor's own research area.

Therefore, professors usually want students to help them with their research problems. They should not think of this as a selfish attitude; this is how universities are supposed to be. Universities are supposed to do research, and to do that, they train their students in the topics they are working on in their research, so that after the lectures, the students are able to work in the research groups of the university. That's the general master plan of a university.

Going into industry at this point is not entirely wrong, I have supervised many theses from industry, but I have always made sure that (1) the topic is one that I can evaluate at the end, and (2) that the outside supervisor does a good job (since I am responsible).

So your plan must be to (1) either find a topic with a research group, or (2) find a topic in industry that also finds the interest of a professor at the university. Talk to that professor as soon as possible to avoid the frustration of not having a professor interested in the topic you found in industry.

To be clear: It's not that professors don't like working with industry; in fact, they have many projects with industry. But they want students to work on those projects, not competitor projects (at worst). I also became aware of professors who said that they didn't want to supervise such external work because they could do the same thing internally with them, so they felt somehow "abused" or "disrespected" in the sense that students prefer others instead of them but want them just to sign the documents.

This really seems to be a problem at the moment, and I can tell you that professors have been discussing this problem among themselves lately, but without finding a solution so far.

And there is another thing, students made me aware of: Some professors expect a kind of application for their topics and there are selections and interviews like for a job position. I am not at all sure whether that is okay. Finally, there is a paragraph in the examination rules that states that the examination committee has to make sure that students will find thesis topics, and if that won't work as before, then we have to find a mechanism that assigns students to chairs with whatever algorithm. That was already under discussion, but such an algorithm may lead to non-optimal results. Do we need it?

Professors and students should talk to each other to find a solution together. As I said before, I really don't understand where this problem comes from. We have so many research groups and we also have the institutes with hundreds of opportunities. Why doesn't this work more? Let me know your experiences to find out what the problem really is. Comments to this thread are welcome!
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Thanks Professor the detailed explanation and feeling the students' pain.

Being a masters student in informatics, I had got a topic in software engineering from an industry.
Below are my experiences:

1) I reached out to SEDA department first, where I got to know I have to find a supervisor first, then the topic would be presented to the professor.
I emailed to all supervisors in SEDA department, all supervisors denied the topic by the reasons like they don't have bandwidth or they are not interested in supervising thesis at the moment, etc. I had high hopes from SEDA department.
Whenever I ask SEDA department or apply on website if they have any available topics, I never got a topic or no reply from them.

2) I found a professor who is currently in EIT department but found his research area similar to my field that is software Engineering. I got to know then that, it is not allowed to do thesis outside the department.
I would like to suggest that exemptions should be possible in this case.

3) My reporting manager in the industry where I got a topic is now open to other topics, I then reached out to departments for the available topics, again I didn't receive any topics or no reply from them.
Can you send me the topic proposal?
I have sent you the topic proposal on email. Thanks.
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