Below is a detailed description of the yearly Spin Your Thesis! programme. The milestones for the edition Spin Your Thesis! 2021 can be found on the page 2021 Schedule and the deliverables’ guidelines and templates in the List of documents.
A. Project definition and writing of proposal by selected applicants
During this first phase, the applicants will form their team, find an endorsing professor or academic supervisor and start thinking seriously about their project.
After defining their project, the students must think about how their experiment will be realised. At the end of this process, they will be expected to have a very accurate knowledge of the scientific theory behind their project, as well as the way they will realise their experiment – in both a qualitative and quantitative way.
The experiment proposal should focus on the scientific and/or technological objectives of the project and on the technical details needed to implement their experiment. In other words, participants are invited to explain what they intend to investigate and how they are going to implement their experiment. Students should show that they have very good knowledge of their project topic using references to bibliography and scientific literature in the field, and giving details of the results expected.
Documents expected: Experiment proposal, formal endorsing letter(s) and ‘privacy notice and consent form’ ratified by each team member
Deadline: November 15, 2020, 23:59 CET
B. Review of the proposal and selection of the winning teams
The review board will select up to four experiments to be performed in the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) and, in collaboration with the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA), propose mentorship from an expert in gravity-related research. The selection of up to four teams and the allocation of ELGRA mentors are expected shortly thereafter.
C. Experiment preparation
Based on the proposal, the selected teams will start to implement and build their experiment helped by qualified professionals and their ELGRA mentor. The cost of the building is partly supported by ESA's Education Office. The students should prepare their experiment by taking the 'LDC Experimenter User Manual' into account and by consulting with experts from ESA’s Education Office and the Life and Physical Sciences Instrumentation and Life Support Laboratory (LIS).
During the preparatory phase, the students will have to fill out some parts of the experiment report template. The aim of this document is to serve both as a reference document throughout the preparation and execution of the experiment and as a final report once the programme ends.
Documents expected: Experiment report and ERASMUS experiment record
Deadline: Two to three versions of the experiment report will be delivered to ESA’s Education Office and LIS before the campaign. The ERASMUS experiment record will be delivered with the second version of the experiment report.
D. Education hypergravity campaign
Selected teams will perform their experiments in fourth quarter of the year. ESA’s Spin Your Thesis! campaign takes place in ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The campaign lasts one week to two weeks depending on the number of teams selected, and each team benefits from 2.5 days to perform their experiments in the LCD.
Within two weeks of the campaign, the teams must deliver a feedback report with their inputs as well as their opinion about the programme and campaign to ESA’s Education Office.
Documents expected: Feedback report
Deadline: 2 weeks after campaign
E. Analysis of results
The teams will analyse the results obtained during the hypergravity campaign and send the final version of their experiment report to ESA's Education Office within 4 months of having performed their experiment. If applicable, they will be expected to write a scientific paper later-on. Some students may also be sponsored to attend international conferences (such as the ELGRA Biennial Symposium) and present their results to the scientific community.
Documents expected: Final versions of the experiment report and of the ERASMUS experiment record
Deadline: Four months after experiment campaign
Please note that the schedule detailed above is subject to change.