The GSLS is testing a new tool with a pilot this year: the Bidirectional Assessment (BA). The BA is a tool that was designed by students to be used by students to optimize the process and the outcome of research projects. It is an opportunity for you to communicate with your supervisor about your personal goals and to discuss the expectations about the internship from both sides. We want to stimulate you to start a professional discussion about your work environment and working style and to make the process a more dynamic and two-sided, instead of working with a ‘black-and-white’ rubric in which only the student is assessed (which was the case previously). With the BA we want to help you start this conversation, for which we have provided you with aiding forms with topics you can discuss. This way, any miscommunication can be avoided and you will have more positive influence on how you complete your project. The BA forms allow for giving and receiving feedback in a professional way, and therefore can help you to make your project a very informative and good experience. Currently, the pilot is only taking place in the master programmes Biology of Disease and Environmental Biology, but anyone is encouraged to try using the BA forms if you like.
The BA provides a great foundation to improve the (soft) skills you acquire during your internship and is a great opportunity for reflection, to think about how the project is going and hopefully helps with dealing with any situations you might encounter. The forms and instructional videos for each meeting can be found below.
The BA consists of three meetings with your supervisor, with accompanying forms (click on each tab for explanation videos and forms):
A second reflection meeting at the same time as the interim assessment (± 3 months for a major research project) where you can reflect on what you discussed in the first meeting and adjust plans according to the progress you have made so far (Reflection Meeting 1 form, see video 2 for more information).
An optional third reflection meeting after 6 months (for major research project; 4 months for a 6-month project) where you look back at the previous meetings and discuss the progress you and your supervisor have made and to look at the final steps that need to be taken for you to finish your project nicely (Reflection Meeting 2 form, see video 3 for more information).
Last but not least, since you are participating in the pilot, we would also like to receive some feedback from you and we are curious to hear about how you experience the BA. Therefore, we are looking for some students to join a feedback session at the end of the year to discuss your findings. If you are interested to join this session, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of the Life Science Representatives, we wish you good luck with your research projects and hopefully the BA will come in handy for you.