A welcome boost to the thesis

When a student’s thesis can be elevated to an even higher level with the aid of special but expensive laboratory analyses, it is nice to know that it is possible to apply for funding.

[Translate to English:] Foto: Therese Mukendi

Money is not everything, but is a good help for a student who needs expensive laboratory analyses to be carried out in order to add that good finish to the thesis. Fortunately, students can apply for funding via Fonden Frands Christian Frantsens Legat. 

This is what Jens Christensen, who is doing his thesis in the master programme Agro-Environmental Management, did – and he succeeded in obtaining a 21,000 DKK scholarship. He is on the fourth semester and in the process of writing his thesis about something as timely as statutory catch crops with Senior Researcher Elly Møller Hansen as his supervisor. 

- I am investigating the possibilities for optimising catch crops as a measure for reducing nitrate leaching and for producing biomass, including uptake of various minerals. I am basing it on field trials in the project ”Nye Efterafgrøder” (“New Catch Crops”, red.), Jens Christensen explains. 

The analyses will benefit many

In the project, 18 catch crops will be screened for their potential as new statutory catch crops. Besides determining nitrogen uptake, the plant material will be analysed for 37 elements, including zinc, copper and phosphorous. 

- We are doing this partly in order to investigate the possibilities for cleansing soil polluted with zinc or copper e.g. in connection with pig production. In addition, PhD student Julie Christensen will use to the data regarding phosphorous uptake to investigate if some of the catch crops can be used to increase plant availability of phosphorous in a crop rotation, says Jens Christensen. 

Jens applied for funding from Fonden Frands Christian Frantsens Legat for the analyses of the 37 elements at a commercial laboratory in Canada. He was made aware of the fund by Professor Bent Tolstrup Christensen, who was his bachelor project supervisor. The application was sent 2 October 2017 and Jens received an answer on 3 November 2017. 

- My present supervisor, Elly Møller Hansen, gave me good advice, but otherwise it was not difficult to write the application. It was easy to fill out but when you have never before written an application for funding you can be in doubt. Your supervisor can also help organise your thesis with regard to the possibilities that the extra funds provide if these were not considered from the beginning of the project, says Jens Christensen, who recommends his fellow students to apply for funds. 

- There is no reason not to do so! Especially if you plan to use analyses or methods that differ somewhat from what is ‘normal’.   

You can read more about the fund and how to apply for scholarships and travel grants in the article “Student offer: MONEY”. Deadline for application is 3 April 2018.