Tips for finding a thesis project as an HPP student

Whether you are in your first year of the HPP program or are a prospective student, you may be wondering what the thesis project entails… What kind of topics can I look at? How do I find a project? Will I find one??

I have gathered some tips and tricks from my HPP classmates on how they found their thesis projects. Keep in mind, the guidelines for the thesis each year may change, so your experience may be a bit different, but this can still provide some insight as to what to expect. 

What is the topic of your thesis?

  • The interplay between job demands and job resources among Swedish elementary school teachers to promote health and avoid stress
  • Implementation of health promotion support tool for school staff
  • The perceptions and experiences of emergency medical staff on the impact of COVID-19 on trauma emergency care service provision in the Western Cape province of South Africa
  • The influence of social relationships on long-term prognosis of depression in a clinical population in Sweden
  • Barriers and Facilitators to sustainable school meals
  • Analysing the impact of a community-level intervention of integrated care model on mortality
  • Effect of iron supplementation to pregnant women on adverse perinatal outcomes
  • Evaluation of national cervical screening program
  • Evaluating the effects of a Swedish universal parenting program on parenting and child health and wellbeing outcomes
  • Cross-sectional assessment of 12-month vaccination uptake and series completion comparing before and during Covid-19 pandemic in Canada
  • Development of an intervention to improve contraceptive counselling for migrants in Sweden
  • Are the effects of positive psychology interventions within the educational setting sustainable over time? – a systematic review and meta-analysis
  • Fidelity, feasibility and acceptability of a telemedicine intervention for improved access to safe abortion: a pilot implementation study

How did you find your thesis project? 

  • “I went through research groups in KI that dealt with topics I was interested in and emailed the researchers. I read through the publications of researchers to see what type of research they publish.”
  • “I reached out to an external organisation and then found a supervisor who wanted to supervise me in it.”
  • “The HPP thesis supervisors sporadically sent out project proposals from researchers from KI. They sent out this one, and I instantly emailed the principal investigator with my CV and we met later that week to discuss it further.”
  • “Approached the post-doc researcher who was also our course leader for the PH intro course.”
  • “It was only by sheer luck that I found out about my thesis project. I contacted several researchers at KI by sending my project proposals from early spring in 2020. Some declined or did not respond, others gave me opportunities to talk, but unfortunately, we did not reach a contract. Finally, my current supervisor accepted my project proposal. However, my original one needed new ethical permission that requires several months to pass, so she suggested my current project instead of my original one. After we agreed, I sent the first project plan at the beginning of June, but it was rejected because it looked like an epidemiological study. Therefore, we tweaked our research questions and our project plan to satisfy HPP thesis requirements.”
  • “I sent emails to some professors/and researchers. Then, I got a reply from a research group in KI which was interested in engaging a master student to do a master thesis within their scope of research. Later on, they invited me to discuss possible topics.”

What tips would you tell a future HPP student trying to find a thesis?

  • “Be open-minded and ready to compromise on your topic. You may not find exactly what you wanted. It’s also good to be strategic. You may not find exactly the topic, but you may find a supervisor who uses the type of analysis you wanted to learn, or works in the broad field where you hope to build your career. In the longer term, this would be more useful than getting exactly the topic you wanted.”
  • “Start thinking about things early including your topic of interest, your desired methods, desired research field, the people you will get to network with etc. It can be challenging to find a project that has everything you are looking for, so you need to figure out which part is the most important to you.”
  • “Don’t feel upset or panic if someone gets a good thesis earlier than you. You will have one eventually.”
  • “Reach out to course leaders and guest lecturers who focus on topics that interest you, ask them what opportunities they may know about. Lecturers (usually researchers), tend to introduce their work at the start- listen to them and research them online if you are interested in the topic. Many times you might not get a reply from the PI of the group as they are busy, but don’t hesitate to approach the PhD or postdoc researchers to inquire about a thesis.”
  • “If you have topics that you are so much interested in, you should start contacting potential supervisors as soon as possible. It takes a few months to find your ideal supervisor. Also, you should bear in mind that many researchers belonging to other departments than GPH or IMM are not so ready for our thesis supervision compared with those at GPH and IMM.”
  • “Create a list of possible topics that you are interested in, then based on that list, generate some keywords to find researchers who work in those topics via Google search. ( also use the syntax “medarbetare” and “” in your search keywords if you want to narrow down your search to KI researchers only). Then, create another list that contains names and emails and of the researchers that you found. Send emails to those researchers, personalize your email for each researcher. Explain briefly that you are a master student who will work on a master thesis, tell them your research interests, and ask them about the possibility of working. Use your official KI email and make sure that your email is brief and not too long.”
  • “If you have some preferred topics or methods (or if you want to avoid specific topics or methods :p), you should try to find them early. The beginning of the 3rd semester is a perfect time to find one. Sure, you don’t need to rush because the course leaders will make sure everyone will have a project. However, the projects that will be advertised by course leaders might not always be related to your preferred topics or methods.”
  • “While there is no need to feel pressured to figure out what you want to do for your thesis in term 1 & 2, it’s never too early to start thinking about what you may be interested in pursuing for your thesis! Take note of guest lecturers throughout courses that work in your area of interest and feel free to start reaching out to researchers/organizations that you’re interested in the summer after the first year. Update your CV, be specific about why you are interested in the work they do and what”

Overall, I hope this blog provided some insight into what you can expect for the thesis project in the HPP stream. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions! 

Thanks for reading, 


Lauren Wiebe- Health Promotion and Prevention

Lauren Wiebe- Health Promotion and Prevention

Hi! I am Lauren, I was born and raised in Canada, and you probably will hear me talking about how much I love Canada, especially the mountains. I am the blogger for the Master's Public Health Sciences Health Promotion and Prevention stream and I am excited to share my experiences with you!


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