TDK is the Hungarian abbreviation of the Students’ Scientific Association that has 40 years tradition at our Faculty. In most cases we cannot talk about real associations but scientific student projects pointing beyond the routine-like practice of the taught curriculum led by professors. The topics of the research projects are usually defined by professors and are published on the Faculty’s website by Students’ Scientific Council (TDT). Apart from the announced topics, students are welcome to find a topic leader with their new and interesting topic suggestions. The topic leader is a professional who is familiar with the research topic, conducts research in the given area and undertakes the tasks of a topic leader.
Everybody who was able to be admitted to Semmelweis University Faculty of Health Sciences is capable to conduct research work. You don’t need anything else but determination, sedulity and persistence for knowledge that points beyond the study material of graduate training. Nobody was born with the knowledge for conducting research, giving guidance and teaching the „How” are the job of the theme-supervisor. If you are motivated, you should be the part of TDK! TDK does not have any prerequisite; lower academic achievement or weaker language knowledge does not constitute disadvantages. A TDK project can be prepared by more than one student. More authors – in case of an effective division of labour – can create high-standard projects with less effort, moreover, the presentation can also be easier, if you do not have to stand in front of the public alone. You can apply to the Students’ Scientific Association at any time by filling in the application form (you can find it on the Faculty’s webpage, under Forms and in the Organisational and Operational Regulations, Annex 3). The completed form has to be signed by both the student and the topic leader of the research project. The form has to be submitted to the TDKresponsible at the department where the TDK project is conducted. So the necessary steps: 1. Choose a TDK topic 2. Contact the announcer of the TDK research topic (find a topic leader in case of a selfinvented topic) 3. Fill in the application form, provide the student’s and the TDK topic leader’s signature 4. Submit the application form to the TDK-responsible at the department Find a TDK topic leader, keep in regular touch, conduct joint research.
Students who conduct TDK research projects have the opportunity to take the elective course titled ‘Introduction to Research into Health Sciences’ 4 times, through 4 semesters, for which they get credits. A student can be the member of the Students’ Scientific Associations without registering for the course (so he/she can conduct research work) but the course can be taken only by registered TDK members. Registration to the Students’ Scientific Associations is possible by submitting the application form as it is described above. The elective subject titled ‘Introduction to Research into Health Sciences’ cannot be registered for in Neptun by students. Registration to the elective course can be done until the end of the 2nd week in each semester by submitting the application form that can be found in annex 1 of Organisational and Operational Rules of the Students’ Scientific Associations to the TDK-responsible at the department. After that, the Foreign Students’ Secretariat takes the subject for the student in Neptun. The TDK work is prepared throughout the semester in the order discussed with the topic leader, the course according to the curriculum is not needed to be visited. The subject’s application form is kept by the TDK-responsible at the department, and at the end of the semester the topic leader gives his/her signature and offered mark on this document. The student has to accept the offered mark in Neptun, it is important, so pay attention! So the necessary steps: 1. Fill in the subject registration form that is annex 1 of the Organisational and Operational Rules of the Students’ Scientific Associations (the signature of the student and the topic leader are needed!) 2. Submit the subject registration form to the TDK-responsible at the department until the end of the 2nd week of the semester 3. Work on the TDK topic with the topic leader 4. The topic leader gives offered practice mark at the end of the semester Accept the offered mark in Neptun (otherwise it will be lost!))
Apart from going beyond the study material of the graduate training and being up-to-date and scientific, there are no rules for the list of announced topics or for the nature of examination. The personal interest, abilities, spent time and the harmony between the topic leader and the student determine how far the student gets with the researched topic.
The results of the TDK projects are presented at the TDK Conference that is organized annually in spring. The requirement to participate in the conference is to prepare and submit the abstract of the research topic. The presentations at the conference should be 10 minutes long. The most successful junior researchers – on behalf of the Faculty – present their findings at the National Scientific Students’ Associations Conference that is organized every two years. One author can participate in the conference with more than one research project, if he/she has the energy to prepare them carefully. Of course, students have the opportunity to participate in the TDK conference year by year with a new topic or with continuing the topic of the last year.
The presentations have to be held in front of a professional jury in Faculty-organized sections. The jury scores the lectures. The jury establishes the ranking on the basis of the total number of points given for the presenters and nominates students for the awards. Main aspects of assessment:
- formal requirements (division, figures-tables-markings, presentation);
- background on specialised literature;
- methodology (data collection, method of assessment);
- results, conclusions, suggestions (professional relevance, novelty, comprehensibility, clarity, reality of conclusions and suggestions);
- general impact (timeliness, relevance, clarity, language).
TDK has numerous advantages. The rank achieved at the university and especially at the national conference is primarily an ethic achievement that encourages the professional selfconfidence but the awards are also significant. Participants of the TDK conference experience how to prepare a professional study, how to present it shortly but in perfect thoroughness, what kind of questions arise in the professional jury and the audience concerning the presentation. A good TDK participation affects positively the relationship between the student and the Institution, the established familiar and friendly atmosphere means a strong foundation of a later dissertation of high standard because the TDK project often continues in the form of a thesis. Registered TDK students are entitled to apply for scientific public grant that can reach 15.000 HUF per month. It is also significant that registered TDK students can collect credits. Apart from being entitled to take the elective course ‘Introduction to Research into Health Sciences’, the best junior researchers are invited to ‘Creating researcher attitude and developing professional competence’ course that is organized each semester on week zero and gives 2 credits. The course is completed in the form of a three days off-campus training. In the framework of the training, students can get acquainted with communication and presentation techniques, moreover, within personal training students get to know the knowledge necessary for conducting research.