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Developing a Research Project. Kenneth Gray, PhD Psi Beta Dorothy I. Mitstifer, PhD Kappa Omicron Nu. The Research Idea. KISS Keep It Simple, Student. Identify something of interest to you. Prepare to solve one piece of a problem.

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Developing a research project l.jpg

Developing a Research Project

Kenneth Gray, PhD

Psi Beta

Dorothy I. Mitstifer, PhD

Kappa Omicron Nu

The research idea l.jpg
The Research Idea

  • KISS

    • Keep It Simple, Student.

    • Identify something of interest to you.

    • Prepare to solve one piece of a problem.

    • Realistic expectations—Can you reasonably accomplish it?

Learn how to collaborate l.jpg
Learn How to Collaborate

  • Novice researchers develop best under the apprenticeship system of learning.

  • Research is a creative enterprise; it is myth that creative work usually emerges from the mind of one person.

  • Collaboration can occur with peers in a course setting or with an experienced researcher.

Assume responsibility l.jpg
Assume Responsibility

  • Undergraduate research is a boon to your academic record, BUT………

  • Research projects require a self-imposed

    • Plan of action to structure the work and

    • Deadlines.

  • Accountability for process and content.

  • Mutual respect among collaborators, whether co-researchers or advisers.

  • Respect for boundaries.

Look for support l.jpg

Research requires vision and discipline, but you need not rely solely on your own resources.

Look for opportunities and resources in your unit or the university:

Complete research as an Independent Study.

Apply for research grants or awards.

Apply for research assistantships.

Volunteer to assist a professor.

Convert a class project into research.

Complete a service learning experience as research.

Take a course in Research Methods.

Look for Support

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Present & Publish Your Findings rely solely on your own resources.

  • If the research is worth doing, it is worth going beyond the research report.

  • The Undergraduate Research Community (URC) offers an annual Undergraduate Research Conference for the Human Sciences.

  • URC sponsors the Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences.

  • For more information, see and click on Undergraduate Research Community at the bottom of the Home Page.

Workshop developing a research idea l.jpg
Workshop: rely solely on your own resources.Developing a Research Idea

  • Brainstorm ideas for research topics – Record on flip chart.

  • Vote on two highest priorities.

  • Form groups for the top 3-5 topics.

  • Each group explore the topic to

    • Agree on a research idea.

    • Identify next steps based upon the previous presentation.

    • Share highlights with the whole group.

Summary l.jpg
Summary rely solely on your own resources.

  • This short workshop was intended to jump-start your thinking about undergraduate research.

  • Perhaps one or more of the ideas will find research “adopters,” but the important outcome is awareness of how to develop a research project:

    Identify research idea; Learn how to collaborate; Assume responsibility; Look for support; and Present & publish your findings.