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  • Students on steps of Holloway Hall
  • Volunteer students in green shirts on Red Square
  • Professor explaining research poster to students
  • Group photo of students and faculty outside at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research
  • Student presenting research at the SU Annual Student Research Conference (SUSRC)
  • Students talking at the SU Annual Student Research Conference

OURCA Courses

Spring 2017: Research and Discovery Jan 30, 2017–March 17, 2017

 IDIS 280-152 – Research and Discovery

Wednesdays, 6:00PM—7:15PM | 263 PH


Course Policies 

Course Description

IDIS 280-152, “Research to Discovery” is designed to help you turn your course ideas into inquiry that can be professionally presented and integrated in your resume or graduate school applications. The course is conducted as a series of 7 “workshops” conducted by the instructor along with faculty guests and field visits to different research sites (e.g., the lab, the field). Guests include faculty mentors, funding committee members, members from the institutional review board (IRB), graduate program directors, and members from career services. The course will guide you through the process of turning an interesting idea into a discovery and is structured as a 7-week, 1-credit, pass/fail offering, with no prerequisites.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the 7-week course, successful course participants will be able to:

  1. Identify an interesting idea from their coursework
  2. Articulate that idea as a research question
  3. Identify a faculty mentor in their discipline and initiate contact with them
  4. Identify a funding source to target and draft their application
  5. Draft an IRB protocol for their research
  6. Identify and prepare for a conference to present their research
  7. Situate their research project goal in their resume and/or graduate school application

Required Readings

There is no textbook for the course. However, general readings and documents that will guide you in identifying your idea, framing a research question, identifying qualities of faculty mentors, completing IRB protocol applications, and others will be made available for reading through My Classes.

Attendance and Participation

Attendance is expected and mandatory. As a workshop-driven and guest-lecture format course, your participation will be an important part of your learning experience. All assignment-related accommodations and class absences should be brought to the instructor’s attention via email before class. 

Deadlines and Late Policy

All work is due at the beginning of class. Late submissions will be counted down to 50% credit for up to a 24-hour delay and not accepted for credit beyond that.

Grading Policy

All assignments will be graded out of a 10-point system whereby 9-10 points (A)= perfect, complete work; 8–8.9 points (B)=good, complete work, 7–7.9 points (C)=acceptable, complete work, 6–6.9 points (D)=good but partially incomplete work and 5.9 and below (F): unacceptable and incomplete. The points will be totaled at the end of the semester with Pass=6 and above, Fail=5.9 and below.

Support Services

For trouble with your connection, access to the course website or the materials therein please contact IT at 410-677-5454, at TETC Room 113 or via email at

Emergency Policy

In the event of an emergency, announcements and information will be communicated via instructor email, Canvas course website, and SU’s home page.

Office of Student Disability Support Services (OSDSS)

The OSDSS can be reached at 410-677-6536.

Academic Integrity

It is expected you have read and understand the University’s policy as described in the Student Policy on Academic Integrity in your SU Student Handbook ( and thereby agree to honor these standards.

Course Assignments

Course assignments comprise approximately 1-page documents associated with each workshop that adapt the goal to the student’s own major, topic interests, and ideas. Unless otherwise indicated, assignments are submitted electronically via My Classes and are due on the dates below. Submissions will be graded on the (a) quality of writing as indicated by proofreading and editing, (b) content incorporating requirements as referenced by citing readings; and (c) directly referenced and incorporated specific takeaways from the class, workshop/site visit tour, or panel/individual guidance by faculty mentors.


Week 1, Feb 1: Introductions, discussions: Ideas to Research Questions

How many types of research are there? What are the stages of the research process?

Brainstorm Ideas!:  Turning that classroom paper into a research project

Week 2, Feb 8: Finding a Faculty Mentor: Drs. Jen Cox/Rachel Buchanan/Sally Perret/Henson

How can a faculty mentor help? How to identify and approach a faculty mentor?

Workshop: Approaching and navigating the faculty mentor relationship (Idea due)

Week 3, Feb 15: IRB Applications: Dr. Sarah Surak/Dr. Robert Joyner, OR an IRB member

Do you need IRB approval? Working on and submitting the IRB protocol

Site visit (6:45—7:15 p): Tour of work done in Dr. Gene Hahn’s 3-D printing lab (Research question due)

Week 4, Feb 22: Getting Funding: Dr. Michael Moeder, Dr. Kristen Walton, NCUR

How funding can help; Finding and applying for funding

Site visit (6:45—7:15 p): Tour of research done in Dr. Stephen Habay’s lab (Faculty Mentor due)

Week 5: Mar 1: Conferencing: Dr. Scott Mazzetti

Finding an appropriate conference; Networking successfully at conferences  

Site visit (6:45—7:15 p): Field research (IRB draft due)

Week 6, Mar 8: Graduate School: Dr. Jacques Koko/Dr. Jim Buss + students

Identifying a graduate school? Framing the research inquiry for your area of focus.

Workshop/Individual Discussion: How to apply? How can my research project help?  (Funding application due)

Week 7 Mar 15: Industry Careers: Career Services workshop

How to leverage your research project to make a competitive resume

Workshop: How to stand out in your chosen field; How to identify careers that are a good fit with your interests (Grad school application due and/or bring your resume to class)

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