Honors Research Scholars Proposal Elements

The work done for the Honors Research Scholars distinction should be over and above that done in a required Research course or for a required senior thesis. Keep in mind that research is a problem-solving activity. You do not want to simply redo what has been done before. The thesis that results from Scholars research is more than a laboratory report or a literature survey. Ideally, you would like to prepare a paper suitable for publication in a professional journal and for delivery at a scholarly conference. Keep in mind that you must complete your research and prepare a polished thesis by early-April(or early November for fall graduates). Choose your topic accordingly. You should include the following information in your proposal, with each section labeled accordingly for the convenience of the reader:



Lay out the problem that you wish to examine and suggest why it is an important object of scholarly inquiry. You may wish to discuss the history of the problem and mention scholarship that has addressed it. Summarize pertinent previous research in this field, showing the relation of the material cited to the present problem, documented with citations from the literature. The introduction need not be a complete bibliography, but should indicate that the state of knowledge in the proposed field has been surveyed. The references should be in a format consistent with professional journals in the field.



Define your objectives clearly and succinctly. State your hypothesis so that an intelligent reader understands what it is you are trying to accomplish.


Methodology / Procedures

Suggest how you propose to tackle the problem and what research methodologies you will employ. Describe resources (laboratory or library) you will require.Identify the funding sources for any required equipment, specimens, consumables, and travel. You should also address performance measure(s) to determine the success of the project and plans for documentation, evaluation, and dissemination of the results, as appropriate.



Briefly review what you propose to do, how you propose to do it, and what you intend to learn, to convince readers that the research to be done is important and has a reasonable chance of success.


Important Note

If human subjects, animal subjects, hazardous materials, or bio-hazardous materials will be used, you will need the approval of the Institutional Research Board or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Before beginning your actual research, we will require you to submit copies of the appropriate compliance forms (approved and signed) to the Honors Office. Your advisor will help you with obtaining these approvals.