Undergraduate research opportunity (fwd)
rroth at u.washington.edu
Fri Nov 17 08:40:38 PST 2000
Dear Geography majors:
Some questions have surfaced concerning our new Research Link courses and
grants. Let me try to sort things out a bit. Here's the big picture
1) We have 15 $1500 grants for this academic year. We will award 5 for
Winter and 10 for Spring. These grants will enable students to devote more
time and energy to in-depth research projects rather than seeking
part-time and unrelated work.
2) as a slightly separate matter, we are offering two research link
courses (as Geog 497 B). In the Winter, the link will be with Geog 480; in
the Spring, with Geog 477. Students enrolled in either 480 or 477 will be
eligible to enroll in 497, irrespective of any grants. This link is
crucial in our minds because you will be doing a lot of critiquing of each
other's developing research projects in the RL (Geog 497 B) course, and
having a shared context is crucial for talking about form, method and
content in overlapping and re-inforcing ways.
3) for Winter, only those students enrolled in BOTH 480 and 497 B will be
eligible for the grants.
4) in Spring, grant eligibility will not depend on enrollment in the RL
course. Competition for the Spring grants will be much more based on the
strength of a research proposal, which can be based on past or ongoing
work from any Geography class. This could include senior "essay" (a bit of
a minomer) projects, Honors projects, etc.
5) While we haven't yet finalized the criteria for awarding the Spring
grants, one thing we have been discussing is that students will still have
to explain how the grant will specifically help with the research methods
side of their projects. In other words, merely stating that you have been
working on a project and will be finishing it up will not be convincing
proof that you are actually doing research, as opposed to "writing a
6) if you are working on a research project now or will be in Winter,
in any Geography course or as an independent study project,
you should be able to prepare a grant proposal for Spring (due Feb. 15,
probably) without taking the Research Link course. As long as you are
being clear about your research problem, your research method, your data
type and quality, your analytical and theoretical frameworks, etc. I don't
think the RL course is absolutely necessary, though it would be helpful.
We do highly recommend taking the 8-credit Geog 480/Geog 497 B package as
ideal preparation for applying for a Spring grant.
I hope this answers some of your questions. Our intents here are multiple:
training in the careful steps of framing and carrying out a research
project; supporting students already deeply engaged in a sustained and
rigorous researtch effort, and offering a companion course to Geog 480 and
Geog 477 which will help those students enrolled in both the content
course and the RL course to become more comfortable and knowledgeable
about the course material, and thus explore it in more depth and breadth.
If you have any further questions, please contact Professors Lucy Jarosz,
Jonathan Mayer, or Michael Brown, or talk with Angela or me in geography
Advising. Also, be encouraged to with your faculty mentors or any of
the above faculty as you prepare your applications. Thanks.
Richard Roth rroth at u.washington.edu
Assistant to the Chair voice: 206.543.3246
Department of Geography fax: 206.543.3313
University of Washington Smith Hall, Room 415-B
Seattle, WA 98195
On Thu, 16 Nov 2000, mami yoshimura wrote:
> This is Mami Yoshimura and I am currently in Honors program taking Geog
> 497A. I was just wondering if I will be able to apply for the grant by
> taking Geog 480. I guess I am trying to get an opinon from
> you about if it will be too much work to have two research courses.
> my incentive to take this course was of course, a grant. I have a part
> time job which isn't related to my major at all, and I rather get a
> grant and spend more time focusing on my study. But I wonder if this
> incentive won't compensate having two intensive research courses.
> Also, I took only 326 and haven't taken any other methodology courses. I
> wonder if a lack of methodology course will inferior my qualification to
> apply for the grant.
> Another problem is that I won't be able to take 497B due to my time
> conflict with other classes;therefore, I won't be able to prepare for a
> grant in spring quarter.
> What do you think?
> Mami Yoshimura
> On Wed, 15 Nov 2000, Richard Roth wrote:
> > In Winter Quarter, 2001, Geography is offering experimental new course
> > designed to help students engage in a more sustained research effort than
> > is usually possible in a 10-week term:
> > Tutorial: Intensive Undergraduate Research
> > Geog 497 B (3)
> > Instructor: David Paschane
> > TTH, 10:30-12:30
> > "W" course
> > SLN: 8547
> > Concurrent registration in Geog 480 (Environmental Geography and Health)
> > is required.
> > Geog 480, Environmental Geography and Health (I & S) (5 credits)
> > Professor Jonathan Mayer
> > MWF, 10:30-11:50
> > The Geog 497 course will serve as a "Research Link," much in the way
> > Interdisciplinary Writing Program courses serve as writing links. Students
> > will enroll in an 8-credit package (5 in Geog 480 and 3 in Geog 497 B).
> > The Research Link course combines modular lessons, collaborative
> > critiquing and individual tutoring to help students engage in the
> > methodical process of conceiving, framing and managing a research project
> > and reaching and defending some conclusion. The course will prepare
> > students for more advanced projects by developing practical skills.
> > We define research broadly as a sustained engagement with a subject or set
> > of data which may include some or all of the following hallmarks: the
> > selection of a significant topic or focus; reviews and evaluations of the
> > literature; the generation and theoretical framing of research questions
> > and hypotheses; the design of a research strategy and appropriate
> > methodology; the collection, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation (or
> > modeling) of data and information; the articulation of arguments and
> > conclusions; and the editing of the final product. A full range of
> > methodological techniques in quantitative (e.g., statistical analysis,
> > modeling techniques) and/or qualitative (e.g., interviews, textual
> > interpretation, narrative analysis) domains will be considered for
> > purposes of posing research problems and defining, gathering, and
> > analyzing the data needed to address these problems.
> > The concurrent course, Geog 480 (Environmental Geography and Health), will
> > introduce students to many data sources and frameworks. Its primary focus
> > will be on the effects of the changing global environment on human health.
> > Case studies include: climatic change and changing patterns of disease
> > distribution (malaria, etc.); ozone depletion and its effects on skin
> > cancer and on the immune system; changing water levels and their effects
> > on gastrointestinal diseases. Analysis of such information will require
> > skills in synthesizing complex patterns and relationships in order to
> > infer causal links. The tutorial course will help students manage the
> > research process while addressing questions regarding appropriate topics,
> > generating and narrowing researchable questions, identifying appropriate
> > data sources, weighing and evaluating the information gathered, defending
> > the methodology, and making conclusions in debates where conflicting
> > opinions exist.
> > Course objectives:
> > Ability to develop a research work plan for completing a focused project.
> > Ability to review the literature and identify research opportunities.
> > Ability to incorporate theoretical arguments in the research process.
> > Ability to select and defend the application of particular methods.
> > Ability to evaluate and weigh data, and infer results.
> > Ability to structure arguments and make a conclusion where simple answers
> > are unavailable.
> > Recommended background for Geog 480 is at least one course in any
> > discipline dealing with current environmental issues and debates, or
> > issues of public health policy, or epidemiology.
> > Please have students direct any questions to Rick Roth (rroth at u) or Angela
> > Leung (angela2u at u). Thanks again for any mention of this pilot project.
> > --Rick Roth
> > ===========================================================================
> > ===========================================================================
> > Richard Roth rroth at u.washington.edu
> > Assistant to the Chair voice: 206.543.3246
> > Department of Geography fax: 206.543.3313
> > University of Washington Smith Hall, Room 415-B
> > Box 353550
> > Seattle, WA 98195
> > http://staff.washington.edu/rroth
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