Getting Started - Identifying your Research Interests and Possible Faculty Mentors
Begin exploring your research interests during the first semester of your junior year (suggestions appear below).
- Refer to your OS Pathway to help define and focus your interests.
- Speak with the OS Honors Coordinator about your interests and goals. (The Coordinator has a list of OS affiliated faculty members and their research interests, which may assist you in identifying a mentor.)
- Speak with LSA Honors Program Advisor about your interests and goals. (Honors program advisors may also have suggestions for faculty mentors in your area of interest.)
- Read more about research discussed in your concentration courses, and ask your professors and GSIs about their research interests and current projects.
- Watch for opportunities to become involved in research projects during the academic year or the summer.
- Review research talks presented at MOST.
- Visit departmental web pages and view faculty biographies, which will indicate their areas of past and future research interest.
Next Step - Arranging Student-Faculty Collaboration on a Specific Project
By February 1 of the junior year (earlier deadline if studying abroad), you should identify a specific Michigan faculty member who has research interests similar to your own. Your faculty mentor must be a tenure-track faculty member at the University of Michigan (may be non-OS and even non-LSA). Once identified, you can contact that faculty member and arrange to meet to discuss collaborating on a project of mutual interest. Successful partnerships often result from projects that extend ongoing research by the faculty mentor, but an original student project is also possible. For the honors project, you and the faculty member agree to work as a team for two terms to design and complete an empirical study. You should consult with your faculty mentor and get detailed feedback on all aspects of the proposal. Then, you submit your application for the OSHC (see below).
Next Step - Formal Application to the OS Honors Option
To qualify for the OS Honors Option, you must have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher, and must maintain it through graduation. To apply to the OS Honors Option, you must submit an application including a project proposal that has been approved by the faculty mentor. The proposal should be a minimum of 5 pages, and must include:
- A brief overview of the project, including the research question to be answered;
- An explanation of the research design, data collection methods or data source to be used (include Institutional Research Board (IRB) submission info);
- A brief discussion of the analysis plan and expected results;
- A list of relevant references to the literature;
- An initial plan of work with a timeline.
Deadline for submitting OS Honors Option application: March of the junior year.
Applications and other helpful documents are listed below. You may also obtained paper copies of these documents at the OS Program office 2016 Ruthven). Following submission of your OS Honors Option application, the OS Honors Committee will review your proposal and suggest any needed revisions. The Committee will then reach a final decision on the proposal and notify you and your mentor no later than April 15th. If approved, research may start in the summer if feasible.