Elon University Home

Steps for Setting Up Your Research Experience

Download the Research Proposal Form on the Undergraduate Research Program page here (click on 499 regustration).

Psychology 499 is an opportunity to engage in an empirical or theoretical study in collaboration with an individual faculty member. Depending on the nature of the project, you may be involved in reviewing relevant literature, developing materials and procedures, data collection, analyses and presentation of your findings. This may also include a poster in the departmental poster session and/or a SURF presentation.

Steps for setting up your research experience:

1. Identify your research interests and find a faculty sponsor. Talk to your professors and other students about their research. Attend research presentations. Prior to filling out your proposal, meet with your faculty sponsor to discuss your learning goals, required tasks and planned contacts.

2. Determine the number of hours you will work. In general, you may receive one hour of credit for every 40 hours of work. Forty hours will fulfill the General Studies Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR). You may take a total of 8 credit hours of Psychology 499 for credit, perhaps distributed over one or more years. Most students find it takes more than 40 hours truly to profit from a research experience. Distributed across the semester, the workload looks about like this:

 Credit HoursHours per week  
        1       3-5  
        2       5-10  
        3      10-13  
        4      13-15  

3. Complete the Research Proposal Form. This includes information about yourself, including your GPA and the courses you have taken in psychology, as well as information determined by you and your faculty sponsor about the nature of the research project and requirements (e.g., attending meetings, doing background reading, collecting a certain amount of data, meeting deadlines, keeping a journal, completing a paper or presentation).

4. Submit the proposal to your faculty sponsor for approval by the department. The proposal will be evaluated based on the appropriateness of the proposed experience for a psychology major.

5. Make four copies and get the necessary signatures on the original. You will need signatures from your faculty sponsor, your advisor, the department chair and the division dean (in that order). Make sure you have a copy of the proposal for each of them and keep one for yourself.

6. Register for Psychology 499. Take the completed proposal with you to register.

At the end of the semester:

Grading: You will be assigned a letter grade by your faculty sponsor. This grade will be based on your faculty sponsor's evaluation of how well you fulfilled the requirements.

Reflection: Use the Research Proposal Form to summarize your research experience. This is used to provide other students with information about potential research projects, to help the department keep track of student research activities, and to help you integrate your experience into your past and future learning experiences.