All incoming Ph.D. students will be assigned a faculty mentor. Students will work collaboratively with their mentor and other professors or students as a research team to undertake and publish research. A new faculty mentor will typically be assigned each year to the student, until the student passes their comprehensive examinations. It is expected that students in their third year will work on research related to their dissertation.
An important aspect of this program is to expose students to a wide variety of research perspectives. As each mentor may have different perspectives on research, the student benefits from working with a variety of mentors. It is also expected that the amount and type of work done by the student will change during their tenure. Typically, first-year students will need more guidance at all stages of the research process. Second and third year students will play increasingly greater roles in the research process. They should be more actively involved in the creation of the research idea, in the execution of the design, in the analysis of the results, and in the writing of the early drafts of the research paper. The faculty mentor will often be more directly involved in the development of the research design, in guiding the analysis, and in "polishing" the research paper and moving it through the publication process.
The student will present the research idea to the department, and receive feedback from faculty and students on study design. The student will play key roles in the research team that will complete the study. Results from the study will then be presented to the department as part of our Research Seminar Series. At the minimum, the quality of work should resemble a presentation at a professional conference.
These research experiences are outside the domain of coursework, and will require many hours every week. This required expenditure of time is essential action learning; the student learns while doing. It provides the student with hands-on experience in how to conduct research, and may result in publications that will enhance the student's marketability in the job market.
It is the student's responsibility to coordinate with their research mentor at the beginning of every semester to set up goals and expectations, regular schedule of meetings, and to follow through with these meetings in a timely manner.