Final Project Guidelines

Determining a research question and coming up with a study to answer the question is an iterative process. It is a multi-step process that requires constant feedback from peers/advisors.

The final project will serve as a smaller-scale example of the steps involved in creating a research study, and will assess your cumulative comprehension of the course material and application to your own research ideas/interests. It comprises four parts:

  1. Project Proposal - Round 1 (25 points)

  2. Annotated Bibliography (25 points)

  3. Project Proposal - Round 2 (75 points)

  4. Project Presentation (80 points)

Project Proposal - Round 1

Students will submit a 250-300 word abstract describing their research question, hypotheses, and study idea along with an outline of the relevant content (i.e., summary of points for the following sections: Introduction, Experimental Design, Intellectual Merit, Broader Impacts, and Conclusion). They should set up a meeting with the instructor (during office hours) to determine a final project. Upon completion of this assignment, students will receive feedback and suggestions on how to improve their study and should incorporate this feedback into their proposal (Round 2).

Annotated Bibliography

Students will choose 7-10 research articles and summarize the research questions, methods, and results of each paper (behavior only). Students should also include a 2-3 sentences on each paper’s relevance to their final project.

Project Proposal - Round 2

Students will expand their 250-300 word abstract based on feedback from the instructor. Their project proposal should be 2-3 pages in NSF GRFP Research Proposal format (see resources and examples: 1, 2, 3; see template document on a hypothetical research study. This should include:

  1. Introduction

  2. Research Aims

  3. Hypotheses

  4. Experimental Design

  5. Intellectual Merit

  6. Broader Impacts

  7. Conclusion

  8. References

Project Presentation

This presentation will be the “final exam” of this course. Students will present their project proposal to the class (5-8 minutes each) and determine 2-3 questions for a quick class discussion (3 minutes).