PREX 401

Professional Readiness Research Experience

Research involves students actively engaging in scholarly inquiry into significant issues in a discipline of their choosing. Research as a Professional Readiness Experience for undergraduates is both an independent pursuit of knowledge by the student and a collaborative exercise under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

What This PRE Looks For

Acceptable projects must include the following components:

  • Proposal identifying the question to be researched
  • Research, including proper planning and preparation
  • Mentoring, including regular reporting and feedback during all phases
  • Revision, drafting and editing of the final production and presentation
  • Submission of a final written component/visual or artistic display or performance in the style and format acceptable
  • Presentation in a suitably professional, relative to the discipline, format and venue

Possible Research Opportunities

  • Honors Thesis
  • Summer Scholars or capstone courses/experiences that meet the criteria
  • Independent study courses, guided research projects done as part of a class, then expanded and presented or artistic performance or display projects (which meet relevant practices and standards, including originality/creativity in the profession in which they are created).

Examples of Possible Research Presentations

  • Formal defense (e.g. Honor Thesis),
  • Presentation at the Life of the Scholar (LOTS) Conference
  • Regional or national professional or honorary organization conferences, or other similarly professional
  • Scholarly situations relevant to disciplinary standards.

What Students Will Learn

Students completing a Professional Readiness Experience in Research will strengthen their skills and self-confidence by designing, researching, completing and presenting a research project on a significant issue in a discipline of their choosing.

  • Identification of significant questions/issues and why they are significant and deserving of attention
  • Locating, evaluating and utilizing sources of information
  • Making connections between types of information and with possible conclusions
  • Organizational skills
  • Written communication skills
  • Crafting a convincing argument
  • Oral and/or visual communication skills

Process for Completing a PRE Research Independent of a Course

To pursue the Research PRE requirement independent of other requirements (including if the project is part of an Independent Study or Course by Arrangement), follow the steps below. In situations where a student is utilizing an experience that meets another University/Program requirement (e.g. Honors Thesis, major/minor capstone requirement), the record-keeping and reporting procedures for that requirement must be followed in addition to those listed below.

Step 1: Complete the PRE Student Application

  • The student initiates the project by selecting a faculty mentor in the chosen field of study.

Step 2: Review Next Steps

  • The student drafts a proposal of the project including identifying the issue/question to investigate and explaining the significance of the question.
  • The student and mentor select another faculty member with relevant expertise to serve as a reader.
  • Student, mentor and reader review all Research PRE criteria and the student’s project proposal and agree upon a schedule for completion of the project and relevant interim assignments (research plan, experiment design, bibliography, outline, etc.) and clearly establish expectations of deadlines, format and grading criteria.
  • Student and mentor establish preliminary plans (location/venue, format, deadlines, etc.) for the presentation
  • Supervisor /Mentor informs the Undergraduate Research director of the student’s intention to pursue a Research PRE under his/her direction.
  • Undergraduate Research informs the Registrar’s Office that this individual student is seeking to meet the Research PRE requirement through this particular experience and will guide the student in the project. In order to enter the course correctly in Banner, the Registrar’s Office will need to know that this is a Pass/Fail graded course, but carries no credit hours.

Step 3: Completion of PRE

  • During the research phase of the project, mentor and student must meet regularly to discuss project progress. The reader may be involved as determined by mutual agreement of student, mentor and reader.
  • Student submits and the mentor and reader evaluate the completed written component and mutually agree upon its merit.
  • Student, with mentor’s oversight, develop a suitable presentation from the written component
  • Student makes the research presentation. Arrangements for this presentation should be discussed early in the process in order make necessary preparations.