GEG4019 / ENV4000 – Directed Research (6 credits)

Updated 13 September 2019 by Anders Knudby (GEG /ENV undergrad chair)
 

Effective September 2020

 

The Directed Research courses offered to undergraduate students enrolled in Geography or Environmental Studies offer a supervised introduction to the research process, and often act as capstone courses that allow students to dive deep into a subject of interest during their final year of undergraduate study.

Directed Research also provides a taste of what graduate school would be like, and many students subsequently build on their Directed Research in a MA/MSc program. Directed Research courses are optional in all GEG/ENV Honours/Major programs.

Directed Research in Geography and Environmental Studies is guided by a set of rules outlined below.

 

 

How to get started:

  • To complete a Directed Research course, students enroll in GEG40191 or ENV40001 in the Fall term, and then in GEG40192 or ENV40002 in the Winter term.
  • To enrol in the Fall term, students must have written agreement from the research supervisor, who is usually a full-time or adjunct professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics. The agreement form is appended to this document.
  • It is a good idea to contact potential supervisors early – before the beginning of the Fall term – to discuss project ideas. Some Directed Research projects may require collection of field data in the summer prior to enrolment.
  • In addition to the supervisor, a 2nd reader must be identified for the project. This person does not supervise the work, but has the majority role in grading it. It is the joint responsibility of the students and supervisor to find a 2nd reader. The 2nd reader must have been identified by the last week of September.

 

 

Progress through the two terms:

Directed Research courses are completed in a series of steps, outlined in Table 1 (next page). Important information for each step is provided below:

  1. An electronic version of a research proposal (.docx), no more than 2 pages in length, must be submitted to the supervisor and 2nd reader by the last week of September. A missing or unacceptable proposal may be considered grounds to request the student to withdraw from the course. The supervisor and 2nd reader should provide feedback on this document within 10 working days of its submission.
  2. An electronic version of a progress report (.docx), no more than 2 pages in length, must be submitted to the supervisor and 2nd reader by the first day of exams, Fall term. The supervisor and 2nd reader should provide feedback on this document within 10 working days of its submission.
  3. An electronic version of a draft paper (.docx), typically between 20 and 50 pages in length (depending on the number of figures and tables and as discussed with the supervisor), must be submitted to the supervisor and 2nd reader by March 15th. The format of this paper should conform to the norms of the discipline, e.g. the structure of the paper should be similar to published journal articles in the field, graphs and figures should be professional, text should include references as appropriate, and a reference list should be provided at the end. Students should consult their supervisor and 2nd reader to ensure they understand these expectations. The supervisor and 2nd reader should provide feedback on this document within 10 working days of its submission.
  4. An electronic version of a final paper (.docx), must be submitted to the supervisor and 2nd reader by the last day of exams, Winter term.
    1. This final paper should be a revised version of the draft paper, with revisions based on the feedback provided by the supervisor and the 2nd reader.
    2. Revisions to the original document must be made using “track changes” or similar functionality, to highlight differences between the draft and final papers for the reviewers.
    3. Students must provide both the document with “tracked changes”, as well as a “clean” final version.
    4. Students may include a separate section in the final paper with justifications for substantive feedback on the draft paper that did not result in revisions for the final paper.
  5. Students must do a poster presentation that outlines the research project, at a time determined by the Undergraduate Chair, typically early in the exam period, Winter term. The poster presentation event typically lasts 1 hour, during which students must present and answer questions about their research. Examples of recent posters can be found at https://arts.uottawa.ca/geography/research/directed-research. Posters can be printed on campus at DocUCentre (https://it.uottawa.ca/print), or elsewhere.

 

 

Grading:

  • For each of the relevant items listed in Table 1, the supervisor and 2nd reader must provide a numerical grade to the Undergraduate Chair and the student within 10 working days of its submission.
  • If there is a >10 percentage point difference between the supervisor’s and the 2nd reader’s grades, the Undergraduate Chair will discuss with both reviewers to arrive at a consensus. If no consensus can be found, the Undergraduate Chair will assign a grade within the range bracketed by the reviewers’ grades.
  • Supervisors and 2nd readers can refer to a detailed marking scheme to help with the evaluation of students’ work. This is optional.
  • Detailed optional marking scheme
  • Style guide

Table 1: Grading and deadlines for GEG and ENV Directed Research courses

Item

Date / Deadline

Responsible for grading

Points

Identify supervisor and enrol for Fall term

First week of September *

NA

NA

Research proposal

Last week of September

Supervisor (40%) and

2nd reader (60%)

5

Progress report

First day of exams,

Fall term

Supervisor

5

Draft paper

March 15th

Supervisor (40%) and

2nd reader (60%)

40

Poster presentation

TBD, typically first week of exams, Winter term

Supervisor (40%) and

2nd reader (60%)

10

Final paper

Last day of exams, Winter term

Supervisor (40%) and

2nd reader (60%)

40

 

* It is a good idea to identify your supervisor as early as possible (e.g. during Winter term of the preceding year), especially if your project may involve collection of field data during the summer preceding enrolment.

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