Third Year Milestone

Proposal development is a critical skill for scientists. The ability to recognize problems and creatively address them is key to success in research and teaching. Scholars who develop research proposals also practice critical thinking, learn to evaluate the work of others, and become more familiar with the scientific literature. 

In the third year, scholars will be required to write three one-page research proposals. 

Topic Requirements

  • One proposal may be an optimized form of the scholar’s proposal from the proposal writing course
  • Two proposals must detail an idea for research outside of what is being conducted in the scholar’s home group

Content Requirements

  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Identify known approaches to solving the problem and assess the merits and demerits of each.
  3. Propose a solution to the problem.
  4. Describe expected outcomes and implications of proposals.

Format Requirements

Each proposal should be written using the “quad sheet” format taught in the proposal course. A quad sheet format template is available on the website.

Assessment Criteria

Faculty feedback will be provided based on the following:

  • Importance of the problem and the need for a new approach;
  • Logical development of the problem and new idea;
  • Creativity of the scholar’s solution to the problem;
  • Quality of the writing.

Assessment Timeline

Third Year Milestone and Scholar Standing

Scholars who fail to have three proposals approved by the end of the spring semester in the third year will receive a “U” research grade and be placed on academic probation. Scholars who fail to achieve three “S” grades by the end of the summer semester may be recommended for termination from the program.