Perhaps you are like me and believe that while there are clearly limitations at the undergraduate level on the depth of research, it is possible and commendable to supervise and promote research among undergrads. I would like to know if you are supervising research with undergrads and what lessons you have learned in the process. What are the limitations you have discovered?
I am working on a Research Assistant Program in corrdination with our university which is beginning to encourage (provide financing in other words) for undergraduate research. Here is a draft description of the program I am seeking to establish.
Professor Joel Willitts, Ph.D.
Biblical and Theological Studies
North Park University
Learning is best done in community and for this reason students and professors benefit from pursuing academics in relationship. An undergraduate setting is an ideal time for students with interests in graduate work in biblical studies to begin developing skills in the basics of research method and critical thinking. Strong graduate programs in biblical studies are highly competitive and demand increasingly better preparation at the undergraduate level. What is most needed for an exceptionally prepared application to graduate school is (1) a developing research facility and evidence of critical thinking sometimes evinced in a piece of written work and (2) a strong academic recommendation. In addition, professors in undergraduate settings like NPU have significant course loads and the ability to continue working on research projects becomes acutely challenging. A research assistant program, then, can be an effective tool for both student development and professorial research.
The student will assist in research projects and the more general academic responsibilities of the professor as well as be responsible to conduct individual research on a topic in the area of the New Testament or Second Temple Judaism.
1. Student will have taken one year of Greek.
- Booth, Wayne, Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research, 2nd ed.(University of Chicago Press: Chicago) 2003 (ISBN: 0226065685)
- Turabian, Kate L, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed. University of Chicago Press: Chicago) 1996 (ISBN: 0226816273)
3. Student will work between 5 and 10 hours a week. This may vary significantly from week to week but the balance of personal research and assisting the professor will demand time.
4. Student will assist the professor in research and writing projects in whatever capacity is needed. Professor will seek to match gift and skill sets to particular tasks.
5. Student will assist the professor in academic administrative duties, e.g. data entry.
6. Student will present their research at an academic meeting, e.g. University Symposium and/or ETS/SBL regional meeting