Download .pdf of Guidelines

Timetable of Events
 Date (2014/2015)
 Items due
 September 8, 2014
 Project Proposal Due
 Between December 1 and 12
 Oral progress report and defense of research progress
 April 4, 2015
 Complete written draft of project due to primary advisor
 April 15, 2015
 *Dickinson Science Symposium
 April 16, 2015
 Second draft of project due to non-advisor faculty in the department
 Between April 20 and May 1
 Oral Presentation
 Last day of classes
 Final paper is due, no exceptions

*If going for honors the oral presentation will include a defense.  To be considered for honors a candidate must have 3.5 GPA (overall).
**Each ERSC major is expected to present a poster at the science symposium summarizing their capstone project.
We doubt that meeting these deadlines will pose an issue however, the above deadlines are firm deadlines and failure to meet a given deadline will result in a loss of one letter grade and ineligibility for consideration for honors.  If you have any questions about the timeline, send me an e-mail.  


Students will complete and submit a 10-15 page research proposal on or before the last day of classes of the Spring Semester.  This proposal will ultimately be expanded and become a working draft of your final project.  The literature review will serve as a basis for the Introduction and Materials and Methods sections and should be readily adaptable for the final project.  This proposal should include the following elements:  

  1. A clear and concise summary
  2. A statement of the Intellectual Merit for the proposed research (Why does this research need to be done? What are the broad-scale research questions that are driving the research?)
  3. A clearly stated hypothesis and predictions based on the hypothesis
  4. An Introduction to the research topic that includes a broad-based literature review with proper references (using GSA format)
  5. Suggested field location (s), sample collection strategies, materials needed, and a brief description of possible Analytical Methods to be used (as applicable)
  6. Preliminary Results (if applicable)
  7. Well-annotated figures including location maps, images of any proposed field sites, diagrams summarizing previous data, etc..
  8. A proposed timeline and budget justification (not to exceed $500 without a secondary application to the Earth Sciences department)

The proposal should have the following components with the headings listed below:

  1. Cover page with the title of the proposed project and student name
  2. A Project Summary (less than 250 words)
  3. The Hypothesis Statement and Predictions
  4. Introduction
  5. Methods and Materials
  6. Preliminary Results
  7. Project Timeline
  8. Project Budget