Proposal Guidelines

The main purpose of the project proposal is to allow the faculty, who will later be evaluating several aspects of the honors project, to learn enough about the project to determine whether it has the potential to yield results which enable the student investigator to become a candidate for graduating with honors in chemistry.

The project proposal should be understandable to a scientifically literate lay reader, that is, it needs to be informative to chemists in general and not just those in the field of the proposed work.

The proposal should contain the following, and should be as concise as possible:

  • Title
  • Research Advisor
  • Brief synopsis of time frame of project (i.e. summer or semesters spent/to be spent on the project)

Although the format and organization of the proposal may vary, the following must be included:

  1. Objectives/goals for the period of the proposed work
  2. Relation to longer-term goals of the research advisor's project
  3. Relation to the present state of knowledge in the field (i.e. background information)
  4. General plan of work, including the broad design of activities to be undertaken and an adequate description of experimental procedures. Any collaboration should be noted (i.e. samples or data obtained from others)
  5. Data - OPTIONAL SECTION (If it will help the faculty to evaluate the project, some data may be included.)
  6. Expected significance - that is, data interpretation. Although students' projects at this point will be of varying degrees of completion, it is essential to discuss exactly how the data might help in achieving the objectives and goals of the project. Students may discuss some data already obtained ( in this case, you will need section 5), or at this point, can simply present scenarios. For example: "If the spectrum shows x and y, then we can conclude that z is happening. This in turn means that...".

***The proposal is DUE on the second Tuesday of classes of the student's final semester.