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IPAF - Faculty & Staff FAQ

What kinds of research projects are eligible for IPAF 4900 students? IPAF 4900 is about research mentorship – about faculty bringing students into their own research projects; about students working alongside faculty as part of a research team. Hence IPAF 4900 research projects should be part of a faculty member’s on-going research agenda.

IPAF 4900 research projects must also provide meaningful learning opportunities. So, for example, carrying out a literature review would be a suitable IPAF 4900 project. A project that consisted entirely of data entry work, and allowed no scope for analysis or interpretation of that data, would not be suitable.

Are students paid for participating in IPAF 4900?

No. Students in IPAF 4900 earn a course credit and a letter grade.  Faculty who propose IPAF 4900 courses are responsible for ensuring that the student workload and the opportunities for learning are comparable to those available in a typical fourth year honours seminar.

How can I propose an IPAF 4900 research experience?

Download and complete the form here.  Once it is completed, submit it to the undergraduate supervisor of your unit for approval. Faculty in NPSIA, SPPA and Kroeger College should submit the form to their Director. Note: the same proposal can be used repeatedly. For example, a project carried out in Winter, 2016 could be repeated in Fall, 2017.  Also, two students or more students can work together on a single research project. However, each participating student is only allowed to take IPAF 4900 once.

What are the submission deadlines?

The deadlines for faculty members to propose an IPAF 4900 research experience course are March 31st (for projects to be carried out in the summer term or the fall term), July 15th (for projects in the fall or the winter term) and October 15th (for projects in the winter or the summer term).

How are the students participating in IPAF 4900 selected?

All IPAF 4900 positions must be advertised on the IPAF website.  Candidates will be selected on the basis of merit by the supervising faculty member and the unit’s undergraduate supervisor. Normally only students with a GPA of 9.5 or higher and at least third year honours standing will be considered.  Once the successful candidate is selected, the undergraduate supervisor will notify the candidate, and grant him or her permission to register in the research experience course.

What are my responsibilities as an IPAF 4900 supervisor?

  1. Setting clear expectations: specifying precisely what the student’s responsibilities are; how much time he or she is to contribute to the research project (normally 65 hours); what he or she can expect to learn through the research experience.
  2. Assigning and evaluating work that creates an opportunity for learning and reflection, for example, keeping a weekly journal, or writing a work term report or a short essay
  3. Scheduling regular meetings with the student
  4. Giving the student regular feedback on his or her performance. Students should receive evaluations on work totalling at least 30% of the course grade before the last day of classes.
  5. Ensuring that the research project complies with university protocols with respect to, for example, research on human subjects, or health and safety.
  6. Providing any software or other materials required for the student to participate in the supervising faculty member’s research project.

Who can supervise students through IPAF 4900?

Co-supervised projects will be considered, but at least one supervisor must be a full-time faculty member.

What is the difference between IPAF 4900 and directed readings courses or honours research essays?

The difference between IPAF 4900 and directed readings courses or honours research essays is the emphasis on mentorship. In directed readings courses or honours research essays students are typically expected to work relatively independently, often on a topic of their own choosing. IPAF 4900 about incorporating a student into a faculty member’s research team.

What about intellectual property?

As the person who conceives the research project, the faculty member will normally retain intellectual property over any research conducted as part of the research experience course. For more information, see the Carleton University Research Office’s information on intellectual property

Need more information?

Proposal for IPAF4900 –  Course Offering 2016 (doc)

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