Research Certificate Coordinator: David Donley, PhD
The Research Certificate program is a recognition of the skills and experience gained from independent research. This certificate represents a high level of both scholastic and technical achievement. The Research Certificate program promotes faculty-student mentoring relationships and encourages experiences both within and across disciplinary boundaries. Faculty will encourage students to ask questions and engage in problem-solving through the gathering, synthesis, and dissemination of evidence.
A Research Certificate provides evidence to graduate admissions programs and employers that students have developed skills and demonstrated competence in discipline-specific research from conception to completion and reporting.
To complete the Research Certificate program, students will participate in 2-4 semesters of mentored research and develop a portfolio of their work. The research portfolio is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their critical thinking and communication skills as well as their contributions to their field of study.
- Student must submit a letter of intent to the certificate coordinator no earlier than six weeks before the first semester of research and no later than the beginning of the third semester of research activities. Before letter submission, students must identify a Harding faculty mentor and formalize a plan for the first semester of research experience.
- Student must participate in 4 semesters of undergraduate research experience or field experience.
- One semester can be substituted for an approved Harding research course that clearly integrates research concepts. This experience must result in a writing or presentation project that includes a synthesis of research results.
- One semester can be substituted for an external research internship.
- One semester can be substituted for a publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
- One semester can be substituted with a paid or unpaid internship as an undergraduate teaching assistantship for an approved Harding research course. This experience must include and demonstrate peer-to-peer mentoring.
- A 10-week summer research experience counts as one semester.
- Two terms must be with the same faculty mentor.
- Student must complete at least one Statistics or Research Methods course, such as BIOL 2500.
- Student must complete two different presentations of research results. One presentation may be in a departmental seminar or capstone course. One presentation must be at a public forum - preferably a professional conference. On-campus locations should be advertised and well-attended, such as McNair Scholars presentations and research symposia. Presentations during a typical class or laboratory period do not fulfill this requirement.
- Student must complete a portfolio of research activities.
The following list of items must be completed as part of an application for the Research Certificate to demonstrate completion of the required research activities.
- A completed checklist indicating fulfillment of all minimum requirements.
- Title of Research Portfolio (120-character maximum, including spaces)
- Research synthesis report that summarizes the results and highlights the skills learned (integration of primary literature). This report should also include a justification of the “research” as it pertains to the definition. (i.e., an impact statement; 1-page maximum, 11 point font, single-spaced, ½ inch margins)
- Outline of research activities with conference citations, speaker abstract, video, PowerPoint, and/or poster printouts
- Justification of fulfillment of research requirements (1-page maximum, 11 point font, single-spaced, ½ inch margins)
- Response to reviewers OR letter of support from a faculty mentor
- The portfolio must be completed at least 6 weeks before graduation to allow for review. Students who have ongoing research to complete the application should designate this in the application packet.
- Portfolios will be reviewed by faculty and sent back to the applicant. Applicants will address all reviewer suggestions in writing and re-submit the portfolio OR a letter of support from a faculty mentor
- Reviewers: 1 faculty mentor, 1 subject-matter expert, 1 non-departmental faculty reviewer. The student and mentor will provide a list of reviewer names to the Research Certificate Committee.
Approved Research Courses
These research-focused courses are approved for meeting the requirements for a Research Certificate. Any course not listed will need to submit a research course justification form to the Research Certificate Committee.