Centre collégial de développement de matériel didactique

Research Director


  • This form is designed to prepare you to direct the Research Institute
  • Preview the Research Institute material before starting this form.
  • Each player is expected to complete a form.
  • Fill in the fields where you see this bullet symbol:
  • You are not “in character” while filling out this form.
  • To print the entire content of this script at once, please click on the PRINTER icon on this page.

What is your name?


What is the dedicated theme for the Research Institute?

Step 1


  • In much the same way as the Fund$ Game scenario, this role-play scenario requires the teacher to play a role as well. Instead of the traditional knowledge-transfer role with the teacher driving the learning, the teacher assumes the role of facilitator in a largely student-driven learning environment, overseeing the learning, but letting the students take charge of creating the content in a playful, yet serious way.
  • Adopt characteristics from existing research institutes. Conduct online searches using obvious search terms such as “research institute” or “research centre directors” to find out more about the role you are assuming and how scholars function in it. Consider adopting the name or theme of an existing institute.
  • Facilitate your students’ socialization into a professional community of practice. Role-play scenarios are popular tools in clinical and technical apprenticeship training. In this case, the learning environment of a research institute allows the learners to generate knowledge about the research world by being active participants – writing, collaborating, thinking and behaving as researchers. It situates the learning of relevant life skills in an authentic setting.
  • Expect different reactions from your students. Depending on your learning/teaching style and the diverse learning styles of your students, a role-play scenario could be a challenging undertaking. Some will thrive in this participatory environment while others may struggle to adapt.


  • It is reassuring for learners to know that the teacher is also playing a role in the game. Be frank with the students about the role that you will be assuming for the game. Invite them to review the Research Director Script. Show them some inspiring examples from existing institutes.
  • As some students may be intimidated by role-play, provide reassurance that we all play roles (student, athlete, sibling, friend…). This game is intended to provide them with a low-stakes environment to learn something about the dynamics of knowledge production in the social sciences. A positive by-product may be that they learn something about their own skills in a professional setting that they will be able to draw on in a job interview.
  • Student concerns can be largely offset by carefully planning the learning activity. Take the time to establish clear directions in your assignment instructions and regularly review the work plan and the students’ progress.

Step 2


  • This scenario is designed for students to produce a written Research Proposal (individual or group) and to complete the Research Scholar Script Form. A grade value should be assigned not only to the final production, the Research Proposal, but to the process work, the Research Scholar Script Form. The script form allows you to validate the preliminary work for the Research Proposal. Script form work also takes up most of the 25 hours estimated for a six-week run.
  • Review the timeline in your script and the Research Scholar Script to determine how best to align your own course plans with the six-week timeline provided. You may opt for an extended plan or remove some steps for a more compressed scenario. Either way, while writing up your assignment instructions, be specific about what you expect for the timeline and the students’ proposal and script work.
  • Decide whether you want the students to produce Research Proposals individually or in small groups. Evaluation is certainly more clear-cut if you ask for individual proposals, but if you opt for the group proposal, be clear on how the grade values will be determined. Also, be clear on how individualized you expect the Research Scholar Script Form to be. You may want to itemize this in the evaluation grids.
  • The assignment instructions should include a statement about how this scenario fits with the overall course objectives/competencies, a timeline, grade values, due dates and evaluation criteria/grids.
  • Complete the assignment instructions and deliver them to the students in advance of the start date. This will give them a chance to visit the TRC website.


  • Carefully review the completed assignment instructions with the students during class time.
  • Navigate through the main touchpoints of the Research Institute material to ensure they understand the connection between your assignment instructions and the TRC website material.
  • Since the literature review work is unusually time-consuming, limit the number of sources required for the review. Finding, reading, summarizing and synthesizing scholarly sources can take some students double or triple the time of others.
  • Consider making adherence to the Research Institute Code of Conduct worth a portion of the grade. Also consider making the draft proposal worth a portion of the grade.

Step 3


  • Read Themes and Sample Theme Descriptions to get an idea of what you could select as your dedicated theme. It is advisable to have some expertise with the theme.
  • Once a theme is selected, prepare a presentation to orient the Research Scholars. Get them enthused about the prospects for their own research proposals. Find materials that relate to significant and impactful research on the theme, such as YouTube panel discussions across disciplines or poignant definitions by key scholars. Point to notable gaps in the literature to give the students a sense that there are unanswered questions and that the field is still open to investigation.


  • Consider doing an in-class exercise featuring articles on the theme taken from one of the general social science publications. For instance, The International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences is a 26-volume specialized encyclopedia that is available in most academic libraries. Such articles provide great overviews of the scholarly knowledge on the theme, often referring to a number of discipline perspectives. The perfect time for this is when the students are working on Steps 3 & 4 of their Research Scholar Script Form. You could place them in multidisciplinary groups of three. Provide them with an encyclopedia article and ask them to address the following:
  • List three elements of the encyclopedia article that help you to understand something about research that has been conducted on the dedicated theme:
  • Find a quotable excerpt that expresses something relevant to your discipline. Place the quote here:









 Page location

Step 4


There are two types of player roles in the Research Institute scenario – Research Director & Research Scholar. The teacher plays the Research Director and the role of Research Scholar is assigned by discipline to the students in the class.

Using discipline-based groups allows the Research Scholars to focus on knowledge in a single discipline on the designated theme. Otherwise, the material is just overwhelming. When a broader social science perspective is required, discipline scholars will be called on to account for their discipline approach in a multidisciplinary activity.

For the multidiscipline part to be viable, a few students must be assigned as Research Scholars in at least five of the ten social science disciplines listed:

  1. Anthropology
  2. Business
  3. Economics
  4. Geography
  5. History
  6. Philosophy
  7. Political Science
  8. Psychology
  9. Religious Studies
  10. Sociology

Decide on how to allot the disciplines to the students in your class:

  • Set lower and upper limits for the number of students in each discipline.
  • Aim for roughly equivalent numbers in each discipline.
  • Ensure no student is alone.
  • Schedule discipline members during the same lab period if you have students divided into separate labs.
  • Decide how the disciplines will be distributed – by choice or assignment.
  • Show them the Research Scholar Script Form:
  • Invite them to get started
  • Explain the timeline
  • Clarify that the script form work is largely individual, and specify where it is not


  • Show them the list of disciplines and briefly explain how the disciplines function in the social sciences.
  • Define multidisciplinarity and discuss multidisciplinary approaches to addressing research problems.
  • Discuss the fact that the competition is external not internal – collegiality is the norm. A concrete way to reinforce this is to discuss the Research Institute Code of Conduct, which they have as a Checklist in Step 2 of their Research Scholar Script Form.
  • Consider making adherence to the Code of Conduct subject to evaluation and worth a portion of the grade.

Step 5


Explain to the students:

  • The place of research proposals in the research cycle.
  • The rationale behind submitting preliminary pieces of writing such as an annotated bibliography, draft literature review and draft research proposal.
  • The function of peers and the peer review process.
  • Typical components of a proposal and their respective functions.

As presented in the Research Scholar Script, here are the basic parts of a Research Proposal:

Introduction (Overview & Literature Review)
Method Plan
Bibliographic List of Cited Sources
Appendix (optional)


  • Though it is a bit early in the game, this is an opportune time to introduce them to the DECISION CIRCUIT.
  • Consider bringing in a number of sample research proposals or method plans for dissection. Point out the different formats and requirements and the reasons for the lack of uniformity (differences due to grant or journal criteria, discipline approaches, documentation styles, goals…).

Step 6


Show the students how to write a Literature Review using the custom-designed Confetti Way and the Steps 3-7 of the Research Scholar Script Form to determine the exact work plan over the next couple of weeks.

Two weeks of the six-week version of this scenario is a conservative estimate for the time required to complete all the review work (Steps 3-7). 

Once Step 3 is complete and the literature review drafts have been produced, convene the Research Scholars into discipline groups to discuss viable research questions, following the instructions in Step 4 of their Script Form.

Once the discipline groups complete the Step 4 discussions, convene a Multidisciplinary Panel Session, Step 5. In turns, the disciplines summarize their Literature Reviews and present the “emerging questions” identified in Step 4.

Step 5 of the Research Scholar Script Form is the most time-consuming of all the steps. It involves everything from finding relevant sources to writing about the literature in a referential way. The goal of the Multidisciplinary Panel Session is to generate a collection of questions that reflect diverse and wide-ranging disciplines.

  • You are expected to organize, convene and moderate it.
  • The session should take about 60 minutes to complete and include two parts: panel presentations and moderated discussion.
  • For the panel presentations, you invite a panellist from each of the disciplines to briefly present (~5 minutes) the literature and the research question(s) to their fellow scholars.
  • For the moderated discussion, open up the floor to a 30-minute interactive exchange of ideas about the questions formulated by the different discipline groups. To be considered: How well does the collection of questions reflect the many and varied ways of asking questions across the disciplines? Is the range of questions sufficiently diverse? Can similar questions be differentiated? Which ones?


  1. View and discuss the CONFETTI WAY OF WRITING THE LITERATURE REVIEW video during lab or class time. The video shows them how to write a literature review.
  2. Review your assignment instructions with them so they are clear on how their course work ties in with the Research Scholar Script Form.
  3. Give a library search instructional session on the following:
    • Searches for discipline-based research sources
    • Value of overview material for researching a topic (specialized encyclopedias)
    • Online searches
    • Differences between popular and scholarly sources

    You could arrange in advance to have all or part of the instructional session delivered by library staff, if available. This is highly recommended for teachers new to teaching or unfamiliar with the library’s resources.

  4. Show them examples of literature reviews and have them do some simple exercises on summarizing and citing sources.
  5. Manage their Research Scholar Script Formwork as follows:
    • At regular intervals, confer with each individual or discipline to see how far they have advanced with their Research Scholar Script Form. Ask them to have their work accessible at all times.
    • Provide a friendly reminder that even though they are operating in collaborative teams, much of the Research Scholar Script Form is individual work.
    • Troubleshoot problems they may be encountering. They encounter problems with finding and evaluating sources, summarizing, extracting relevant information, synthesizing, formatting and raising questions.
  6. Request to see written drafts of the Literature Review before launching into the Decision Circuit activity.

Step 7


  • You may find yourself having to rally the Research Scholars to move on to the second major part of the Research Proposal – the Method Plan. After drafting the Literature Review, the Research Scholars may feel as if their work is done, which is obviously not the case.
  • The Decision Circuit activity is a handy way for propelling them through this part of the proposal process.
  • Carefully study the Decision Circuit as it will be used by the Research Scholars to design the Method Plan portion of the Research Proposal. It consists of three decision boards that are clustered around a series of Method Plan questions with choices offered under each question. A glossary of terms is provided.
  • The Research Scholars directly input their DC decisions into the Research Proposal Template, following the instructions in Step 7 of their Research Scholar Script Form. A written version of the Method Plan will be generated from this template material.
  • Consider particular ways that you may want the Decision Circuit activity used. You may decide to restrict the proposals to desk-type research designs or encourage designs that are typical to each discipline.


  • Since the Decision Circuit will be used by the Research Scholars, take time to navigate through this material with them, explaining the main touchpoints. Relate the DC materials to the course materials such as the textbook. Show them sample Method Statements from existing studies. This is also the time to explain specific ways to navigate the DC. If you want each discipline proposal to reflect the perspectives and methodologies unique to each discipline, provide support for this.
  • Play and discuss the audio recording on how to use the Decision Circuit, with special emphasis on the iterative decision-making process required for research planning.
  • Schedule some class or lab time for the discipline groups to meet and collaborate. Consider asking the Research Scholars to design two plans (Plan A and Plan B), from which a single plan will emerge.

Step 8


Ask to see each of the Research Scholar Script Forms to verify that the research plans are moving forward at around the same pace. Spend time with those whose forms are sketchy or incomplete.

Convene informal panel sessions to present and review the research plans. The hope is that by coaxing Research Scholars to openly discuss their Decision Circuit plans, they will firm up and formalize their ideas. The cross-fertilization of ideas will provide the peers with a chance to provide feedback and support. Weak choices or poorly formulated justifications can be picked over before the plans are written up formally.

  • The panel sessions should consist of around four to five students and can be discipline-based or multidisciplinary, depending on your goals.
  • Begin with brief descriptions of Decision Circuit decisions and then open the panel for discussion.
  • Choose a moderator for each panel.
  • Consider asking the panellists to present two plans – Plan A and Plan B. The relative merits of Plan A and Plan B can be weighed and even voted on by the fellow panellists.

Step 9


  • Assist in the assembly and the writing of their entire Research Proposals. Review the assignment parameters and the requirements for the written Research Proposal with them.
  • Verify their use the Draft Proposal Checklist provided in Step 7 of the Research Scholar Script Form and help them to attend to any gaps or omissions identified in the checklist.
  • Inform the Research Scholars when and how you expect the draft written Research Proposals to be delivered for the upcoming Internal Grants Review.


  • Design a brief exercise with a few sample Research Proposals or Method sections of a research study.

Step 10


You will convene and monitor an Internal Grants Review. This should be scheduled during the final two weeks of a six-week version of the scenario.

The Internal Grants Review is intended to provide the Research Scholars with a competitive advantage in external grant competitions. It connects scholars across disciplines, in multidisciplinary peer exchanges, on Research Institute proposals.

It should improve the quality of proposals and enhance the success rate for grant acceptance in the highly competitive funding environment of the Collegiate Contest.

All Institute proposals must be submitted to this internal review prior to being submitted for formal evaluation and external funding competitions (e.g., the Collegiate Contest). The Internal Grants Review involves two sessions:

  1. Reviewer Report Sessions (30 mins)
  2. Response to the Reviewer Report Sessions (45 mins)


A Reviewer Report Panel session consists of three Research Scholars from different disciplines. Each panel member’s draft proposal is critically reviewed by the two fellow panellists.

Each Research Scholar is responsible for providing a copy of their draft proposal in advance of the scheduled session.

Using the ten-item Peer Review Report Form, the Research Scholars review the two draft proposals they have received before the scheduled panel session.

At the panel session, the Review Reports are delivered in hard copy to be presented and discussed for 45 minutes.

The written reports are required to prepare the Reviewer’s Response.


Responses to the Reviewers’ Reports are discussed in a follow-up session with the same peers.

Each Research Scholar prepares, in advance, a Response to the Reviewers’ Reports, using the eight-item Response Form below.

The Responses to Reviewers’ Reports are presented and discussed for 30 minutes.

Each peer should summarize their Response based on their answers to the eight question prompts. Then an open and free exchange of ideas should ensue. The Response session is informal in structure, operating more as a friendly exchange.


  • Schedule the sessions at different times, perhaps dividing the sessions into thirds, with each group meeting at the same time for about 30 to 45 minutes. This keeps noise levels down and makes it easier for you to monitor the exchanges.
  • Ensure that each session starts on time and is running smoothly and that everyone is focused and remains on task.
  • You will have to determine how to organize the sharing of documents – proposals and reports. Hard copy is the safest and most flexible form for in-class exchanges such as these.

Step 11


  • Schedule about an hour’s worth of class time for the students to revise their work in an open lab setting. Invite them to ask questions of each other and you on an as-needs basis.
  • Advise them on the importance of responding to the revision requests. Scholars who respond well to revision requests should have little trouble having their proposal endorsed for external competition. This may even motivate them to put extra effort into revising the proposal and becoming involved in the Collegiate Contest.
  • Ensure that, if they have not done so already, they account for their revisions in Step 8 of their script form, Post-Revision.
  • Explain how the Research Proposals can qualify for endorsement for external competition.


  • To add some structure to this open lab activity, ask them to bring questions stemming from the feedback generated during the Internal Grants Review. You could assemble them into separate groups – each focused on a shared problem such as the thesis or limitations. Ask in advance or at the beginning of the class which problems they are having and build the groups from there. Consulting with them in separate problem-area groups is easier than dealing with each case on an individual basis.
  • Once the final revisions are complete, you can either determine endorsement by setting a simple performance standard for the proposal (e.g., a minimum grade of 75%) or qualify the proposals in a more involved panel-like session as was done for the Reviewer’s Report.
  • As a reviewer, you recommend the proposal be:
    • Accepted with few or no adjustments – rated outstanding
    • Accepted with some minor adjustments – rated excellent
    • Accepted with improvements – rated very good
    • Rejected with an invitation to resubmit after major revisions – rated underdeveloped
    • Rejected with an invitation to consult with the Research Director – rated seriously flawed

Step 12


  • Remind the Research Scholars what is due, when it is due and how it must be delivered
  • Collect the required work, which likely includes a completed Research Scholar Script Form and a revised Research Proposal.
  • Clearly distinguish between individual and group work, as this is occasionally a source of confusion.
  • Evaluate student learning based on the evaluation criteria and grade weight value originally established at the beginning of this script.

Step 13


  • Since the Research Institute scenario is a perfect way to produce proposals with a competitive advantage, submit the best proposals to a competition.
  • If a Collegiate Contest is not in place at your institution, then you may want to consider setting one up. It only takes a few colleagues to agree to set up the framework for the Collegiate Contest. Most of the required materials are available in the Collegiate Contest scenario (role-play scripts, contestant forms, rules…).