Lead Research Directors must be teachers who have taught in Research Methods in Québec’s CEGEP Social Science Program. From recruiting players to convening meetings, the Lead Research Director is in charge of the overall operations of the Contest team of Judges, Research Directors and Ethics Board Reviewers, who vet high-quality student Research Proposals in a fair and professional manner.
By reaching beyond the confines of a single classroom to include learners and teachers from multiple courses, a Lead Research Director creates “a holistic learning ecosystem" as defined in Blessinger (2013). Learning-Scapes: Cultivating Meaningful and Sustainable Learning Ecosystems. Higher Education Tomorrow, Volume 1, Article 5.
Step 1 - ALIGN AND RALLY
- Read the Collegiate Contest materials.
- Confer with fellow teachers, staff and administrators about the prospects for hosting the Contest. Find out what kind of resources are available to support such an activity. The Lead Research Director has the heaviest workload; consider release time from teaching or share responsibilities among a number of people.
- Find out about the required procedures and policies for research at your college by consulting your college’s portal.
- Since the other players are required to obtain the research ethics Certificate of Completion, you should as well. Take the self-paced Tri-Council Policy Statement TCPS 2 Tutorial.
- Align the Contest requirements with local conditions.
- Rally support. Encourage fellow Research Methods teachers to get involved. Invite other college members (staff, other teachers and administrators) who take an interest to apply as Judges or Ethics Board Reviewers.
Step 2 - ORGANIZE
- Draft a working schedule for the Contest in concert with the Judges, Reviewers and Research Directors (your team).
- Finalize schedules and set deadlines.
- Create email address(es) and instructions for application.
- Determine file protocols for the applications, especially the Research Proposals.
Step 3 - OPEN THE CONTEST
- Send out invitations; include dates and contact information.
- Solicit participation.
- Send friendly reminders.
- Inform students and teachers/staff/administration of the requirements (e.g., logging hours and obtaining the signature of a teacher) to earn service credits for the Québec-wide volunteer service program.
- Select a few Judges and Reviewers from among the applications, based on the following considerations:
- Quality of the Letters of Intent
- Balance among participating groups (students, teachers, staff, administrators)
- Inform applicants of acceptance or rejection.
- Convene first meetings for Judges and Ethics Board Reviewers.
Step 4 - DEVELOP A COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
- Provide clear contact information for the Contestants and Research Directors. They need to know the best way to contact you.
- Liaise with the Judges’ Communication Officer and the Chair of the Ethics Board, especially when the proposals are going through the first and second readings.
- Send out reminders; respond to questions and direct queries to the relevant bodies and individuals.
Step 5 - MANAGE THE JUDGE AND REVIEWER EVALUATIONS
- Collect the Contestants’ Research Proposals.
- Triage the proposals; disqualify proposals that do not meet the basic requirements.
- Code proposals that qualify; remove names and other identifiable information such as student numbers and teacher name.
- Send the coded Research Proposals with the Letters of Intent to the Judges’ Communication Officer, requesting that they be put through the first reading within ___ days.
- After the deadline, ask the Judges’ Communication Officer to send you the short-list of proposals and the evaluation forms.
- Send the short-listed Research Proposals to the Ethics Board Chair, requesting that short-listed proposals be put through the ethics review within ____ days and that the decision be communicated to you.
- Send the short-listed proposals that pass the ethics review to the Judges’ Communication Officer, requesting a second reading within ____ days. Ask them to communicate the decision concerning the winning proposal to you.
Step 6 - INFORM AND REPORT
- If there is a misunderstanding or grave error in judgment, do not immediately announce the results of the Contest.
- Ask for the Ethics Board Report to be delivered to you as verification that due process and fair procedures were followed.
- Formally announce the winner and contact the Secretariat Staff once the designated winner has signed and agreed to the GRANT HOLDER terms.
Step 7 - FOLLOW UP
- Ensure that the Judges and Reviewers dispose of the Contestant Research Proposals.
- Confirm that the Secretariat Staff has received the required materials from the Grant Holder.
- Remind the players of the requirements to earn service credits for the Québec-wide volunteer service program.
- Arrange for Research Work of Outstanding Merit award certificates to be printed out and ready to deliver for convocation in June.