Research Directors encourage students to become part of a co-curricular Contest to choose the Grant Holder with the best Research Proposal. They facilitate student involvement in the Contest either as Contestants, Judges or Ethics Board Reviewers. They also help Contestants align their Research Proposal with the Contest requirements and sponsor student Contestants by attesting to having supervised some or all of the Contestant’s Research Proposal work.
Research Directors must be teachers who have taught in Québec’s CEGEP Social Science Program and supervised the production of a Contestant’s Research Proposal.
Step 1 - GET ORGANIZED
- To sponsor a prospective Contestant, you need to have supervised some or all of the work on the Contestant’s Research Proposal.
- Proposal work could have been completed during previous semesters or in the context of the other two TRC scenarios – the Fund$ Game and the Research Institute. If you plan to have your students write up proposals in your current course, be sure to coordinate the completion of the proposal work with the submission deadline.
- Decide on the mechanics for sponsoring Contestants or involving students. Either invite a few students (past and/or present) on an ad hoc basis or have your entire class participate in the CONTEST. Bear in mind that this scenario was not designed for you to assign a grade for participating in the CONTEST per se or for all students to qualify for the Contest.
- Inform the students and other prospective Research Directors how you plan to participate in the Contest.
Step 2 - REVIEW THE CONTEST REQUIREMENTS
Step 3 - OBTAIN ETHICS COURSE CERTIFICATION
- Go to your college’s portal for information on research ethics and research boards and find out what is required for student research at your college.
- 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.
Step 4 - PROVIDE STRUCTURED FEEDBACK ON THE EXISTING PROPOSAL
Review the Research Proposal(s) being considered for sponsorship and provide a couple of concrete measures that can be taken to improve the Contestant’s chances of winning the Contest. This could also be done as a peer review exercise modelled on the Research Institute’s Internal Grant Review. In providing feedback, consider recommending some of the following measures:
- Add more descriptive detail to the title, especially regarding …
- Provide a more cogent reason for choosing the topic; consider such things as …
- Re-organize the literature review by …
- Consult the CONFETTI WAY to write your literature review.
- Look to the DECISION CIRCUIT for suggestions on …
- Clarify the reasons for choosing this particular research question (thesis or hypothesis).
- The sampling plan seems overly ambitious and could be …
- Consult your methods textbook regarding this method to identify a few limitations.
- What do you think about using method X as opposed to method Y?
- … could be considered unethical; consider …
- Maybe you could analyse the data using …
- Write more about what you expect to find and your goals or objectives.
Step 5 - USE CONFETTI WAY AND DECISION CIRCUIT TOOLS
- Ask to see the Contestant To-Do Checklist of improvements for their existing proposal. This is recommended in Step 3 of their Script. This should include:
- Identifying content that requires modification after consulting key design tools on this website, particularly the CONFETTI WAY for the Literature Review and the DECISION CIRCUIT for the Method Plan.
- Spend some one-on-one time showing the Contestant the features of these design tools (CONFETTI WAY and DECISION CIRCUIT).
- You could ask them to commit to a deadline to complete the To-Do list and have them report back to you with an update.
Step 6 - ASCERTAIN ALIGNMENT WITH ETHICAL RULES
- Make sure the proposal meets the ethics guidelines before signalling your agreement to sponsor it.
Step 7 - ADVISE ON LETTER OF INTENTION
- Consider having the students work on a draft version in a peer review session first.
- You can then give your reactions to the Letter of Intention in a few words.
Step 8 - FINAL CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE SIGNING
- Communicate any missing or weak elements with the Contestant and request that these be addressed before you sign off as sponsor.
- If the Contestant is not able to adequately address problems, you may choose to defer or withdraw your sponsorship.
Step 9 - FOLLOW UP
- If the Research Proposal that you supervised and sponsored is selected as the winner, you will be contacted by the Lead Research Director. The Secretariat Staff will probably want to include your name in the official website announcement.