Preparing your Research Proposal
If you want to be funded through PRISM for your undergraduate research, it is important that you and your mentor create a proposal that follows our guidelines. Guidelines for FOS or CSIS students might change , and it is required that you adhere to the format described to apply for funding. You can download a Word file of our new general guidelines here:
These guidelines are in line with what you can expect from any agency that funds research projects, so understanding them is a good preparation for graduate school and a career in the sciences.
Research Proposal Templates
Starting fall 2014, PRISM Research Proposals must be submitted using the templates provided below. You must use this template to submit your proposal. You can copy and paste into it, or work in the template directly. The main text in your proposal must be in Arial font, size 12, double-spaced. Please make sure you use correct scientific nomenclature, that you indicate the proper name of a term before presenting acronyms or abbreviations, and that you use proper grammar and spelling. Feel free to use JJay’s Writing Center before submitting.
There are three versions of the template:
- Research Proposal Template_with examples for FOS students: has the instructions for each section of the proposal, and examples of these sections using a fictional scientific project. To use this template, delete the content of each section and either paste your section from another document or work directly in there.
- Research Proposal Template_with Instructions for FOS students: only has the instructions for each section.
- Research Proposal Template_CSIS for CSIS students: only has the instructions for each section.
Research Proposal Information
If you plan to conduct research this summer with your mentor, you must submit a research proposal to Dr. Sanabria-Valentin or Dr. Raquel Castellanos (for CJA students) on the assigned dates. This applies to both new and continuing research projects. We request that you submit only a digital copy of your proposal to Dr. Sanabria-Valentin by e-mail (email@example.com) for review, and bring a signed (by you and your mentor) printed copy of the coversheet alone during your paper-work signing session the week after. The cover must indicate the number of hours which you and your mentor have agreed to do research.
Please save the proposal using the following convention for the file name:
Be aware that stipend funds are increasingly limited and following the guidelines will be a major consideration. We might contact you to “fix the proposal,” at which time you will have 48 hours to return the proposal to us with the requested amendments. Non-adherence to the new guidelines will result in loss of funding for the fall period.
Resources on the Web to Help You Write your Proposal
Primers in writing scientific nomenclature: These websites offer tips on the correct way to write scientific terms like species’ names, chemical compounds, and biologically-active macromolecules.
- Biological nomenclature: wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/page/scientific-nomenclature
- Chemical nomenclature: http://www.iupac.org/home/publications/e-resources/nomenclature-and-terminology.html
Using RefWorks to create a bibliography: John Jay’s Lloyd Sealy Library provides students with access to the web-based service RefWorks. RefWorks is a bibliographic citation management service that is useful for tracking citations, generating bibliographies & citing sources in papers, etc. RefWorks is provided by the Sealy Library through the student technology fee.
- Link to RefWorks in the Lloyd Sealy Library website: http://guides.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/refworks
Using GoogleScholar to obtain formatted citations: GoogleScholar now allows you to get a formatted citation for your results in one of the popular documentation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA, and others). First, search for your citation in GoogleScholar (scholar.google.com). Under the title and abstract, look for the word Cite. Click on it and choose your documentation style from the list.
On-line resources about communicating science: Below are some great websites with advice for undergraduate students on how to communicate science effectively.
- Visionlearning: Developed by PRISM Director Dr. Anthony Carpi in collaboration with experts in science education, Visionlearning provides insights into the process of science, provides discipline-specific modules, and has great information on communicating scientific concepts.
- WebGURU: The Web Guide to Research for Undergraduates (WebGURU) is an interactive web-based tool developed at Northeastern University in Boston that is intended to assist undergraduates in navigating the hurdles of an undergraduate research experience.
- John Jay’s Lloyd Sealy Library has a compendium of pages dedicated to help our students do library oand on-line research in various topics. You can find links to some of their resources below.
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects.