Expectations

I believe research is the best way to learn things. It is one thing to learn established material, concepts and skills within a particular discipline. It is entirely another to learn how to formulate interesting questions, develop plans for answering those questions, execute those plans, analize what was learned in the process, and communicate your findings. When you conduct research, you're exploring questions for which you may not be sure answers even exist. For these and other reasons, research can be daunting but also very exciting and rewarding.

Doing research as an undergraduate is one of the unique opportunities that you have as a Westmont student. If you check around, you will find that undergrads at research universities rarely get to work with faculty members on original research. To publish a paper with a professor is even more unusual.

Because I value research so highly as a part of your education, I am willing to invest considerable amounts of my time in working with you. However, because I am investing considerable time training you in research, I naturally want you to bear fruit of some kind. Thus, I expect certain things from you before we begin and as we proceed. I have created this page as a way of clarifying my expectations. However, view these as general guidelines and not as hard and fast rules.

Before we begin a research project together:

During a basic semester research project:

There are times when funding is available -- either through a Westmont research fellowship or from external sources -- to support paid student participation in research. This typically takes the form of summer research which has traditionally been supported by ten weeks of stipend, plus free housing in the Ocean View apartments. When such funding is available, I expect more of a commitment on the part of students receiving such support. In addition to what is expected before we begin as described above:

If you are interested in working with me on summer research under the above conditions, you should submit your proposal and meet with me as early as possible. The need to register for Spring research units suggests that you contact me before the end of the calendar year. If we agree on a project, then you should sign up for research units during the Spring semester. By the end of Spring Recess, I will select summer research assistants from among those doing research for credit. After the summer, you will register for additional units to continue the research and write submission(s) for publication.