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Independent Research

We support and encourage students who wish to conduct independent research, working closely on a project of their own design with a faculty member as mentor or co-investigator.  ENS 399: Independent Research allows students to earn up to 6 credits for this activity. 

Research projects may concern any area of ecological literacy and sustainability, and will generally fall under areas such as sustainable food systems, energy and climate change, water quality, and the cultural and built environment. Proposals often build on research that was initiated in a regular course in the Environmental Studies program. With approval, ENS 399: Independent Research may count as an upper-level elective requirement for the minor.

Proposing a Project and and Registering for ENS 399: Independent Research

Before submitting an independent research proposal you should meet with a faculty member to discuss your project and to ensure that the faculty member is willing and able to supervise it. 

The proposal is submitted to the ENS program using the "Contract for ENS 399: Independent Research" form, available here. You will be asked to provide:

  1. A descriptive title
  2. An abstract of proposed research project (250 words max.) If you have prepared a more detailed research proposal such as a grant application, please submit it with this form.
  3. Number and length of planned meetings with instructor 
  4. Course requirements (exams, papers, reports, projects, etc.)

Once you, the instructor, and the ENS director have signed the form you will be given instructions for registering for ENS 399.

Programs and Funding to Support Research Projects

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) offers services and guidance to promote undergraduate research, such as the Undergraduate Research Fair in the Fall semester, and Student Scholars Day in the Winter semester. Explore the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship here

ENS students may be particularly interested in one of the Sustainable Agriculture Place-Based Project Grants administered by OURS.