What is the difference between Source Project and other research opportunities at Binghamton?
There are many ways to gain hands-on research experiences for Binghamton students. One way are course-based research programs, such as the Source Project, others are summer research programs, independent study courses, or volunteering or working as a research assistant. Some examples of course-based research programs at Binghamton University are Freshman Research Immersion and Summer Research Immersion, both of which include STEM fields only, or the Independent Undergraduate Research in the Humanities course which is for juniors with a GPA of 3.6 or above, or sophomores recommended by the Equal Opportunity Program or Student Support Services.
The Source Project is Binghamton University’s new course-based undergraduate research program that offer freshmen hands-on research experience in humanities and social science. It is an invitation only program that is only offered to freshmen during the admissions process. Invited students need to enroll in one of the research streams of the Source Project by the beginning of their first semester at Binghamton University.
What are research streams? How does the selection process work?
The Source Project offers various two-semester research stream sequences that students can indicate interest in enrolling in. Past and current research streams are listed on the website. Students can indicate their interests when they apply and we will assign streams after students enroll in Binghamton.
How does the two-semester plan actually work?
Enrolled students will take a four-credit course in the fall semester and another four-credit course in the following spring semester.
What do the courses entail?
In their first semester, students will practice different steps of academic research ranging from learning core concepts of a topic to developing research questions and engaging with scholarly arguments in oral and written forms. Depending on the research stream, the course may cover different disciplinary approaches to theoretical frameworks and respective methodologies of inquiry as well as various types and forms of evidence that may be used to study key research questions about human life, from the past to the current day.
Spring semester is the research-intensive part of the two-semester sequence. While the nature of the research projects that students might work on will depend on the research streams they are enrolled in, each student will have a hands-on research experience throughout this semester. The projects in the spring semester will be conducted using academically established and emerging methods of inquiry fundamental to the humanities and social sciences. The results of these projects will be presented and disseminated in varying public platforms such as Binghamton University’s Undergraduate Journal, Undergraduate Law Review, annual spring conference, Research Days, and other public-facing, interactive platforms.
After the completion of the Source Project program students will end with a research portfolio of their work of two-semesters that shows what they discovered and how; thereby enabling them to transition to becoming producers of knowledge instead of being mere consumers of it.
What are some of the benefits? Do the courses fulfill my General Education (Gen. Ed.) requirements? Are there any scholarship opportunities?
These courses will satisfy general education requirements and in some cases, will count towards a major or a minor. Different research streams will fulfill different parts of Gen. Ed. requirements, such as N (social science), H (humanities), O (oral communication), or G (global). Students of Source Project’s streams will get invaluable experience by conducting academically recognized research projects and presenting their work to audiences outside the classroom which provide them with transferable skills as well as personal growth, in their first year of college! Our students present work in our annual Research Days and can publish in undergraduate journals—impressive resume items that can help students begin their careers in graduate school or the workplace. All students at Binghamton are eligible to receive funds from Undergraduate Research Center (URC) to help support their research and creative work. Source Project students will be well-positioned to apply for Binghamton University’s fellowship program for undergraduates, Summer Scholars and Artists Program, as well as external programs for summer, post-baccalaureate or graduate programs. Staff at the URC can assist students with these applications.
What is the transition like from the first to the second semester?
The Source Project’s research streams are course-based. The transition from the first to second semester happens smoothly since it is built into the academic curriculum. However, as the spring semester builds immediately and specifically off of what students have studied during the fall semester, students might expect a higher momentum of moving forward with their own research projects for a very independent and exciting semester.
What is the time commitment and workload for this course?
Source Project research streams are two-course sequences, each of which are four credits. The time and work a student needs to put into it is no different than any other 4-credit course. The standard for any 4-credit course is three hours of class time a week with about 9 hours of course related work outside of the classroom.
How much work goes into the projects?
The time students should allocate for their research projects is included in the 12 hours per week that is required for a 4-credit course.
Does the course entail hands-on research or book and library research?
The program entails both. The methods of inquiry in each research stream require both generating new data and evidence to analyze and interpret from specific disciplinary lenses as well as conducting literature reviews using the library’s book catalog or the online databases that our library is subscribed to.