IDST 184: Research Beyond Academia

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“Research Beyond Academia” is a one credit pass-fail course designed to introduce students to research as it is practiced by researchers in the triangle and beyond. Researchers working in state and federal government (e.g., the Environmental Protection Agency) as well as researchers in for-profit and nonprofit organizations (e.g., the Research Triangle Institute or the North Carolina Museum of Art) will address the students in this class. As guest speakers, they will be invited to discuss their research and the development of their careers. Following each guest lecture, there will be a brief question and answer session, during which time students can discuss ideas and ask questions informally of the guest speaker and with each other. Students who are engaged in research also discuss the value of those experiences and offer advice about getting started and finding a mentor. This course meets one of the requirements of the Carolina Research Scholars Program.

Previous presenters in IDST 194 have included speakers from Carolina Performing Arts, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, GlaxoSmithKline, NC Child, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, NC Geological Survey, NC Justice, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Public Impact, Quintiles, Redhat, RTI, and The Conservation Fund.

Is IDST 184 different from IDST 194?

Yes. IDST 194: Modes of Inquiry focuses on researchers within the academy. Also, enrollment in IDST 184 is limited to a select group of students from the Excel@Carolina program.

Either course can fulfill the first requirement for the Carolina Research Scholar Program.

How is IDST 184 different from other seminar courses?

Most seminar courses are focused around particular topics involving one or a small number of disciplines. IDST 184 is designed to introduce you to a wide range of research careers outside the academy. You will meet professionals in the Triangle and beyond who will discuss their research and career paths. These lectures will be followed by brief, informal discussion, as is customary in seminar courses. These informal discussions are a fantastic opportunity to find out more about how knowledge is made in fields that may be familiar and/or new to you.

What will we be doing?

In this course, teams of students will interview presenters and post a short bio on the course Web site. Each week, the student hosts will introduce the speaker, lead the seminar discussion, pose additional questions to the speaker and student participants as needed, and start the reflection forums. You will also be learning about how undergraduates can get involved in research, scholarship and creative endeavors.

Will this be a difficult class?

The challenge of this class will be the many disciplines represented. The speakers will use many different styles of engaging your participation, and you may feel that you have a better background for some of the sessions than for others. But this diversity is also the reason that this class may be of particular interest to you. You will also learn how to contribute to a discussion and have the opportunity to get to know research professionals from outside the university environment.

How will I be graded?

Your grade will be based on attendance, seminar participation, your team’s speaker interview and the reflections you post on the course Sakai site. This course is available for pass/fail credit only.