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Research Introduction Courses

IDST 184: Research Beyond Academia

“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. This course meets one of the requirements of the Carolina Research Scholars Program, and the majority of seats are held for students from the Accelerated Research Program.

In this class, 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) are invited as guest speakers to discuss their research and 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.

Previous presenters in IDST 184 have included speakers from  the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, GlaxoSmithKline, the Injury Prevention Research Center, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the Environmental Protection Agency, UNC Hospitals, NC Justice, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Public Impact, Wasserman Media Group, Lenovo, RTI, and The Conservation Fund.

IDST 194: Modes of Inquiry

“Modes of Inquiry” is a one-credit pass-fail course open to all students (no prerequisites). This course meets one of the requirements of the Carolina Research Scholars Program, and the majority of seats are held for students from the Accelerated Research Program.

Students learn to “host” faculty speakers who will discuss their original work, how they became interested in the field, the methods they use, the satisfaction they derive (and the difficulties they have faced), and how undergraduates can get involved. Students interview faculty prior to the class, and post a background summary on the course website. Students who are engaged in research discuss the value of those experiences and offer advice about getting started and finding a mentor.

Previous presenters in IDST 194 have included Jeff Sekelsky (Biology), Jodi Magness (Religious Studies), McKay Coble (Dramatic Arts), Mitch Prinstein (Psychology), John Bruno (Marine Sciences), Frank Baumgartner (Political Science), Adrienne Erikcek (Physics), Mariam Braunstein (School of Medicine), Malinda Lowery (Center for the American South), Brett Whalen (History), Daniel Kreiss (Media & Journalism).

The OUR invites faculty participation. If you are a faculty member interested in contributing to the class, we would love to hear from you (our@unc.edu).

If you are interested in taking either IDST 184 or IDST 194, please email Bob Pleasants (bpleas@email.unc.edu). While most seats in these courses are reserved for students in the Accelerated Research Program, other students can request to be added to the waitlist.