The research project will normally take place the summer after junior year. Students should try to take a research methods course course by the end of junior year, or by the time they begin their project. Students will be required to have a Notre Dame faculty advisor guide them through the research and senior essay writing process (see senior essay requirements).
Through the research project, students are contributing to the Ford Program's mission by:
conducting scholarship that seeks solutions to real-world challenges;
critically examining the causes and consequences of extreme poverty;
working with people in local settings to investigate that community's obstacles to human welfare and dignity.
The research project will normally take place in the developing world. In very exceptional cases, it might be conducted at an international development organization in the developed world if a strong case can be made that the research is grounded in a real developing-world challenge.
The Ford Program will provide IDS students with partial funding for this experience. Supplementary funding will come from efforts by students to apply for grants from the many sources at Notre Dame or elsewhere. Consequently, planning early will be crucial to ensure that a student can complete this requirement.
Students will be encouraged to begin developing their research interests by taking part in an international experience focusing on development before undertaking their research project. Many grant, fellowship, internship, service, study abroad, and language learning opportunities are available through the Kellogg Institute and through other Notre Dame departments. Starting early with experiences of the developing world, as well as thinking about the research project throughout sophomore and junior year, will ensure that a student can write a strong proposal for funding the final research project.
Students are strongly encouraged to attend Research Workshops provided by the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) to strengthen their proposals. See http://undergradresearch.nd.edu/ to learn the details.