International Development Studies Minor

Research Project

The research project typically takes place the summer after junior year. Students should take the IDS research methods 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 to guide them through the research and senior essay writing process (see senior essay requirements).

Through the research project, students are contributing to the objective of the international development studies minor by:

  • conducting original research in a developing country that seeks insights to real-world challenges;
  • critically examining the causes and consequences of extreme poverty;
  • working with people in local settings to investigate obstacles to human welfare and dignity.

Students are generally expected to be at the research site for a minimum of six weeks. Exceptions can be made but will need to be approved through the junior review process at the end of March. 

The research project will normally take place in the developing world. In very exceptional cases, it might be conducted at an international development organization or  the “developed world” if a strong case can be made that the research is grounded in a real developing-world challenge.

Students typically apply to the Kellogg Institute for funding, and are expected to apply for grants from the many other sources at Notre Dame or elsewhere to fund their field projects.

Students are 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 and units. 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 Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) to strengthen their proposals. See to learn the details.