CVGS Junior Research
Lead Instructor and Mentor: Michele Siegle Coghill, M.S.
Support Instructor and Mentor: Michelle Douglass, M.S.
Junior Research is an exciting and unique course! Each junior will explore a research idea of his or her choosing, translate the idea into a descriptive or experimental study, and work with the idea throughout the year, learning about the various components of the research process along the way.
In the fall, student researchers develop a research question and hypothesis, learn how to construct a materials and methods section, learn how to search for reputable literature sources, conduct an appropriate literature review, and collect data. Students also become proficient in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word, learning how to format their writing and how to analyze research data with both descriptive and inferential statistics.
In the spring, student researchers learn how to effectively communicate their results and then formulate their discussions and conclusions sections. Students also learn the essentials of the effective visual and oral communication of a research report as they design and share Power Point presentations, poster displays, and webpages.
The internship experience is part of the junior research course on 12 Fridays in the spring.
Google Documents is home to the Junior Research folder where all important guidelines, assignments, and activities can be found. Each student is assigned a research mentor who will guide the student through the research process. A Google Calendar provides the students with the daily itinerary for the whole year in research.
Many projects in the junior research course are facilitiated through the volunteer efforts of contributing scientists, engineers, and business people within the central Virginia region and beyond. The research mentors would like to express our thanks to all our many collaborators over the years, and especially to those who are currently support our student research efforts:
Babcock & Wilcox
Hurt & Proffitt
Lynchburg College Psychology Dept.
Partnership for Research and Education in Plants, Virginia Tech
Randolph College Psychology Dept.
Sweet Briar College Biology Dept.
University of Virginia Astronomy and Biology Departments.
VA Department of Enviromental Quality
Research Notebook Organization Guidelines
Each junior will be expected to have a research notebook organized to help keep the student on the research trail!
1. On the cover will be the student's full name and period (alpha, beta, or gamma).
2. The first four pages (2 pages front and back) are for the Table of Contents.
3. Section 1: Brainstorming and Design, should be about 10 pages.
4. Section 2: Mentor Meeting Notes, should be about 15 pages.
5. Section 3: Methods, should be about 10 pages.
6. Section 4: Data Collection and Recording, should be about 20 pages.
7. Section 5: Data Analysis, should be about 10 pages.
8. Section 6: Statistics Notes, should be about 10 pages.
9. Section 7: Literature Notes, should be the remainder of the notebook.
Research Notebook Usage Guidelines
1. Write in pen with no erasing.
2. If you make an error, draw a single horizontal line through the information; you must still be able to read it. 3. You should use both sides of each page.
4. Number each page in the lower outside corner.
5. You must never remove a page from the notebook.
6. Record the date at the beginning of each notebook entry you make.
7. Sign at the end of each entry you make.
8. If you include additional information in your notebook, use double-sided tape, not glue.
9. Once you include something in your notebook, you may not remove it.
Two tardies a semester will be forgiven. The third and subsequent tardies will trigger a one point deduction from the student's semester grade.
Friday Sign in/out:
Friday's are often a time for students to work independently. It is for this reason that students will be expected to sign in and out each Friday morning. Clipboards for sign in/out will be in room 103. The first week, students will be forgiven from signing in/out if they do not remember. Every week after the first week, students will receive a 1 point deduction from their semester grade for failing to sign in or out.
2014 Research Project Summaries
2013 Junior Research Project Summaries
Animal Behavior & Genetics
|Cell and Molecular Biology||Blake Nowakowski|
Chemistry and Engineering
|Energy and Transportation|
Medicine and Health