One of the principal goals of the McNair Program is to assist Scholars in becoming top-notch researchers in their chosen fields. We expect a great deal, but only by expecting a great deal can we transform the student into a scholar. Research is an essential part of preparation for doctoral study. By completing a major research project, Scholars become a very credible candidate for top-notch graduate schools. Moreover, having such an experience places Scholars "ahead of the curve" when applying to graduate school.
The Inquiry Seminar presents science as a way of knowing and serves as an early introduction to the scientific literature and professional development skills. Students who take this seminar are prepared with the skills to engage in an independent research experience with faculty. Topics include ethics and scientific misconduct, the importance of writing papers and grant proposals, searching the primary literature, interpreting data, writing a survey of literature, preparing scientific posters, and giving scientific presentations. This is a writing-enhanced course.
INDV 360: McNair Research Internship I is designed to introduce students to the experiential knowledge of research methods across an array of academic disciplines and through methodology appropriate to their fields of specialization. Students who complete this 3-week internship will improve their ability to review readings within the scholarly literature and develop a reasonable working knowledge and understanding of a specific topic of their choice within it. They will be encouraged to seek out and recognize problems in current or past research, and then think creatively to generate and explore new questions arising from those problems. Students will, in consultation with their McNair faculty mentor, propose a thesis or research question and construct a viable research design for its analysis. They will also be able to effectively communicate their ideas and rationale for their research using PowerPoint presentation software, and present their proposal in a public forum. Students will gain practical experience in the step-by-step process of constructing a research proposal. To ensure successful completion of the internship, students will attend weekly seminars on research methodology and professional writing and two library research workshops. The finished proposal will subsequently afford them greater confidence to pursue and complete INDV 460: McNair Research Internship II.
INDV 460: McNair Research Internship II is designed to advance students' understanding and experiential knowledge and practice of research from the base knowledge acquired in McNair Research Internship I. In this 10-week internship, students will update their review of the scholarly literature in their approved proposal, revise their research questions and design, collect and analyze data under the guidance of a faculty research supervisor in their discipline. Students will gain practical experience in the step-by-step process of implementing a primary research proposal. After conducting their research they will develop a 15 -20 page manuscript detailing their methodology, results, and conclusions. Students will also effectively communicate their research findings in a public forum using a PowerPoint presentation. To ensure successful completion of the Internship, students will attend weekly seminars on research methodology, statistics & computing, and professional writing, taught by various Truman professors, and participate in three mandatory time-on-task meetings with McNair staff based on monthly progress reports from faculty research supervisors. The completed research project will subsequently afford them greater confidence for pursuing future research activities at the graduate level. As part of the Internship, students will also attend seminars to help them prepare for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) through content and strategy review of the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytic Writing sections of the test. As part of the Writing Seminar, students will also develop a Personal Statement for use in applying for graduate school during their senior year. Participants in INDV 460 are expected to submit their completed manuscripts for presentation at a regional or national McNair Scholars conference. They also submit their completed manuscripts for review and possible publication in the refereed McNair Scholarly Review of Truman State University.
In addition to our residential summer research programs at Truman, students have conducted summer research at other locations, such as Harvard University, Kansas State University, University of New Hampshire, Ames Research Laboratory, University of Tennessee, University of Oregon, and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory.