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Research Independent Study

Are you ready to make an original contribution to the field of earth and ocean sciences?  One of the best ways to learn what it is like to be an earth scientist, is to participate in a Research Independent Study under the guidance of a faculty member, usually as part of their research groups.

How do I know which professors are offering a Research Independent Study?
All EOS faculty members (e.g. professors, lecturers, and research scientists) offer research independent study but not necessarily every semester.  Contact the faculty member you wish to work with to find out whether they are available during the semester in question.

What topics are available for Research Independent Study?
To find out what kinds of scientific research is done by the faculty of the Earth and Ocean Science Division, peruse their individual lab websites.  If you find something of interest, contact that faculty member to find out what kinds of projects you might get involved in.

What format does a Research Independent Study take?
That depends on your adviser. At minimum, you will be required to write a substantive paper or report, summarizing the nature, original contribution, results, and importance of your research. Your adviser should meet with you every two weeks, or more frequently, to discuss the topic, answer any questions you have, guide your research into the topic, and suggest further readings. Research Independent Study is generally much more rigorous than an Independent Study and will require more dedication and time on your side to complete.  Be sure you discuss a faculty adviser’s expectations, grading criteria, and set clear deadlines during the first week of your study.

How many Research Independent Studies can I take?
You can take as many research independent studies as you wish, however, only TWO of these can be used to fulfill electives towards the EOS major.  A minimum of two research independent studies are required for graduation with distinction in EOS.

I am not an EOS major, can I still do a Research Independent Study in EOS?
Yes, but whether and how the Research Independent Study will be counted towards your own major is up to that program’s Director of Undergraduate Studies.

How do I sign up on DukeHub for Research Independent Study?
You will need to contact your faculty adviser or Amy Kirkland to receive a permission number to enroll in the faculty member’s EOS 393 Research Independent Study section.  For a second Research Independent Study with the same faculty member, enroll in their EOS 394 section.

Can I do a Research Independent Study in EOS at the Duke Marine Lab?
Yes, with the consent of the EOS Director of Undergraduate Studies and the faculty adviser of your choice. Enroll in EOS 391A for EOS Research Independent Study at the Duke Marine Lab.

Do I have to produce original research as part of my Research Independent Study?
Yes, this is the main criteria by which we distinguish between an independent study and a research independent study.  If you are unsure about whether your work will produce original research and results, consult with your faculty adviser before deciding on either independent study or research independent study.

I am not yet a junior or senior, can I still do a Research Independent Study in EOS?
Possibly. This depends on your course history, academic performance, and prior knowledge of the subject matter.  Freshmen and Sophomores must be cleared by the EOS Director of Undergraduate Studies before embarking on a research independent study.

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EOS 393 Research Independent Study. R Individual research in a field of special interest under the supervision of a faculty member, the central goal of which is a substantive paper or written report containing significant analysis and interpretation of a previously approved topic. Open only to qualified juniors and seniors by consent of director of undergraduate studies and supervising instructor. Instructor: Staff. One course.

EOS 393-1. Research Independent Study. R See EOS 393. Open to qualified juniors and seniors with consent of instructor and director of undergraduate studies. Half course. Instructor: Staff. Half course.

EOS 393A. Research Independent Study. R Marine Lab version of EOS 393. Offered at Beaufort. Instructor: Staff. One course.

EOS 394. Research Independent Study. R See Earth and Ocean Sciences 393. Open only to qualified juniors and seniors by consent of director of undergraduate studies and supervising instructor. Instructor: Staff. One course.

EOS 394A. Research Independent Study. Marine lab version of EOS 394. Offered at Beaufort. Instructor: Staff. One course.