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Special Topics: Intensive Research in Health and Humanities (3). Prerequisite, ENGL 268 and/or permission of the instructor. Overall 3.0 GPA required. Lab-based introduction to interdisciplinary research methods. Includes participation on faculty-directed research teams and development of new, student-generated projects. Requirements: keeping a laboratory notebook, developing individualized research questions, writing and submitting a grant proposal for funding. Repeatable for six credit hours.

Key elements of the course:

  • Students will be actively involved in one of two current studies that involve running therapeutic writing classes for 1) women with diabetes and 2) elderly individuals weathering a life transition such as moving to a nursing home or recuperating from the death of a spouse — or, students may work singly or in teams to develop and conduct their own research projects in consultation with the instructor
  • There will be a reasonable number of carefully selected readings on methods and pertinent topics: ENGL 695 is meant, however, to be a hands-on research course, not a heavy reading/literature course. Keeping a lab notebook will be the core ongoing assignment (rather than writing formal essays).
  • Students will be invited to a standing lab team meeting Friday 12:20-1:10 or 1:25-2:15.
  • There will be frequent visiting researchers (e.g. Dr. Michele Rivkin-Fish in Anthropology, Dr. Amy Weil from the Med School, Dr. Eric Juengst from the UNC Center for bioethics)
  • Students will develop their own research proposal and apply for a SURF (summer undergraduate research fund) grant — though there will be no requirement that the student take the grant if they have other plans for summer 2016.