Independent Study (HORT 495)
The main purpose of the Independent Study is to give students the opportunity to pursue topics or skills not fully covered in their course work. Students arrange to work with a professor whose research is of interest to the student, and then spend the semester exploring a topic chosen by the student and professor. Activities and assignments will be project-specific and developed by the student and professor.
Steps to Starting an Independent Study
Identifying Potential Research Mentors
Determine what most interests you. In other words, define a research area (for example: controlled environments, pomology, specialty crops, floriculture, human nutrition, analytical chemistry, breeding and genetics). What are you curious about?
Contacting Potential Research Mentors
Email is a good way to make initial contact with potential mentors. By sending an email you give the mentor a chance to review your materials before responding. It is like the first step in an interview, so be sure it reflects your best effort (no spelling or grammatical errors!). If you are comfortable, you may also ask to make an appointment to call or stop by a potential mentor’s office to ask about a research experience.
Meeting with Potential Research Mentors
Be on time, not early or late.
Some of this content was modified from: Branchaw, Janet L.,Butz, Amanda R.,Smith, Amber. Entering Research: A Curriculum to Support Undergraduate & Graduate Research Trainees (Kindle Locations 5826-5852). W. H. Freeman.