Scholarly Inquiry and Research at Emory (SIRE 200) and Professionalism in Research

This is where I’ll post course documents and other relevant material for students in my SIRE classes.

Mentor-Mentee contracts

Success in the research setting depends on having clear goals, an action/training plan, and solid communication/coordination with the other members of the research team. To get everyone started out on the right foot, we ask all student-mentor teams to draft a contract. This is meant to make expectations and goals for the research assistantship explicit, and to make sure everyone is clear about their respective research protocols. Here is a template, to start you off- modify however you and your mentor see fit.

Summer SIRE capstone presentation

The capstone project for all SIRE students is a talk on your research project. For current students, the talk will take place Tuesday July 28th from 9AM-2:30 PM. Note that all students must submit their talk abstracts by July 14th and their draft version of the talk by July 17th. Please note you’ll present a poster on your research in the fall research symposium (more on posters below), but there is *no final paper* for the SIRE program.

Assignments and Projects

Intellectual Autobiography. The purpose of this assignment is to develop a coherent personal narrative for how you reached your current research interests. In a sense- this is the unabridged version of what can later become a personal statement- this we encourage you to err on the side of including more information/experiences that might possibly be relevant as you go to tailor statements for targeted opportunities/applications. Here is a worksheet for those who would like help starting out writing their intellectual autobiographies.

General information about professionalism in research

Requesting Letters of Recommendation.

Check this site for thorough guidelines for requesting letters of rec from your professors/mentors. I would emphasize that as you contact potential recommenders, it is important that you are asking whether (not assuming that) they would be able to write you a strong letter. Note that while the author of these instructions may be willing to write letters with two weeks notice, that is generally not an acceptable time frame. You should be contacting people with a minimum of one month until the deadline. In the event that a mentor agrees to write you a letter, do everything you can to make this process easy for them- provide them supporting materials reminding them how awesome you are.

Research Posters

Please check here for poster guidelines and examples. Here’s SIRE’s general information about the poster session as well as poster printing instructions. Note that all 2014-15 students must register their poster for the symposium here by April 11th (poster doesn’t have to be ready for this step, but abstract does). During the poster session, judges will most likely be ticking off a rubric much like this one. Here is a blog post where I discuss grounded cognition and offer presentation tips based on recent findings in cognitive psychology.

Building a reference database and library for your papers

Mendeley is excellent freeware for creating a library of your journal articles (like iTunes for your papers). You can highlight and write in notes on articles as you read, tag keywords.  In addition, they have a plug-in that makes it behave like EndNote, allowing you to cite the references in your library while you write (in microsoft word) and automatically compiling a bibliography of all citations.  Tutorial videos below.

1) Getting Started with Mendeley

2) How to Add References to Mendeley

3) Using Mendeley for Students Part 1

To add files to your database: I recommend creating a folder where all your pdfs of papers will live. You can then drag and drop all files directly into your Mendeley desktop. Note that if you move files around after loading them into your mendeley library, you’ll have relink the pdfs to the references by hand- so don’t let them languish in your download folder.

EndNote allows you to create a reference database for easy citation/bibliography as you write. Tutorial videos below.

1) Intro to EndNote (for Mac)(for PC)

2)  Importing references from PubMed into EndNote (video here)

3) How to Use EndNote in Microsoft Word- cite as you write and have it automatically generate and format your reference section/bibliography (video here)

Training in Responsible Conduct of Research

All students must complete the online training certificate in Responsible conduct of Research (RCR- Social and Behavioral emphasis). While the content can be a little dry and some of it might seem intuitive, it is clear from a spate of recent incidents, that these things do not go without saying. A single misstep can compromise your entire project or even your research career. Remind me to tell you some horror stories!

So- only those working directly with data from human subjects need to complete the CITI behavioral research training. And everyone needs to complete the responsible conduct of research module

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to create a log-in on the CITI site:  (make sure to affiliate with Emory university). From there you should have the option of enrolling in the Social and Behavioral Responsible Conduct of Research module.


Extra help with writing: In addition the feedback from your instructors and research mentors, the Emory Writing Center is open all summer and is a great place to get feedback on these drafts (especially your introduction, methods, and abstracts!). They’re also really helpful for things like personal statements for those of you who will soon be applying for things. They do require appointments- make em here.

Extra help with statistical analyses: Just like the writing center, Emory’s Institute for Quantitative Theory and Methods (QTM) offers support for students figuring out statistics at any stage in a project (even step 1a- figuring out what kind of analyses would be appropriate). During summer help desk sessions are available by appointment only- go for it!  Book and appointment or find out more here.

Reimbursement Procedure for SIRE meal grocery runs.