Dean's Scholars Curriculum

About the Curriculum 

Graphic: Student taking notes during class

The Dean’s Scholars Program provides an intensive research opportunity for undergraduate students who want to distinguish themselves both professionally and academically. Students will develop their research and communication skills as they construct a research project and work alongside a faculty mentor.

The program is a two-year commitment and scholars will be required to take two 3-credit courses and a 1-credit seminar throughout the duration of the program. By the end of the program, students will have a completed research project and will have the opportunity to present their academic research at conferences and submit their final paper to peer-reviewed journals.

Please see below for a semester by semester breakdown of the requirements for the program. For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Dr. Alexander Cromwell, Associate Director of the Dean’s Scholars Program, at [email protected].

The application for the 2020-2022 Cohort is now closed. Applications for the next cohort will open in Spring 2021, and we will hold information sessions for this application cycle in fall 2020 and spring 2021.

 


"In the Dean’s Scholars program, students become intimately familiar with every step of the research process, from conceptualizing their project to conducting fieldwork, to analyzing their data, and finally to writing up and presenting their findings. The experience provides our scholars with skills for tackling the world’s most pressing problems through careful research and analysis."

Dr. Alexander Cromwell

Associate Director of the Dean's Scholars Program


The Curriculum

Junior Year

Summary

  •  IAFF 2101 International Affairs Research Methods (3-credit course)

  • Select research topic & question

  • Develop problem statement, literature review, and research design/proposal

  • Select faculty mentor

  • Participate in Dean’s Scholars events

  • Participate in LEAP Initiative events

  • Scholars are not allowed to study abroad during this semester


About the Curriculum

The first semester helps each student to build a strong foundation for their research project. Students will be required to register for the 3-credit Dean’s Scholars Research Methods course, IAFF 2101: International Affairs Research Methods, with the Dean’s scholars Associate Director, Dr. Cromwell. This course fulfills the Elliott School’s research methods requirement. In this class, students will be introduced to the theoretical groundings and multiple approaches to research in this multidisciplinary field, and will gain an in-depth understanding of the research process. This will include improving each student’s ability to identify a real-world problem that relates to a gap in the scholarly literature, and to form a research question and design a research project that furthers the field in relation to this gap. Working closely with the Associate Director, our program participants will create a feasible research plan to this end.

 

By the end of the first semester, participants will identify potential faculty mentors who are experts in students’ individual research areas. Students and their faculty mentors will be required to sign the Faculty/Student Agreement Form to formalize their relationship and identify clear expectations for the duration of the program.

Summary

  • IAFF 3192: ESIA Dean’s Scholars Workshop (1-credit course)

  • Revise research design/proposal for project

  • Submit IRB request

  • Participate in Dean’s Scholars events

  • Participate in LEAP Initiative events

  • Identify and draft applications for potential fellowships

  • Scholars are allowed to study abroad


About the Curriculum

During this semester, students will take their second required course, the Dean’s Scholars Workshop class, IAFF 3192. This 1-credit course will help students refine their research design and data collection plan. Building on the work they did during the first semester, participants will finalize their research proposal including revising their research question, literature review, and proposed research design and methods. Scholars working with human subjects will also submit their research through GW’s Institutional Review Board to ensure their research is approved before they begin to collect data in the summer of their junior year. The Associate Director and faculty mentors will guide students throughout this process.

Students, their faculty mentors, and the Associate Director will also identify potential fellowships as well as conferences to which the scholars can apply in the following academic year. This will be a crucial time to identify these fellowships and develop a plan for these applications, as the deadlines for many fellowships are early in the fall semester of students’ senior year.

About the Curriculum

Scholars will use the summer semester to conduct their research and collect and analyze data. These activities may include international travel, depending on the project. Each Dean's Scholar will be eligible to receive funding to support this research. During the summer, scholars will also work on their fellowship applications and receive continued guidance from Dr. Cromwell and their faculty mentors.

Senior Year

Summary

  • IAFF 3193: ESIA Dean’s Scholars Seminar (3-credit WID course)

  • Present at Dean’s Scholars Annual Symposium

  • Submit fellowship applications

  • Participate in Dean’s Scholars events

  • Participate in LEAP initiative

  • Scholars cannot study abroad


About the Curriculum

During the fall semester of their senior year, students will take their third and final required Dean’s Scholars course, IAFF 3193: Dean's Scholars Seminar. This 3-credit course counts as a Writing in the Disciplines (WID) course because of the extensive research and writing students will do throughout the semester. Consequently, the class reinforces students' data analysis and writing skills as they complete their final research paper. Students will each also present their final research product at the Dean's Scholars Annual Symposium.

Additionally, students in the program will be supported in revising and submitting their applications for conferences and fellowships identified throughout the previous year. The Associate Director and students' faculty mentors will guide them through the different activities undertaken throughout the semester.

Summary

  • Submit any remaining fellowship applications

  • Present research project at conferences

  • Submit for publication in the Dean’s Scholars peer-reviewed journal

  • Participate in Dean’s Scholars events

  • Participate in LEAP initiative

  • Scholars are allowed to study abroad


About the Curriculum

There are no course requirements for the final semester. Instead, our program participants will focus on presenting their research at conferences and revising their final paper to submit it for publication to the Dean's Scholars Journal, or other peer-reviewed publications. Students will also submit any remaining fellowship applications. This semester concludes the Dean's Scholars Program.


 

Deans Scholars class - the students observe the professor explaining a core concept

 

From Our Students


“This program has provided me with invaluable guidance and research tools that I know will help me throughout graduate school and my future career."

Athena Richardson

Class of 2017



"Participating in the program prepared me to achieve the goals I aspired and gave me the necessary skills to enable me to intern at a prominent think tank and begin a career in IR research."

Grace Headinger

Class of 2017