Stage 2 is designed to help you explore your thesis interests and begin your engagement with faculty, with the goal of finding a mentor or making significant strides toward finding your mentor. If you enroll in the Stage 2 course, you will also hear from students and faculty with recent experience in the thesis process. You do not need to have a thesis idea to be in Stage 2.

Stage 2 requires that you complete four tasks, outlined below. These tasks lay the groundwork for the thesis. We encourage you to complete Stage 2 early in your HC career, and we’ll send you occasional reminders to complete Stage 2 until you have done so. If you have questions about when to begin Stage 2, contact your HC academic advisor. If your plan has changed and you need to update your Thesis Plan, see the Thesis Plan update.

How to Complete Stage 2

Option 1: Register and complete the HC 408 Stage 2: Explore & Build course

OR

Option 2: Complete the tasks in Stage 2: Explore & Build independently. These tasks are described below.

To successfully complete Stage 2, utilize the resources available to current students on the HC Academic Advising Canvas page and connect with your HC academic advisor anytime you need support.
Task 1: CITI Ethics Training

The Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) is an online training program that all students must complete prior to participating in research. CITI training provides an overview of topics related to ethics in research and takes approximately three hours, but can be completed in multiple sessions. You can begin this training anytime during Stage 1 and 2, and you can begin other Stage 2 tasks while simultaneously completing this training. 

Once you complete your training, upload your certificate of completion to: IRB certificate collection

Note: This does not give you overall IRB approval for future projects. Later in the thesis process, you and your mentor should discuss if your project requires further training or IRB applications.

Refer to the HC Academic Advising Canvas page for resources to assist you in registration and training selections.
Task 2: Attend a Faculty Research Showcase

The Faculty Research Showcases are an excellent way to connect with faculty members, learn more about their research and potentially get involved in projects that could be the basis of an HC thesis. Even if you don’t yet feel ready to begin research or are not sure about your interests, attending these events helps you to explore opportunities and make connections. 

If you are completing Stage 2 independently, the HC requires that you attend a Faculty Research Showcase. If there are extenuating circumstances creating a barrier to attending a showcase, connect with an HC academic advisor for an alternative assignment. This task will require additional work from you to achieve the same objectives as attending a faculty research showcase. Showcases are offered each fall and winter term.

RSVP for a Research Showcase 

Past HC Faculty Research Showcases

Task 3: Identify Faculty

By compiling a referable list of faculty, you will have a resource to help you complete the faculty interview and to support you in finding a mentor and topic. You will draft a list of five faculty members that you feel could support your thesis exploration or development. This list will note key information about the faculty:

  • Faculty name, contact information and university connections (college, department, research groups)
  • Notes or comments you have written related to this person
  • Why you are interested in talking to this faculty member in particular
  • How you think they could support your thesis exploration, process or development
Refer to the HC Academic Advising Canvas page for resources and templates to assist you in completing this task. 

Submit your completed list here

Task 4: Interview a Thesis Mentor-Eligible Faculty Member

Talking with faculty will support you in the process of choosing a mentor, introduce you to different mentoring styles and clarify what you may want to pursue for a thesis. In addition, the faculty interview can help you: 

  • Learn about what research looks like in your area(s) of interest
  • Find out about a faculty member’s specific research
  • Discuss what drew you to an area of research and how the thesis might help you achieve your future goals
  • Hear about a faculty member’s path to their current professional position
  • Learn about a faculty member’s past mentoring experience and/or mentoring style
  • Brainstorm project ideas based on your interests and/or the interests of the faculty member
  • Find out about any background work or exploration the faculty member would suggest based on your area of interest
  • Develop or refine your thesis ideas
  • Get a referral to another faculty member who might be able to better support your thesis pursuits
Preparing for your interview will help you make the most out of these interactions. You should refer to the HC Academic Advising Canvas page for resources to support your engagement with faculty and to prepare for the interview. 

After your interview, complete this survey.