Here you will find the tools and information that you need to present at a conference, write a proposal, or a research paper.
Student Research Proposal Guidelines
The “Scientific/Research Paper”
Scientific Paper - Self Evaluation
Research Paper - Sample
PowerPoint Poster Instructions
PowerPoint Poster Template
PowerPoint Poster Notes
1. Students who are being paid or are receiving credit are asked to develop a 2-4 page Research Proposal within six (6) weeks of beginning their research experience. Double spaced, 12 point font.
(2) Background & Logical Context;
(4) Clear statement of the general question and the specific objectives;
(5) Methods that will be used, explanation of how the methods will provide the data necessary to answer the question;
(6) Key references to relevant published work.
2. Students are expected to complete a typed research paper at the end of their research experience and submit it to this office at the end of each semester.
Your written final report should correspond to the following format, that of a scientific paper. Your text should be typed double-spaced, in a12 pt serif font and not more than 15 pages in length. Tables and figures do not count towards the page limit. You should discuss your project as fully as is merited, but, as with submissions to scientific journals, readers will not look with favor on discursive, overblown manuscripts. For more information than appears below, consult any of numerous texts on scientific writing such as:
Day, Robert A. 1983. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. ISI Press, Philadelphia, PA. 181pp.
Perry, Carol R. 1991. The Fine Art of Technical Writing. Blue Heron Publishing, Hillsboro, OR. 112pp.
Committee on Form and Style of the Council of Biology Editors. 1972. CBE Style Manual. American Institute of Biological Sciences, Washington, D.C.. 297pp.
State why you chose your particular project; tell why it is of interest or worthy of the attempt. State the explicit hypothesis (or hypotheses) that was (were) tested.
Give sufficient details of methods (including information on materials used) to allow someone to duplicate your work, especially with respect to those factors that may have had major effects on results. Note any special problems and how you overcame them (e.g., protein precipitated unless pH was buffered).
Present a summary of your data. This is where you cite your figures and tables. Graphs will usually be most appropriate for showing your findings, but data summaries (do not reproduce all your data) may be tabular. Include any non-quantitative observations in the text. Describe the analysis of the data including any statistical tests performed.
State your conclusions. Was your null hypothesis rejected? How much confidence may one have in your results; how reliable are your results? Have additional questions been raised? Have you satisfied the objectives of your project? If you were to try to do the project again, would you do it differently?
Table and Figure Legends
Each table and figure should be cited in the text of your paper, and should be accompanied by an explanatory text legend. The legend should explain enough so that someone reading only the legend can fully understand your table or figure. Include the meaning of any abbreviations used.
TITLE AND INTRODUCTION
• Does your title briefly and precisely indicate the focus of the work?
• Does your introduction define the main topic of the work and tell what is known about it?
• Do you conclude your introduction with a clear question or questions that the work is to answer?
• Would your description of methods allow a reader to exactly duplicate your work?
• Do you clearly indicate how many independent samples were collected?
• Are routine procedures over-described, but modifications of them or procedures unique to your work not clearly described?
• Have you described your calculations?
• Are your quantitative results presented in an appropriate table or figure?
• Have you overwhelmed or confused the reader by including information that is simply a step along the way to the calculation of your results?
• Have you reported the VARIABILITY among replicate samples?
TABLES & FIGURES
• Do your TABLES consist of labeled columns with information arranged within them by row?
• Are your FIGURES either pictures or graphs?
• Are tables numbered consecutively and figures numbered consecutively? Are they cited in the text of the abstract?
• Is each table and figure accompanied by a legend consisting of a “title” (in the form of an incomplete sentence) and an explanation of the contents? Do you clearly explain the meaning of any abbreviations?
• Could a reader understand your work by perusing ONLY the tables and figures?
• Are all AXES of graphs correctly labeled with UNITS indicated? Is the meaning of different symbols stated in the figure legend?
• Is there some indication of VARIABILITY (either plotting all individual observations, or (best) showing the standard deviation or standard error with error bars) on your graph?
• Is your conclusion justified by the results that you have presented? (Make sure to consider the VARIABILITY among replicates before concluding that you think categories are likely to be different!)
• Have you discussed why you may have gotten the results that you obtained?
• Have you avoided stating that you “proved” your idea of what you’d find? (After all, you’ve examined just one occurrence of the phenomenon!)
• If you failed to get results or think that your results are not reliable, have you indicated why and said what you would do differently?
• Standard poster size is 48 ” width x 36” height. Make sure you check the dimension requirements for your particular event.
• If in a program, you must acknowledge the program. Ex: “My research has been supported by the NIGMS/HHMI Bridge Program.”
• Be careful with too much text.
• If your mentor is not listed as an author, you should acknowledge he/she in the Acknowledgments section.
• Do not put two UM logos, for example the general UM logo and the Sylvester logo. You only need one or the other.
• All tables should have a heading above them, and all figures should have a labeled legend beneath them.
• To save on ink, posters should have a white or very light background.
• To convert a PowerPoint poster to PDF: For Macs, print the poster to a file and specify printing as a PDF. For windows, you will need Adobe Acrobat, the full version, which you can download from http://miami.edu/software - it’s under “Graphics, Design and Web Tools” as “Adobe Acrobat Professional TSL Program”. Once that is installed, you will have aPDF printer listed under your printers section.