Planning a Project

As you plan a Mentored Advanced Project, you should begin by thinking about the scope and desired results of your culminating scholarly or creative project. MAP applications must include a specific off-campus venue in order to be considered. Students will not be held to this venue, but need to have a goal in mind.

The interested student and potential faculty mentor should discuss

  • different possibilities for the project,
  • the student's educational goals,
  • the student's course history as preparation for the MAP,
  • how the project fits into the student's four-year academic plan, and
  • how the project can connect with the faculty member's areas of interest in scholarship and/or teaching.

The student and faculty mentor need to consider

  • the methodology and timetable for the project;
  • how often they would meet;
  • the type of final product resulting from the MAP (in the case of a two-semester MAP, the student must provide the mentor with gradable work in both semesters); and
  • what resources would be needed to carry out this project.

Students are expected to write a 20-25 page paper as the product should be advanced and demonstrate quality work.

MAP Credits

The Mentored Advanced Project takes place under the direct and continuous supervision of a Grinnell faculty member. The project must comprise a total of 4, 6, or 8 credits, with no more than 4 credits earned in a single semester or summer. Although a MAP component may earn 2 credits (for example, you might follow-up a four credit summer MAP with a two-credit MAP in the fall where you finish up the research and write the final draft of a research paper) there are no 2-credit MAPs. Background or preparatory work is best pursued as a regular Independent Study in advance of the MAP. The MAP proposal, including a description of all components of the project, should be submitted at the time of registering for the first component. Multi-term MAPs should begin with a 4-credit component. Please see the summary of the Curriculum Committee's Resolutions for more details.

Faculty MAP Report and Compensation

Faculty must file a report at the conclusion of the MAP. An on-line version of the report can be found at MAP Report Form. These reports are due one month after grades have been submitted. Compensation will be forfeit if the report is not completed within four months of completing the MAP. Multi-term MAPs require a report for each semester. See also: Compensation

Clarification of Roles: Co-directorship versus 2nd reader

When a MAP is co-directed, it is assumed that both advisers share equal responsibility in mentoring the student. In a co-directed MAP, both directors guide the development, design, execution and evaluation of the product, each submit individual reports and both faculty members split the MAP compensation.

A second reader evaluates a draft of the product and gives feedback to the student and mentor. Second readers do not receive compensation.

Dates to Remember

Faculty
Date Due

Application for Summer MAP funding
1st Friday in February

Summer MAPs also require the submission of a student MAP application
See Registrar Dates to Remember for application deadline.

299/499 Report Form

On completion of 299 or 499 (two reports needed for 2-part projects)

Frequently Asked Faculty Questions

How do I get funding for my summer MAP?

  • Funding requests need to be submitted to CSFS by the 1st Friday in February. Indicate on the Grant Request Form that you will be directing a MAP.

Is there a limit to the number of MAPs I can direct in a semester?

What is the difference between 299, 399, and 499s?

A really great student has just asked me if I will supervise a summer research project. It is a very good project and I think that he would benefit from the experience, but the summer is the only time when I can write for long uninterrupted periods! What should I do?

  • The College recognizes that summers are essential to our faculty members' own research programs; their research must come first. Clearly, it is your choice whether to agree to serve as a mentor, whether the MAP takes place during the school year or the summer. You are never obliged to conduct a MAP and there may be many reasons why you choose not to do so. Supervising a summer MAP will take plenty of time and attention and requires the mentor's presence on campus, so faculty members should think long and hard before accepting any obligations that will compete with their own summer research and writing agenda. Student-initiated summer MAPs will be rare, and students should be aware of this if they propose such a project.

Now that MAPs are regularized, do I have to file a MAP report?

  • Yes. MAPs are regularized, but they are still in the process of being defined. The College will need more feedback from faculty mentors as we continue to work on better serving MAP students and their mentors. The faculty report form is short and fairly simple. It can be found at MAP Report Form and can be filled out and submitted on-line. Compensation for MAPs is not allocated until after the faculty member submits a report for each MAP completed under his or her supervision that semester. Faculty members who choose not to complete the MAP Report Form will forfeit compensation for that project, including extended sabbatical leaves.

Are MAPs now the only kind of independent research project that a student can pursue?

  • Students can enroll in (and you can supervise) 399s and 397s. In special circumstances, some faculty members also supervise 299s.

My student didn't appear on my grade sheet. Why?

  • If you don't receive a grade sheet for your MAP student, then your student isn't registered for the MAP. Contact the Associate Deans' Office for help.

What's the difference between co-directing a MAP and acting as a second reader?

  • When a MAP is co-directed, it is assumed that both advisers share equal responsibility in mentoring the student. In a co-directed MAP, both directors guide the development, design, execution and evaluation of the product, each submit individual reports and both faculty members split the MAP compensation. A second reader evaluates a draft of the product and gives feedback to the student and mentor.