Towards the end of the course each student will also be required to write a grant proposal to investigate a particular aspect of a question that arose from one of the two papers the student had prepared for their presentation. This exercise will require intensive writing and will be done in a series of drafts, each of which will be critically reviewed by the professor and the student, until the proposal is at a final draft, which could be reasonably reviewed by professionals at a grant agency. This proposal will require that the student develop a testable hypothesis, propose experiments to test this hypothesis, collect data, evaluate the results with appropriate scientific tools and draw conclusions on the possible results.
The marking of the grant proposal portion of the course rests on 1) the ability of the student to devise a question that can be put into the form of a testable hypothesis, 2) the nature of the experiments that the student proposes to answer this question, 3) how the data will be collected and 4) the methods used to interpret the raw data that will be obtained by the performing of the proposed experiments. The overall writing skills in creating this research proposal will be evaluated by the professor in accordance with the established rubric used by the University for evaluating effective student writing skills.