Directed Research

Guidelines for Designing, Proposing, and Enrolling in Directed Research CCSRE | Updated May 2023

Students may register for Directed Research units under the supervision of a CCSRE affiliated faculty member. Directed Research units offer students the opportunity to conduct original research under the supervision of a CCSRE Senior Lecturer, a CCSRE Associate Director, or a CCSRE Tenure-Line Faculty Affiliate. Over the course of the quarter, students must design and produce an original research project. Research projects vary greatly in scope and medium, but they should be produced in a field and a medium that the faculty advisor is able to evaluate and advise. 

Directed Research units must recognize students' personal research projects and initiatives. Reading and research assignments contained in the proposal must be specific to Directed Research units and may not overlap with the requirements of any other course. No more than 5 combined units of Directed Reading and Directed Research may be counted towards major or minor requirements in CCSRE (including Asian American Studies, etc). Note that Directed Research units may not be used, in part or in full, to compensate for or recognize administrative, teaching, or research labor that serves a Stanford faculty member, instructor, staff member, research initiative, or student group. 

Proposals for Directed Research in CSRE, ASIANAMST, CHILATST, NATIVEAM, or JEWISHST should be written in collaboration with the advising faculty member. Proposals must be submitted to CCSRE Academic Programs by Week 8 of the quarter preceding the proposed Directed Research. The CCSRE Academic Programs will review proposals and notify students and faculty advisors of the status of the proposal by Week 10. Once approved, the instructor of record is responsible for ensuring adherence to the submitted proposal and evaluating student work accordingly. 

Proposal Instructions 

Proposals should be 2-3 pages in length and must include:

  • A narrative of how the Directed Research fits into the student's academic trajectory in CCSRE, including information about the student's preparation. 
  • Desired unit count and an articulation of why the unit count is appropriate (note that each unit of credit must represent 3 hours of work weekly) 
  • A research timetable, including readings, drafts, and intermediary deadlines as appropriate 
  • A schedule of synchronous meetings with the faculty advisor (note that students and faculty members must plan to meet synchronously at least biweekly and must check in at least weekly) 
  • A description of how the faculty advisor will assess the student's progress as well as the final research project
  • Signature of the faculty advisor acknowledging commitment to the proposal, including the schedule of meetings and evaluation structure. 

Any revisions to the proposed schedule must be signed by both advisor and student and submitted to CCSRE Academic Programs in a timely manner. 

Proposals should be produced collaboratively by the student and faculty advisor and must be reviewed and signed by both parties before the submission deadline.