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Queen's University
 

Master's Research Project Guidelines

The Masters Research Project is an optional component of the MIR program. The essay, written under the direction of a faculty supervisor, provides students with the opportunity to pursue independent research in an area of particular interest to them. This may involve an evaluation of a policy oriented issue, a limited empirical project, a critical analysis of theory, policy or related literature in industrial relations, or research relating to an issue in labour law. 

The Research Seminar course offers students another opportunity for support with the development of the research essay and ideas about possible methods of inquiry. 

Research Ethics Guidelines

Students whose research involves the study of an organization (e.g., a case study) or individuals (e.g., interviews; survey research) are required to submit their research proposal to the School's Unit Research Ethics Board (UREB) for review. Students are responsible for learning about and complying with the university research ethics guidelines.

The purpose of the review is to ensure that research subjects are fully aware of, and agree to, the use of information or data collected, and to ensure their rights to privacy are respected.

The University has a central department that oversees compliance of all Ethics Guidelines and that is a main depository for all proposals and other documentation collected during the course of research.  This is known as the General Research Ethics Board through the Office of Research Service. You can explore its structure and find forms and further ethics information HERE.

Role of the Supervisor

The research supervisor plays an important role in the development of the research proposal. The supervisor offers guidance and instruction to the student throughout the research process. The research paper is undertaken in fulfillment of the requirements for a credit course and the supervisor assigns the grade in the course. 

It is important that students work to develop positive working relationships with supervisors. Students are encouraged to discuss research proposals with more than one faculty person to determine a good choice of supervisor.

Your research supervisor is always your first and main person for consultation on your research essay. Your supervisor will determine the standard for quality, workload, and other expectations (e.g., timeline for completion at each stage of the research project) for the completion of the research essay. It is therefore important that the student and the supervisor develop a clear understanding of these expectations.

Candidates and Supervisors should consult the School of Graduate Studies and Research resource page on Graduate Supervision:   http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/forstudents/supervision.html

Research Paper Evaluation

Grade Assignment

The essay is assigned a grade by the supervisor and then the research paper is also submitted to a second reader for assignment of a grade. The identity of the second reader is confidential and students should not expect to learn the identity of this individual.

The research paper must receive a passing grade from each of these readers in order for the research paper to receive a passing grade in the course.  

Students may be requested to make further editorial and substantive changes to their research paper as a condition of receiving a passing grade for the research paper. It is important to note that only after all revisions have been checked by the supervisor, will the student be deemed to have successfully completed their research paper requirement for the course.

Completion Policy

Once all revisions have been successfully completed and approved by the Supervisor, the Supervisor will certify that the research essay requirement has been successfully completed.

The student is also responsible for providing one electronic copy of the MRP work- file, and one paper copy to the MIR program.

Dates and Timelines for Completion of the Research Essay

Arriving at the right place, at the right time, during the MIR MRP research and writing, will require each student to plan an MRP timeline with their supervisor. Your research supervisor is always your first and primary person for consultation on your research paper, including for receiving assistance in the research process, and in determining reasonable timelines for completion.

Completion of the MRP is dependent on the workloads and schedules of the student, the supervisor and, toward the end of the process, the second reader.  Allowing each party a reasonable amount of time to complete the task required must be part of planning the timeline. 

Establish working guidelines with your supervisor early in the relationship.  Ask questions about such things as expected turn around time.  Travel, holidays and other personal deadlines should be factored into the timeline.  Faculty research, conference, university administration and public service commitments take place year-round and do not typically diminish during the spring or summer semesters.

While the timeline that the student arrives at must be worked out between the student and their supervisor, and typically depends upon the nature of the research, and time commitments and schedules of all concerned, experience over the years suggests that the following type of timeline should be the objective:

Key Dates Milestones
June 1
  • Complete Draft copy of MIR research essay available for review by the Supervisor
  • Supervisor provides further comments and student undertakes further revisions
July 15
  • Research Essay Graded by Supervisor
July 31
  • Second Reader Receives Research Essay for Review and Grading
August 15
  • Comments and Grade received from Second Reader
  • Student works to successfully address comments from Second Reader
August 31
  • Supervisor   reviews of all revisions and corrections and accepts them as having been satisfactorily completed.
  • Student submits final research essay to SPS
September 1-7
  • Program completion status reviewed and prepared.

By the end of August, students who find themselves behind in the timeline for completion of the research essay may simply not be in a position to complete this program requirement in time for Fall convocation. A new class of MIR students will be in the School in September as the program begins anew. As Fall teaching begins, faculty involved as Supervisors and Second Readers, and SPS staff, all take on new commitments – so your timeline for the timely completion of the project should fit within the one-year duration of the MIR program. The School of Graduate Studies requires that program completion be achieved by September in order to be eligible for Fall convocation.

If you have not met the deadline for completion, you must remain registered in the School of Graduate Studies. You will be assessed student fees for the new Fall term.  Should you complete prior to the end of the term, the fees may be prorated.  

School of Policy Studies, Robert Sutherland Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.3020