As a CIS major, your senior thesis or capstone is a significant part of your experience and it is important to stay on track with planning and key milestones/deliverables during your junior and senior years.
CIS Research Presentations
September through March 2021-22
Formerly the CIS "lunches," these gatherings are a beloved CIS tradition. For 2021-22, the CIS Presentations are scheduled to be in person. The Center will make adjustments (such as switching to Zoom, for example) as necessary to follow Davidson College COVID guidelines. The CIS research presentations are a great opportunity for interdisciplinary majors and their advisers to get to know each other away from the office or the classroom. The majority of our presentations will be from CIS senior majors in the midst of their thesis research. These presentations are a requirement for seniors in order to gain feedback on their work and practice oral presentation skills. Occasionally, faculty or visiting scholars will offer presentations. Juniors attend these lunches to learn more about interdisciplinary research projects and to ask questions of their fellow CIS majors. These presentations provide useful examples for juniors as they begin to write their prospectus. Please note that if you are studying abroad during junior year, you are not expected to attend the presentations.
CIS Presentation Schedule 2021-22
The 2021-22 presentation schedules for fall and spring will be posted during the academic year.
Ongoing, students schedule with their advisers
As a CIS major, you should meet frequently with your advisers. Every semester, advisers complete progress forms to inform the CIS director of students’ progress. During the junior year, majors should use those meetings to design their thesis or capstone research plan. You may also wish to discuss funding plans for research or travel related to your work as many CIS majors will use a portion or all of their summer after junior year to work on the senior projects.
Various due dates
As you search for funding options for your research, please look at the following Davidson College resources:
- Dean Rusk International Studies Program Travel Grants
- Undergraduate Research—including Abernethy, DRI, Davidson Research Network, Kemp, NSF, Research in Science Experiments, Vann Fellowship in Biomedical Ethics, and R. Craig and Sheila Yoder Applied Research
Write in January and defend by Friday after spring break.
The prospectus should be a 4-6 page document that outlines your topic, defines the proposed final product (thesis, paper, creative work), and details the research & methods you will use to achieve that outcome. Be sure to include a preliminary title, identify the central question your project will address, and clarify how your work is unique. Attach to the prospectus a bibliography of at least one page (single-spaced) that lists relevant sources upon which your work will engage.
Early in Spring Semester, the CIS Director will host a workshop on the junior prospectus in conjunction with the Writing Center. Attendance is strongly encouraged.
Prospectus Defense for Thesis or Capstone
Due Friday after spring break
By February you should send your prospectus to your CIS advisers and one additional faculty member. You should also schedule a time to meet with all three professors for your prospectus defense. This allows you to receive feedback on your ideas and incorporate that feedback into the project. Specifically, your professors will provide guidance on research design, planning for grants, finalize methods or theoretical underpinnings, and plan research trips. At the end of the defense, when your advisers have approved your prospectus, they will need to complete the CIS Prospectus Form (Davidson login required) and send to the CIS Director and CIS Program Coordinator. The Prospectus due date is March 25, 2021. The CIS Director does not attend prospectus defenses.
Please note that all CIS Juniors are required to write the prospectus and hold the defense. Those students in study abroad programs will need to make arrangements well in advance to use Zoom or another virtual platform for the defense.