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Senior Projects & The Martin Institute

The Martin Institute and Program in International Studies at the University of Idaho is pleased to offer support and mentorship for area high school students interested in completing their senior projects on international topics. Designed for 10 to 12 students each year, this opportunity permits students to pursue their own lines of inquiry within a framework for research leading to both a paper and a poster presentation and culminating at an event at the UI Moscow campus where your work will be presented to peers and university faculty and staff. The Martin Institute will pay for the costs of printing the poster and provide lodging, meals and some travel support.

How to Proceed

Step One: Inquire with the Institute to see if spots are still available for this year’s cycle. An email or phone call — to or 208-885-6527, respectively — will suffice. Please give us 48 hours to respond but follow up thereafter if you have not yet heard from us. We will accept people on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Step Two: Once you confirm we have capacity to work with you, select the subject area within which you’d like to work. This will help us identify the right student mentor to work with you over the next couple of months.

Step Three: Brainstorm research ideas. Topics must fall under that broad subject area, but that still leaves a great deal of latitude. For example, something under the Peace and Security subject heading could look at general ideas on how to promote peace or ensure security, or could look at any of a myriad of specific examples. Similarly, a topic within the Environment subject heading might lead to research on melting glaciers, desertification, or endangered animals, or look at specific regions such as Antarctica or the Sahara.

Step Four: Together with your mentor, settle on a specific research topic. It must focus on a current issue — it can be informed by history but must be “active” in nature. This is because part of your task will be to propose a solution to whatever it is you are studying. You will be writing something called a policy paper which looks at the issue, looks at the status quo, looks at two to three other ways to deal with the issue and then propose a solution.

Step Five: Write the paper. Your mentor will provide feedback, edits and research suggestions, but this will be your product.

Step Six: Convert your project and findings into a 36” x 48” research poster. As with step five, you will have feedback and latitude to proceed with your own vision in equal measure.

Step Seven: Come to UI for the presentation. You won’t make a formal speech, but rather present your poster and answer questions from the assembled audience over the course of an hour or so.

We anticipate the whole process lasting about six to eight weeks, and will hold the presentation session in Moscow on the evening of Tuesday, November 17. Additional information will be distributed directly to participants, and we will be happy to answer specific questions you may have.

Possible Subject Areas

All proposals must fall under one of eighteen subject areas on the United Nations list of global issues under permanent consideration. There is ample room to formulate something specific under your chosen subject area, and identifying one will help us select an appropriate mentor from the International Studies program. These hyperlinks will take you to the brief overview page on the UN website for that particular subject.

The Martin Institute

Physical Address:
338 Administration Building

Mailing Address:
Martin Institute
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3177
Moscow, ID 83844-3177

Phone: 208-885-6527

Fax: 208-885-9464


Web: Martin Institute