Xavier’s to start undergrad research
St Xavier’s College will next month launch undergraduate research programmes to encourage the spirit of research and innovation among students.
“The inclusion of research in the undergraduate curriculum aims to teach students to think originally and train them in a systematic manner to be competent in research from an early stage,” said Father Dominic Savio, the principal of the college.
“Most of our students are extremely talented. Some have a knack for research. These students often come up with innovative ideas. Some of these ideas can address many real-life problems. Our aim is to nurture the ability to research among potential students… to train them to think originally… to develop an inclination among them to perform high-standard research if they take up research-oriented career in future.”
A committee of senior teachers will be set up to examine the research proposals of students and select the topics through tests. The Park Street institution — which enjoys academic, administrative and financial autonomy — will provide funds for research by undergraduate students.
“Only third-year students and those from second year who will submit proposals on topics relevant to the present time will be allowed to conduct research,” said a teacher of the college.
The departments that are part of the undergraduate research programme include English, Bengali, history, political science, sociology and computer science.
“The college wants to focus on research in humanities because a number of researches in science subjects are being conducted by the doctoral-level students of the college,” the teacher said.
Research by undergraduate students will be different from dissertation as the students won’t be awarded any certificate or degree on completion of their research.
“A student will study in depth the topic he or she has chosen for research. He or she will analyse the information gathered during research and compile them. The whole exercise will be useful to the students because they can choose the same area for doing their doctoral programme,” the teacher said.
After completion of their research, the students will be given an opportunity to present their papers at international conferences to be organised by the college.
The college will start the process of accepting research proposals from students from the semester starting next month, principal Dominic Savio said.
“The head of the departments will mentor the students in their research…. Our target is to select five to six topics from each department every year,” he said.
The college has created a corpus fund of Rs 5 crore which will be used to give financial support to the researchers.
The students who will be doing research will be allowed to visit various places to collect data or do any other work related to the research. The arrangements for the tours will be made by the college, which will also bear the expenses.
Many of the research projects will be interdisciplinary and round-table conferences will be held on a regular basis where researchers from various departments will share data and discuss about the progress of their research.