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Propose a Research Topic

The department of Human Centered Design & Engineering conducts Directed Research Groups (DRGs) every academic quarter. DRGs consist of registered HCDE students and research topics may be proposed by an industry or community partner.

How it Works

After working with the department to find a faculty member who is willing to sponsor that particular research group, the external partner will work with the faculty member to draft a detailed plan of how the research group will work. The faculty member will then submit a title/description/time of the research group to the department at least 6 weeks before the start of the academic term for the research group. 

Responsibilities of the external partner

  • The partner should work with the sponsoring faculty member to define expectations, roles, and responsibilities related to leading the group. These arrangements should define:
  • Who will attend which research group sessions
  • Who will coordinate student activities, respond to student requests/concerns, etc.
  • How student activities will be tracked in order to ensure that credit can be appropriately assigned to students by the faculty sponsor
  • How the external partner will participate with the research groups
  • How intellectual property will be handled for the work generated by the research group (please note that UW's CoMotion is available to address related questions)

Responsibilities of the HCDE faculty member

  • The faculty member working with the external partner is responsible for:
  • Working with the external partner and communicating with them regularly throughout the quarter
  • Ensuring that the DRG’s activities align with the educational mission of HCDE and the University
  • Attending weekly class meetings
  • Reviewing and approving/denying requests from students who seek to join the group
  • Ensuring that student credit hours align with DRG work requirements
  • Submitting the students’ final grades

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