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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 are collaboratively led by a sponsoring CAP member and an HCDE faculty member.

The sponsor and faculty member work together to decide the topic, coursework plan, and lead the group. DRGs require a high level of involvement from the CAP member and therefore provide the greatest amount of interaction with students and faculty. 

How it Works

After working with the department to find a faculty member who is willing to sponsor that particular research group, the CAP member will work with the faculty sponsor to draft a detailed plan of how the research group will work. The faculty sponsor 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 CAP Member

  • The CAP member 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 CAP member 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 Sponsor

  • The faculty sponsor working with the CAP member is responsible for:
  • Working with the CAP member 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
  • Gathering the class list and forwarding it to the research group leader
  • Ensuring that student credit hours align with DRG work requirements
  • Submitting the students’ final grades

Who Can Enroll in HCDE Directed Research Groups

Participation in a DRG is restricted to students who have been approved to do so by the faculty sponsor. They include students in HCDE matriculated programs (i.e., BS, MS, and PhD programs).

UW Catalog description of a Directed Research Group (HCDE 496/596): Students, working in teams under the supervision of individual faculty members, review relevant literature, pose research questions, design and conduct studies, and present the results in papers prepared either for submission to a professional journal or for presentation at a professional conference. Credit/No Credit only.

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