Identifying a Project

To identify a successful S&D project, it is important to consider...

What are your BROAD interests?

When students make their interests overly specific, it often becomes difficult to locate projects. Before beginning the "S&D process," it is important to step back and take a large perspective, really contemplating what broad topics might be of interest to you. This flexible mindset will increase the likelihood and ease of you identifying a mentor with a project on which you can work successfully.

Is the project FEASIBLE?

Considering the time that you have, is it possible and practical to complete the project? Will this project require funds in excess of those already obtained by you or your mentor?  Due to these logistical limitations, it is often best to join an ongoing project or consider undertaking a smaller component of a larger project. Initiating a Do It Yourself (DIY) project is not very easy and should be pursued with caution.


Some projects could be very high risk. If so, its good to discuss with a mentor the "backup plan" in the case the project is never fully initiated. Successful mentors often have many projects on which students can work.

Is your mentor CAPE?

It is important to ensure that your mentor is Capable, Available, your Project is of interest to her/him, and s/he is Easy for you to work with. Remember, the key to a successful S&D project is identifying a mentor!