Beginning the S&D process can seem daunting. Students often have questions concerning selecting a project, identifying a mentor, and whether Track choice has implications for one's long-term career plans. In determing your path through the S&D curriculum, there are factors to consider while creating an appropriate plan. If you still have questions after reading the following guidance, please complete and submit the S&D Inquiry Form.
When students make their interests overly specific, it often becomes difficult to locate fitting projects. Before beginning the S&D process, it is important to contemplate broad interest areas where you seek growth. Once you have determined your wide scope of interest, you can begin searching for a mentor who works within these areas.
In selecting a mentor, it is important to ensure that your mentor is "CAPE" - 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 finding a mentor of best fit. The ideal mentor has one or more projects that are of interest to you, offering a work load that is reasonable for completion within your time frame as a student.
Considering the limited amount of 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. Jumpstarting a Do It Yourself (DIY) project is not very easy and should be pursued with caution.
Some projects may be very high risk. If so, it is best to discuss the "backup plan" with a mentor just in the case the project is never fully initiated or completed. Successful mentors often have many projects on which students can work, ensuring that a plan B is in place from the outset.