Human Brain Chart

Academic Programs

The Senior Project

In your junior year, you will describe your plans for senior project taking into account your preparation, and the Psychology Program will match you with an appropriate advisor. For students receiving a degree in the Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing, the project must take the form of (A) an empirical study (with associated paper) or (B) a detailed proposal for an empirical project. For the latter, the proposal should be on the model of a grant proposal, and should include all potential measures, detailed data analytic plans and predicted results section (see below for more detail).  Seniors should not be enrolled in an Advanced Methodology course, except in unusual circumstances and with prior approval from faculty.

Senior Project is a unique opportunity at Bard College that provides Seniors with a year-long intensive academic experience in which you gain expertise in an area of particular interest to you.  Regardless of the type of project you choose, your question must be novel, in an area of strong interest to you, and grounded in your academic background.

Project Milestones

  • o Regular (e.g., weekly) meetings with Senior Project Advisor – You should consider your meetings with your project advisor as a regular class time. Attend meetings prepared! 
  • o Senior Project Statement – You should submit a short description of your project (about 1 page) in which you: 1. State your research question; 2. Indicate whether you plan to complete the SSt or SM&C model; 3. Indicate whether you plan to collect data, and if so, describe your plans for doing so and estimate your expenses. 
  • o Senior Project Midway Paper – Your midway paper should describe the background and significance of your work.  In some situations, other information may be included such as research design, specific methodologies, or other project plans.  Midway papers should be at least 10-12 double-spaced pages of text, in addition to your cover page, references, appendices, etc. 
  • o Senior Project Midway Meeting – Your meeting with your committee is an  thoughtful and detailed your proposal is at this point, the better feedback the committee can offer. If necessary, you may submit (working closely with your advisor) an IRB proposal before your midway board, but you may not begin data collection until after the board meeting. This meeting must be timed so that faculty feedback can be integrated into any potential IRB revision. 
  • o Midway Senior Project PowerPoint Presentation  – You will deliver a 5-minute presentation to the program faculty and your peers. Spring Senior Is will either deliver this presentation to their board or as a Program colloquium. 
  • o Final Senior Project Poster Session – You will present a poster with other SM&C majors at the end of your Senior II semester in RKC.    
  • o Final Senior Project Board – You will meet with your board and discuss your submitted Senior Project. Students graduating in the SSt Division will deliver a 15 minute presentation at the beginning of their final board meeting. 

  • Institutional Review Board (IRB)

    The role of an IRB is to foster ethical treatment of human research participants. Before IRBs were instituted as a national standard, some researchers conducted studies that resulted in serious and unwelcomed consequences for the participants. For these researchers, the potential gained knowledge overshadowed the harm done to the participants. IRBs have since been instituted to make sure a balance exists between harm to subjects and potential gain.

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    Senior Project Funding 

    Students may request funding from the Program to assist with their senior projects. To make such a request, students must submit a written memorandum including a detailed justification and budget via email to the Psychology Program Chair by the end of their Senior I semesters.   

    To be reimbursed for approved expenses, students must submit:

  • 1. A final record of all expenses incurred; 
  • 2. All original receipts to the Psychology Program Chair by May 31 of their graduation year. If students use funds for subject payments, they should submit (a) a form with signatures from paid subjects (in the case where multiple subjects are paid a set amount); (b) a cancelled check as proof payment and an email acknowledgement from the subject reading "I certify that I won the lottery associated with [Senior's name] senior project, and have received $XX as payment."  (In the case where subject payment is via lottery); or (c) a copy of the receipt for a lottery gift card.
  • 3. A completed check request form (
  • ♣ List your own name under “vendor” and the address where you want the check to be mailed.
  • ♣ “Department” is Psychology.
  • ♣ Leave the account number blank.