The Nation’s First Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Program

The Randall Research Scholars Program (formerly Computer-Based Honors) is a nationally recognized undergraduate research program which pairs academically elite students directly with leading research professors and cutting-edge computing technology to complete scholarly research projects in any field of study.

Randall Research Scholars

The Randall Research Scholars Program (RRSP) at The University of Alabama has been cited by the National Institute of Education as one of the six most intriguing honors programs in the United States and was the first university-wide undergraduate research program in America.

Randall Research Scholars gives outstanding students majoring in any field the opportunity to work one-on-one with professors while applying computing technology to a research project in their major field of study. Whether you want to be a doctor, lawyer, chemical engineer, marketing executive, or English professor, applying research skills and computing technology to your career field is essential for success.

During their freshman year, students complete an intensive series of courses on technology fundamentals, problem solving, project management and research fundamentals. These essential skills enable students to quickly learn and adapt to new knowledge domains and technical environments required for faculty-directed research projects.  Throughout their sophomore to senior years the RRSP students will interview with faculty and select a project to work on as a research assistant with a faculty member who will act as project director.  Students will typically work on projects in areas related to their academic discipline; however, they may elect to work in an unrelated field to challenge themselves and broaden their exposure to academic research.

Randall Research Scholars Program Information

Admission Information

Project Sponsor Information

CBH Live Information

 

Randall Research Scholars Program Admission

Eligibility

Students eligible to apply for the Honors College (30 ACT or 1390 SAT and 3.5 High School GPA) are eligible to apply for the Randall Research Scholars Program. On average, the 2016 entering class had above a 33 ACT or 1450 SAT and 4.27 GPA.

Application Process

Students can apply through the Randall Research Scholars application after completing the Honors College Application through their MyBama account.

Application Deadline: December 15th, 2017

The selection committee will review the applications to determine the finalists for admission. Finalists are then brought to campus for the interview process. Applicants will be notified of their status during the first week of February. All communication will be through the student’s Crimson email account assigned by The University of Alabama.

Randall Research Scholars Finalist Visit

All CBH application decisions will be emailed to the applicant’s Crimson email account.

Finalist Visit Dates: February 25th & 26th, 2018

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Randall Research Scholars Project Sponsors

Each semester faculty members across campus are encouraged to submit a research proposal using the RRSP Project Proposal Form. Based on their academic backgrounds, interests and the perceived value of the project, RRSP students select a project and meet with the faculty member to negotiate a contract for the scope of work the student is to accomplish during the specified project period. Projects may be worked on by a single student or a team of students based upon the breadth and depth of work to be accomplished. In addition, a project may last one semester or span several semesters provided there are incremental deliverables to gauge the student’s progress.

Selection Process

After selecting a project submitted by a faculty member, the student works closely with that faculty member who serves as project director. The student works with the faculty member to develop a project contract specifying the work to be completed within a specified timeframe. The student immerses him/herself into the research domain and participates in various stages of the research project depending upon the agreed-upon scope of work. The project director is responsible for supervision of the student throughout the project and evaluating the student’s work. Students are required to formally present their work to their peers and project director at the end of the academic semester, and the project director must complete an evaluation of the student using the standard student evaluation form.

Specifications

The role of a Randall Research Scholars student is to serve as a research assistant to a faculty member in a related field of study. The students should participate in the multiple stages of a research projects and develop an understanding of the objectives and value of the research.

Randall Research Scholars students receive three hours of Honors credit per semester which includes research project work and participation in a one-hour weekly RRSP seminar session. Therefore, students should engage in an active learning experience at an accelerated pace.  Students are expected to work 10 to 12 hours per week on the project component. The students are not to be used as employees who only apply previously acquired knowledge to produce a product.

Randall Research Scholars students are not to be used solely as data-entry personnel or library research assistants although these activities may be a portion of their research project work.

Randall Research Scholars students are expected to work with their project director to create and sign a project contract specifying the goals of the research project, activities and deliverables for which the student is responsible, identified risks possibly compromising deadlines or deliverables and the learning outcomes for the student. Students and project directors should meet weekly to keep the research project on track and ensure learning objectives are met.

Randall Research Scholars students and project directors should develop a weekly standing meeting to keep the research project on track and ensure learning objectives are met. A preferred mechanism for communicating should be clearly established.

Project directors must complete an evaluation of the students at the end of an academic term using the standard student evaluation form. The form should be received by the Randall Research Scholars Director on the first business day following the student’s final examination.

Submission Process

If you have a research project you believe will fit into the program and are willing to participate in this program by working with an undergraduate student, then you are encouraged to submit a description of this project. You may download and complete the Project Proposal Form and email it back to rrsp@ua.edu. Once your project is selected around the second week of an academic term, the RSSP student will contact you directly for further information and begin filling out a project contract for you to review and approve. If needed, please reference our Project Examples and Project Proposal Examples.

The deadline for submitting a semester’s proposed computer research project to the address below is Friday, August 25th, 2017. Please don’t hesitate to contact Shane Sharpe, Randall Research Scholars Director at rrsp@ua.edu or at 348-5029 with any questions.

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CBH Live

CBH Live is a live, interactive broadcast of research projects conducted by students in the Randall Research Scholars Program. Students will discuss the goals, outcomes and societal impact of the research they’ve conducted during the Fall 2017 Semester.

CBH Live 2017 Dates: December 7th & 8th

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