What is an Independent Research Project (IRP)?
In an Independent Research Project, over the space of one academic year, a student undertakes research and writes a research paper on a topic of his/her choice under the guidance of a faculty member in the Faculty of Economics whose research expertise is in a field related to the student’s chosen area of research.
Third and fourth year students can take an IRP under the supervision of a member of the Faculty of Economics located on either the Mita or Hiyoshi Campuses. An IRP can be taken in either a student’s third year or fourth year or both years. Students can choose a research topic related to economics, humanities (such as arts and literature) or the natural sciences. Creative work is also recognized as a research outcome.
Features of IRPs
- IRPs are possible in a wide variety of topics and themes. Themes and topics that are not necessarily related to economics can also be chosen. Creative work such as art or literary work is also acceptable as an outcome of IRP.
- An IRP provides supervision in a small-group environment. The minimum number of students in an IRP is one, and the maximum number of students in an IRP is limited to five so as to ensure that each student completes an academic paper under the proper tutelage of a supervisor.
- IRPs respect of student autonomy. Students can decide their own themes, and consult with possible supervisors on a voluntary basis. Each student (each group of students in case of collaborative research) is supposed to “independently” form and carry out his/her research project.
- IRPs provide the opportunity to learn how about to disseminate a research outcome. Through discussion with other students enrolled in IRPs, students are expected to learn how to convey their findings and ideas in a clear and understandable way. IRP students are required to make two presentations, an interim presentation and a final presentation, that are open to the public. The abstract of each research paper is made public on the web. As a result, each student will bear the responsibility for his/her own research as a member of society.
As for the details, see below