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Independent Research

Independent research is a great way to make your study abroad experience more impactful. Notre Dame faculty members may be available to direct a course of independent study for credit, which can be done independently or within a Study Abroad program; consult your professors to see if this is an option for you. Research can be carried out during the academic year or during the summer.

An independent research project is an excellent starting point for students aspiring to write a senior thesis. It is also ideal preparation for future graduate work.

What You Need to Know

  • Have a clear purpose for the research: Are you a sophomore and want to explore a topic that is new to you? Are you a junior and want to conduct fieldwork for your senior thesis?
  • Plan, plan, plan: Serious research requires a clear research question and a research plan. International research requires even more thoughtful planning and will likely require more time to arrange and, once on the field, may take more time to conduct.
  • Faculty Guidance: Most research grant programs will require a faculty advisor for independent research. Faculty advisors can help you make the connections in other countries that can greatly help achieve your goals.  Human subject research requires IRB approval. Notre Dame Research provides guidance on compliance of research activities.

Funding Resources

Also check individual departments in the Colleges of Science, Engineering, and Business.