As in the pilot project, research communities begin with at least two faculty members from different academic disciplines who have identified a theme or problem for research in common. They will recruit student researchers at the annual Willamette Collaborative Forum and develop proposals for summer research and collaboration. LARC 2.0 establishes an expectation of two students per faculty member, a higher student to faculty ratio than LARC 1.0 achieved (2:1 rather than approximately 3:2).
While maintaining close student-faculty relationships, LARC 2.0 devotes more resources to students and acknowledges the benefits of working closely with a peer researcher as well as with a faculty mentor.
In the two or three resulting research communities selected for summer research, each member is responsible for defining an individual research question, for gathering data, for interpreting the data and forming conclusions, and for presenting their research findings in a paper (often multimodal and/or in different forms for different audiences). Through the summer, the research communities will meet regularly to discuss work in progress and to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on one another’s work.
Faculty participants focus their research community work in either or both of two ways. First, they can produce a traditional scholarly product (e.g., an exhibition, essay, or chapter). Second, they can focus their research community experience on developing one of the curricular innovations described above.
When a research community submits a proposal to participate in the LARC summer program, faculty participants will indicate their intended focus.