Faculty Roles and Responsibilities

Faculty play a key role in the successful development and completion of Honors Research Projects. In particular, faculty are a resource to guide students in the development of their initial research project, demonstrate effective research practices, ensure an appropriate timeline for completion, and ultimately evaluate the quality of the student's final outcome. Faculty can take on one of two roles:

  • Sponsor – the Honors Project Sponsor is the primary advisor for the student's project. The Sponsor works closely with the student throughout the project duration and his/her main responsibilities include
    • working with students to develop the project topic, as well as the outcomes and deliverables;
    • developing clear project goals and students expectations;
    • setting a timeline for the project, including intermediate objectives;
    • holding regular research meetings;
    • reviewing intermediate draft reports;
    • assigning the final grade for the Honors Project course.
    The Honors Project Sponsor must be a faculty member at The University of Akron. If the Sponsor is not a member of the student's major department approval must be obtained from the Honors Faculty Advisor in that major department.
  • Readers – two Readers are required for each project, and they serve as secondary resources for the student. Project Readers may be chosen from any department at the university, or may come from outside the university when appropriate. All readers must be approved by both the student and the faculty sponsor, and they can be involved in all aspects of the project. 

At the completion of the project, both the Sponsor and Readers review the final report and must approve it for the student to successfully satisfy the Honors Project requirements. As such, faculty that participate in these roles should be familiar with all of the requirements for the Honors Projects, both from the Honors College as well as the individual departments, including the final submission process. Faculty may also identify additional opportunities for the student to publicize their efforts, such as research presentations, public showings, or the development of subsequent academic papers.

The final report must also be accepted by the Chair and Honors Faculty Advisor for the student's major department. Note that the Sponsor and Readers must be distinct, but the Department Chair and/or Honors Faculty Advisor can serve in either of these two project roles.