Frequently Asked Questions

Do ERFs have to commit to participate in the program for the whole year?

Yes. The ERF program will take place over the entirety of the academic year, so selected ERFs must commit to participating in the program in both semesters of the year for which they’re selected.

What if I’m abroad, or not in residence for the fall or spring semesters next year?

Then you should not apply for the ERF program next year, though we invite you to apply in a future year when you will be in residence for the entire academic year.

Do I need a faculty member to write a letter of recommendation to complete my application?

No. We do need you to ask a faculty member to be willing to recommend you, and for you to provide their name and email address on the application before you submit it. But we will reach out to these faculty members to receive recommendations on your behalf, should that become necessary in the selection process. 

Do I need to write a “letter of interest” to complete my application?

No. All you need to do to complete your application is to fill out the form here

How much of a weekly time commitment is the ERF program?

ERFs will attend a mandatory one-hour weekly seminar with the ERF-coordinator. They will also be expected to work up to 5 more hours per week. These hours will be spent: doing individual or collaborative ethics research projects, performing background research activities for identifying the ERFs own undergraduate research project, doing research assistantship projects and tasks for their assigned faculty mentor in second semester, or attending NDIAS academic programs or events.

What will I be doing second semester as a research assistant for an ND faculty mentor?

Working as a research assistant for an ND faculty mentor is a highlight of the ERF program. In the weekly seminar, you will be prepared to perform the following kinds of projects and tasks in your research assistantship:

  • critically analyzing and evaluating research conclusions and methods;
  • providing statistical analysis of research data;
  • identifying and retrieving research materials;
  • conducting initial readings of primary and secondary sources;
  • developing bibliographies and literature reviews;
  • drafting notes and annotations;
  • proofreading, copying, and editing.

Obviously the particulars of the research assistantships will depend on the needs and background of the mentor you’ll be matched with, and the NDIAS staff will work with both you and your mentor to make sure.