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How to apply for R.A.'s for Research Topics

Application Process for Faculty Members at Pratt Institute

The UA department offers ‘ARCH 563A – Research Topics’ to support faculty research. We are looking for faculty members who would like to apply for a Student Research Assistant (RA) who will receive 3 academic credits under their guidance. The program will consider many forms of research with academic merit: design research, history & theory, experimental and scholarly work. The role of the student must follow Pratt’s parameters for independent studies with a defined set of learning objectives. (See application guidelines below.)


In addition to their work with a faculty member, all RA’s will have a Research Topics coordinator with whom they will meet to insure that educational and research goals are met. The student will keep a journal that will be submitted to both the research faculty member and coordinator. The faculty member needs to be a current employee of Pratt Institute. The chair will be part of the application process.

We recommend that faculty members identify the student they would like to work with in their application. Students that are part of approved faculty proposals will be registered for the course by academic advisors before or at the beginning of the semester. Interested faculty members can apply for an RA, by sending their proposal to: dra[at]

Application guidelines for faculty members:

  • Explain your academic work or research project.

  • Describe your project's short- and long-term goals and identify publication venues or grants you want to apply for.

  • Describe the role of the research assistant.

  • Describe how the student’s work qualifies as exposure to academic rigor.

  • Describe the structure and the deliverables for the student. If possible please provide a week-by-week outline of student contact hours.

  • Define the Student Learning Outcomes (defined below).


Proposals should address the following student learning outcomes:

  • The ability to raise clear and precise questions, use abstract ideas to interpret information, consider diverse points of view, reach well-reasoned conclusions, and test alternative outcomes against relevant criteria and standards.

  • The ability to use appropriate representational media, such as traditional graphic and digital technology skills during the semester research investigation.

  • Develop the ability to gather, record, apply, and comparatively evaluate relevant information within architectural coursework, research investigations, and design processes.

  • The student will understand the role of applied research in architecture in relation to function, form, technology, materials, and systems and their impact on human conditions and behavior.


ARCH 563A Research Topics (Pratt Institute School of Architecture, Undergraduate Architecture)

The centerpiece of this course is the relationship with a professor as a research assistant. In this role, students have the opportunity to participate in the development of a specialized body of knowledge at an academic level. The class is a way for students to communicate what they are learning to others and in that way to make the work their own.

The requirements for eligible students are:

  • Minimum 50 Credits: Only students of upper junior or senior class standing may enroll in this course.

  • min. GPA -3.0

  • Pre-approval is required by the faculty Researcher and the Research Coordinator for this course prior to registering.

  • Devote 9 hours a week to the project and meet with your professor on a regular basis to review your work.

  • The course may be repeated.

  • Students who have not been approached by a professor should contact the undergraduate advisors and find out if they are eligible.

  • If the student is eligible they can email an application email to and state what s/he wants to be engaged with or learn.


The course is structured in the following way:

  • Credits: 3

  • With your professor, develop a Scope of Work, Deliverables, and Goals. This should be submitted to the Research Coordinator. If the scope changes over the course of the semester, it should be updated and resubmitted.


Journal: Students keep a journal of their work with the professor. This will include documentation of the research and also a brief commentary. Students make at least one entry per week with at least one paragraph of explanation. Students can keep the journal in the form of a blog post so that they can view the other student journals.


Midterm presentation: At mid-term Students give a short verbal presentation to the other students regarding the research and their assessment of it. The impact and interest the research has on each student will be the focus. Presentations are followed by class discussions.

Final presentation: Based on the midterm presentation, students will discuss their work in the form of a panel discussion. The panel participants can consist of just the class or include the professors. Students both script the discussion questions and moderate the panel.

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